Monday, March 20, 2006

CIMA Steals a March on The ICAEW

In January I noted that ACCA had pipped the ICAEW to the post by a year, by introducing an exam on ethics.

It seems that CIMA are also going down the same route. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants has launched revisions to its qualification, the Certificate of Business Accounting, which is designed to develop the fundamental skills and techniques.

This includes modules ranging from business economics and financial accounting through to ethics, corporate governance and business law.

Robert Jelly, Director of Education, emphasises the focus on ethics.

The ICAEW were to introduce their new syllabus this year, which included a separate exam on ethics, unfortunately owing to unspecified problems the new syllabus will not go live until 2007.


  1. Simon

    I am not surprise to see ICAEW still about to introduce the ethics exam in its new syllabus since the UK Government and Regulatory Agencies/Professional Organizations always lag behind among developed countries. Ethics examination has been a prerequisite in US CPA certification requirements for decades. The USA has implemented the Freedom of Information Act to facilitate and more transparent and reponsilbe government in 1955 but UK implemented it just last year. The Irish IAASA has pinned down and implemented the recognition of overseas accounting bodies but POBA in UK has done nothing! REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) is already common investment vehicles in USA, Australia and Japan, even Hong Kong/Singapore financial regulatory bodies has approved such investment products in past few years but in UK it’s still a dream.

    If the UK government and regulatory bodies don’t change its working culture and attitudes how can it compete in a more globalized economy?

  2. Yet more evidence that ICAEW is being surpassed by the competition. No wonder the Council wish to obliterate all contenders for it's gold standard.

  3. what are you talking about? No wonder all your rubbish comments were deleted in AccountingWeb!

  4. The UK POBA is in fact very clever and intentionally preclude overseas accounting bodies to fall under its regulatory remit. Thus held itself non-accountable for bodies other than CCAB.

  5. Perhaps ICAEW may tell us another initiative to merge with ACCA in 2007.

    Does member size really that matters?

  6. Jason

    Use of “Accountant” title in UK and Ireland

    In Ireland, the Minister for Trade and Commerce, Michael Ahern TD has announced that he has asked the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) to examine the use of the term 'Accountant' by non qualified and regulated self styled 'accountants'.
    The Minister wants to define the term “accountant” with some kind of precision, such that it can curb situations where somebody with no accounting qualifications can purport to be an accountant, to the detriment of the customer and the profession. Minister Ahern said, “on the one hand we want to prevent this situation but I am also conscious of the need to avoid any kind of initiative which cut across the provision of services by persons perfectly competent to do so”.

    It is quite a rational approach in Ireland to define the term “Accountant” and what services he or she could offer and subject to what kind of regulation by IAASA since there are now nine accounting bodies being recognised and under the regulatory remit of State Agency for Accounting Profession. The attitude of IAASA is opened as regard the recognition of overseas accounting bodies, for example the mutual recognition between AICPA and ICAI has been endorsed by official at IAASA.
    In UK the situation becomes uncertain since POBA is operated inside a black box without any transparency at all and it doesn’t have to report to UK Government since it is a body independent from the State.

  7. Yeah, people at POBA has learning difficulty in number-crunching.

  8. Simon

    What makes UK fall behind the Europe League as attractive place of businesses?

    Probably the confused and inconsistent tax regimes which driven by the bureaucracy and inefficiency in public administration. Poor regulation and public policy are another major contributor to low ranking in various indicators.

    UK drops down investment league table, Accountancy Age, 29 Mar 2006

    Concerns over tax levels, regulation, poor transport infrastructure and low levels of productivity have seen the UK slip from fourth to seventh in the latest survey of 82 countries by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

    The survey ranked countries on how much foreign investment they were likely to receive over the next five years. Denmark retained the top spot, while the US was ranked below the UK at eighth.

    Finland, Holland and Ireland have all surpassed the UK as more attractive destinations for overseas equity.

    Irish and Dutch have best tax regimes, says UK survey

    In a survey of UK-based tax executives by KPMG some 54% placed Ireland in the top three for competitiveness, with 50% choosing the Netherlands, 32% opting for Luxembourg and 14% voting for the UK.

    Belgium and Spain both scored 4% while France and Germany received no votes.

    Two thirds of those responding said a country’s tax regime is influential in decisions on where to locate operations, and over 70% said that tax issues have become more important for international business planning over the past two years.

    But it is not just tax rates that executives point to in explaining where they choose to locate operations. Only 68%of companies looked for low tax rates, compared with 88% which looked for clarity of interpretation of tax legislation and 84% which wanted consistency in tax-related judgment.

  9. Jason

    It’s not difficult to understand why Irish ranked higher than UK in various indicators. Irish government is more efficient and welcome foreign investment and competition. If you look at the operations at IAASA alone you should know that it has established a regime for overseas accounting bodies to gain recognition and develop business in Ireland. On the other hand, UK is a more closed economy with great fierce of foreign competition.

