Tuesday, October 11, 2005

ICAS Stops Fastracking CIPFA

ICAS have announced today that they have closed a scheme which offered CIPFA members fast-track membership of ICAS. Around one in six CIPFA candidates who began the scheme completed it and became members.

The focus in the ICAS syllabus on International Financial Reporting Standards has meant that CIPFA candidates, many of whom have not covered IFRS, can no longer be given the exemptions that made accelerated entry to the Institute possible.

Chief Executive Desmond Hudson said:

"When the course was first offered to CIPFA members, the accountancy landscape was very different. However, the educational content of today's CA qualification has changed dramatically. Unfortunately for CIPFA, it means it is no longer sustainable for their members to benefit from this fast-track entry to ICAS."

Executive Director of Education at ICAS, Mark Allison added,

"We will shortly be contacting our remaining CIPFA students to confirm the transitional arrangements which will allow them to complete their studies".

Source ICAS

ICAEW should take note of this.


  1. So ICAS exams (after major exemptions) are too tough for some 83% of CIPFA candidates.

    You can bet that they would have clanged the ICAEW exams as well.

    Do not give the ICAEW qualication away to those of a specialism with a very different standard.

  2. I have no doubts about which Institute members are best at manipulating statistical data and extrapolating perverse hypotheses.

    The ICAEW qualification is being bought, not being given away.

  3. Isn't ICAS your favourite or 2nd favourite institute?

    It is ICAS who have told the tale.

  4. I do not understand all this rivalry.

    I am a member of CIOT. We have had two mainstream routes to membership - VAT specialist and direct taxes, and even then the direct taxes route is sub divided. I have yet to come across any rivalry between CIOT members, only mutual respect.

    If MICA is born, I hope the Institute overcomes these difficulties.

  5. If it were suggested that CIOT merge with CIPFA (or even ICAEW) you would understand.

    CIOT have a special relationship with ICAS which is based upon mutual co-operation and respect

  6. Further to my post of 1.06 and the kind response of 1.20.

    My meaning is that in CIOT, for example, a Corporate Tax Specialist route member (who invariably is also a dual member of an accounting institute) will not regard a VAT Specialist route member (who invariably is ex C&E (as it once was)) to be of an inferior grade. In my case, I qualified via the general route so I should be lowest of the low.

    Surely, an ex CIPFA member of MICA is not going to expect to be able to assume the career path of an ex ICAEW member of MICA and vice vesa. To this end, there must be scope for mutual respect and recognition should you become MICA.

  7. AIIT/FIIT and/or TEP are serious qualifications which command some respect.

    Whilst I , and I anticipate you, cannot envisage your CIOT Council riding roughshod over your members and holding direct discussions and voting without any prior discussion with you and your fellow members - that is the case here.

  8. They did hold some meetings but that was to give the appearance of fair play.

  9. As regards the exams and the first response, I have no doubt that CIMA candidates would have performed less well and ACCA candidates would have performed better.

    Let's compete and forget merging.

  10. It is rather unfair to close the fast track route to all CIPFA members. For those who take the company audit route, CIPFA is a RQB, and the route should have been left open to them. These students study IFRS.

    I think ICAS is basically appalled over the way ICAEW and CIPFA have handled things. Much to CIPFA’s and ICAEW’s determent. It will take years to rebuild the goodwill. This I think we can all agree on.

  11. It's obviously a game ICAS is playing due to the fact they are concerned the integration is going to go full-steam ahead.

    ICAS seems keen to use other routes to entry as a means of boosting numbers - it's surprising they've cut this route off.

  12. The CIMA merger was rejected in 1995 (I think), and it looks like the CIPFA merger will be rejected too. It will take years to get back on civil terms with ICAS (in fact things may never be the same again).

    It is obvious that the Council is hell bent on merging with another body. There are various theories why they have this strategy, but the fact is that they do.

    With the Council strategy in mind, how would you feel about a merger with ACCA?

  13. One would expect the ICAEW Council to say that a merger with ACCA would be a first class idea; but since they have only a slim chance of merging with equal representation - what do you think?

    Can anyone confirm the circumstances, if any, in which other CCAB members can join ACCA?

  14. It is obvious that the grassroot members have a different agenda to the Council.

    The Council appear to want an ICAEW which is the dominant force in world accounting, whilst the grassroot simply want an ICAEW which dignified and has a respected opinion.

    Unless the grassroots can effect regime change, little will change following the second rejection of the CIPFA merger. It will be a mere stumbling block in the Council's ambition.

  15. In one sense you are doubtless right; but it takes at least two to merge. Which "other" institutes would wish to be seen as clueless.

  16. MFB "So ICAS exams (after major exemptions) are too tough for some 83% of CIPFA candidates."

    That's not what it says. It says that 1 in 6 go on to membership, there is no comment on pass rates on the examinations. CCAB reciprocal schemes tend to have a high drop out rate, possibly because of the difficulty of motivating oneself for yet more exams when one already has a perfectly adequate professional qualification.

    I joined the ICAS scheme myself and then withdrew voluntarily, for precicely this reason. I have never 'clanged' an exam in my life. The standard of ICAS modules was comparable to CIPFA, with some obvious differences in emphasis.

  17. Had it not been too difficult you would not have dropped out.

    Only ICAS could prove the full picture but the general import of the mfb conclusion is patently correct.

  18. "Had it not been too difficult you would not have dropped out."

    Presumptious nonsense; the three papers didn't strike me as particularly onerous. Certainly less challenging than my Oxford Finals or CIPFA P3 Project. The only question was one of cost (time)/benefit analysis.

    "mfb conclusion is patently correct"

    More presumptious nonsense. As I mentioned earlier, CCAB reciprocal schemes tend to have high drop-out rates. Extra qualifications are often 'nice to have' but seldom essential.

  19. If you sign up and the exams are not difficult just do them.

    Don't back out and make puerile excuses for yourself and others.

  20. I don't need to justify what were actually quite complex personal decisions to anyone but myself.

    The point (mudslinging aside) is that, having had a look at the later stages of ICAS and CIPFA in some detail (have you? Has mfb? has Ken?) neither of them should hold any terrors for a well prepared, committed, reasonably bright* student. Neither of them are 'easy' either.

    * let's be honest, accountancy is not a particularly searching intellectual discipline. There aren't 120k intellectually exceptional people in the UK, let alone 120k in ICAEW.

  21. How can anyone argue with someone who think that less than 0.2% of the U.K population are intellectually exceptional?

    Do you wish to accept a challenge to answer 100 mental arithmetic questions in 3 minutes (which was thought to be impossible to complete); 50 would involve addition and 50 multiplication of randomly chosen 3 digit numbers by randomly chosen 2 digit numbers?

    If not, please suggest another worthwhile challenge.

  22. You must bear in mind that doing three full day exams, the preparation for which is as demanding as the exams for one's own institute, when there is no time off from a full time job to prepare for them, is liable to result in a high failure rate. I should know - I've been there. ICAS offered tuition but few could justify the time off or the cost.

  23. Can ICAS offer the fast tracking route to all members of the Irish CPA Institute?

    If so much effort and work put to develope the ICAS fast-track for CIPFA is discontinued, this will cost a lot of time and money wasted.

    Please offer it to Irish CPA members and check their progress from time to time.