Friday, September 29, 2006


Seemingly the ICAEW is considering turning Scotland into a region, without districts.

The logical consequence of this would be for the current district structures of England & Wales to be restructured into regions.

That at least is what Accountancy Age think.

Herein lies one of the fundamental problems with the current ICAEW structure. The ICAEW was formed in the 19th century and the structure laid down by the "founding fathers" is still in place today; ie districts and a large, cumbersome and unnecessary council.

The ICAEW needs to restructure itself to reflect the realities of the 21st century, rather than the 19th; ie council should be abolished and the districts restructured.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Succession

Much like the speculation within the Labour Party over the successor to Tony Blair, the ICAEW also has been dealing with succession issues.

Those of you with long memories may recall that way back in June, Eric Anstee announced that he would be stepping down and that the ICAEW would begin the search for a replacement.

Some three months have passed, and as yet the ICAEW has made no official announcement as to the progress of their search.

However, Accountancy Age report today that some 10 interviews have taken place with a number of candidates. The upshot being, if the report is to be believed, that the ICAEW are "playing safe" and going for an internal candidate Michael Izza (currently COO).

It will be interesting to see if the ICAEW update council, and indeed the membership, on the progress being made at the council meeting scheduled for 4th October.

Does the slow pace of progress and lack of information indicate that there are problems wrt filling the role?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Bold Prediction

Michael Cleary, the head of Grant Thornton, has made a bold call for unification of all six UK professional accounting bodies in a speech delivered to the Institute of Financial Accountants.

Cleary said that it is a "nonsense" for Britain to have more than six professional organisations.

He went on to predict that within a decade all the institutes will combine to form one nationwide institute.

Cairn Energy chairman Norman Murray, who is president of the Scottish institute (ICAS), disagrees:

"We have always said that consolidation is not inevitable.

To demonstrate to our members that merging would be in their interests and in the public interest, we need to show that we can work together closely with other institutes first and foremost.

At the moment we see no need to merge

The ICAEW president, Ian Morris, also spoke up about co-operation when he visited Edinburgh to address the 1300 members of the English institute who work in Scotland.


"Our relationship with ICAS is one of partnership.

I value the long-standing and constructive working relationship that exists between (us)."

I agree that a merger with ICAS would be beneficial for both bodies, if the membership can be persuaded. However, last year's appalling public relations disaster wrt the name change foisted on the ICAEW members by the ICAEW leadership has not done the ICAEW's reputation in Scotland any favours.

Ian Morris is right to say that we should value a long standing and constructive relationship with ICAS. Unfortunately, last year the leadership of the ICAEW did its very best to destroy the relationship.

As regards Michael Cleary's desire to merge all bodies, a merger should only be sought between similar bodies of equal standing in respect of qualifications and prestige. ICAS and ICAEW are two such bodies; CIPFA, CIMA et al are not.

That is why the merger with CIPFA failed last year, until the leadership of the ICAEW get that message we will not be able to move forward and engage in constructive dialogue with ICAS.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Money Talks

Those who tried to water down our qualification last year, by diluting it with other brands, may care to read the following Reuters article:

"The average total pay package offered by investment banks and other financial services employers in the City for Associate Chartered (ACA) accountants is now a record 65,000 pounds a year, according to a study by recruitment firm Morgan McKinley.

'The continual rise in total compensation packages for these individuals is testament to the value they place on the qualification as well as the desire to secure these individuals in what is an extremely tight candidate market,' said Robert Thesiger, chief executive of Morgan McKinley

Money talks, it is clear that the market recognises the value of the undiluted ACA/FCA qualification; it is a pity that those on the ICAEW who tried to push last year's botched merger through did not value it as highly.