Monday, November 27, 2006

ICAS To Remain Independent

Anton Colella, the new chief executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), is going to build bridges with the ICAEW after last year's humiliating debacle over the proposed name of the planned merged institute (that was blocked by the membership of the ICAEW).

Colella, in an interview with the Herald, notes that rapprochement is now required with the ICAEW.

However, despite the ICAEW's continued obsession with merging with all and sundry, ICAS have every intention of remaining independent.

Colella is quoted as saying:

"Consolidation is not on the horizon for Icas.

We will, however, be looking to work very effectively with the other professional bodies in the UK. We will be working very hard to ensure we identify areas where we can collaborate

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Numbers Game

It was reported last week that domestic ICAEW member numbers have all but stood still over the last year.

The Professional Oversight Board's recent survey, Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, shows that domestic member numbers for the ICAEW grew by a mere 350 over the last 12 months or 0.3%.

However, ACCA membership rose from 56,837 to 59,059 over the same period, and CIMA grew from 51,386 to 53,697; growth rates of 3.9% and 4.4% respectively.

ACCA also trounces the ICAEW in terms of its age profile, with 70% of members under 45 years old, whilst the ICAEW and ICAS both have around 50% over 45 years old.

As we know, the ICAEW preferred method of addressing this stagnation in membership has been that of merging with other bodies. This method, because it dilutes the brand value of the qualification, was rejected by the membership last year.

However, I have been discussing with Dr Jeff Wooller (founder of the Ginger Group - not ICAEW approved) another solution.

We believe that we need to offer a solution which addresses both the needs of the market, and maintains the brand image of the ACA and FCA qualifications.

The ICAEW needs to offer the market what it wants, namely a tiered membership pitched at different levels. We should offer two additional qualifications, each with its own set of designatory letters:
  • An accounting technician qualification, which would be very popular overseas and rival the CAT qualification of ACCA.

  • A non practising qualification, at a higher level than technician, for those who do not wish to endure a training contract. This again would be very popular overseas, and would compete directly with the CAT of the ACCA. It would also be a cheaper and more practical alternative than MBA courses.
Thus the ICAEW could compete in the entire market place, without losing the brand value of its existing qualifications. Future growth rates in the ACCA and CIMA may plummet and the ICAEW would have a global qualification to rival the MBA.

However, we would first need to find out from leading ICAEW members, in business rather than in practice, what they would want from such qualifications. We believe that the ICAEW Faculties would be ideal vehicles for such research.

It will be interesting to see the reactions from the ICAEW competitors to our proposal, an attack would indicate that we have a winning proposal.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Honorary Fellowship

My thanks to Dr Jeff Wooller, President of the Institute of Professional Financial Managers (IPFM), for awarding me an honorary fellowship of the IPFM.

The IPFM made this rare honorary award, for my work on this site in opposing the recently proposed mergers in the UK accountancy profession.

To read the full details please click here Honorary Fellowship.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Price of Rebranding

I see that the Association of Accounting Technicians has rebranded itself, just as the ICAEW intends to do.

The only difference being that the cost, seemingly, was less than the ICAEW's expected rebranding cost of £65K.

I trust that our new logo will really be something very special, to justify the extra outlay.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Druckman Speaks Out Against Consolidation

Paul Druckman, ex president of the ICAEW, has spoken out against another merger attempt:

"I do think it important to not keep going back to the consolidation issue of the UK profession."

I agree.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The New Logo

Many people are complaining about the £65K cost of the new logo for the ICAEW, due to be unveiled shortly.

I would say this, £65K is a mere trifle compared with the £1.4M wasted on trying unsuccessfully to convince the membership to support the merger last year.

We should be thankful for small mercies!