  10. Kuen-Wah

    According to the latest statistics foreign exchange reserves in China has just exceeded Japan to become the nation with largest FX reserves in the world. There shouldn’t be any doubt why it did happen as all industrial productions for global merchandise are now manufactured in plants located in China for its low labour and land costs. We all know exports to overseas countries will lead to earning foreign exchanges and attract even more foreign direct investment to set up manufacturing plants here in China.

    No wonder why ICAEW decide to host a joint conference with HKICPA in Hong Kong in May 2006 on the theme around China and the Global Capital Markets – Challenges for business, investors and the accountancy profession.

  11. What has all this got to do with the ICAEW / CIPFA merger?

  12. To answer the question why ICAEW wish to merge with CIMA/CIPFA we need to know why students recruitment is shrinking? To know why students recruitment in shrinking we have to commit analysis why ICAEW becomes less attractive to other CCAB insitutes? To properly address the reason why ICAEW becomes less attrative we need to investigate the accounting profession in general.....government policy.....economic environment.....etc etc etc.

  13. Jason , 30 March 2006 @ 16:39 PM [Edit] [Remove] Accountability of UK POBAWe know the UK POBA’s function would be to regulate accounting professions in the United Kingdom but who overseas the project as regard legitimacy, appropriateness, effectiveness or integrity included in POBA’s work programs? There is an Internal Oversight and Performance Assurance Division within the US PCAOB which has been charged with the responsibilities to conducts annual and special reviews and inquiries, to help ensure that the Oversight Board does perform what the Congress commit it to do under The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Here below is the remit of Internal Oversight within the US PCAOB :- Internal OversightIn early 2004, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board created the Office of Internal Oversight and Performance Assurance (IOPA) to provide internal examination of the programs and operations of the PCAOB and, in so doing, help ensure the efficiency, effectiveness and integrity of those activities. IOPA conducts performance reviews and real-time quality assurance of PCAOB functions and programs. IOPA’s role at the PCAOB is similar to that of an Inspector General in a government agency. Specifically, IOPA conducts annual and special reviews and inquiries, to help ensure that the PCAOB: Identifies and appropriately addresses risks to the integrity and effectiveness of its programs and operations. Identifies and implements opportunities to improve the effectiveness or efficiency of those programs and operations. Reports material and relevant financial and operating information , including performance and financial information, in a fair, complete, reliable and timely manner to the public, Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Complies with applicable laws, regulations, and policies, and encourages and enforces such compliance by PCAOB employees. Appropriately safeguards and uses resources in an efficient manner. Conducts its programs and operations so as to protect and promote the public interest in the integrity of audits. IOPA reviews will generally culminate in reports issued to the Board which often will include recommendations to enhance Board operations. If you wish to provide information relating to a PCAOB employee, you should do so by providing information directly to the PCAOB’s Office of Internal Oversight and Performance Assurance (IOPA). To do so, you may send an e-mail to that office, call 202-207-9293, or write a letter to: Peter Schleck, Director, Internal Oversight and Performance AssurancePublic Company Accounting Oversight Board Suite 8001666 K Street, NWWashington, DC 20006


  14. Joey , 30 March 2006 @ 16:52 PM [Edit] [Remove] Accountability of UK POBAWithout suitable and proper quality assurance measure put in place at the UK POBA to enhance accountability; it equals to a plane spin out of control in the sky. I don't really understand the purposes of POBA's projects! What is its object as stipulated in constitution? Why wasting time and money doing meaningless research on finding out how Accountant support small and medium-sized companies etc. How to ensure public money is being spent in the most efficient manner and provide a value to the society?

  15. Simon Cheung , 31 March 2006 @ 11:18 AM [Edit] [Remove]
    Accountability of POBA
    According to the strategy document of FRC which states that it is established as a limited company (FRC Ltd). The members of FRC Ltd board are being appointed by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. Members of the council where commissioned to exercise regulatory role are being appointed by the board of FRC Ltd. The board also make appointment for senior executive positions including CEO to the council and the operating bodies.
    However, the DTI doesn’t have any direct supervision or control over the affairs of the council nor any of the operating boards such as POBA, APB etc.

    To a significant extent management of FRC or POBA is relying on self-discipline as per relevant aspects contained in the Combined Code on Corporate Governance.

    Scrutiny on the activities of the FRC or POBA are voluntary although it said that they endeavour to make themselves open to public scrutiny (though an Annual Open Meeting) and by external auditors, by Parliament, by stakeholders. Effectiveness of public scrutiny is questionable since no information to the detriment of FRC or POBA will be released in the Annual Open Meeting which subject to further criticisms. External auditors will only perform a financial audit instead of investigation on the integrity or legitimacy on the activities of FRC or POBA. There is no independent third party to review the work of FRC or POBA and reporting on the progress and performance is self-published.

  16. CIMA have established a formal link with AICPA.

  17. The Certificate’s flexibility as both a stand alone qualification for non financial managers and an entry level route to the professional Chartered Management Accountant Qualification will ensure its relevance to employers and students alike.

    Above qoute from Robert Jelly of CIMA.