Tuesday, December 18, 2007


ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza, reacting to the release of the interim report by PwC CEO Kieran Poynter on "Datagate", said:

"In tandem with the next stage of this review, we believe government should look at the day-to-day operation of HMRC and ensure that it is properly resourced to deliver.

Until this happens, there should be a moratorium on any further job cuts


The most effective way to turn around the underperforming and failing HMRC is to simplify the tax system, and hence simplify the bureaucracy and cut the staff/hierarchies within the HMRC.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Contradiction In Terms

On the assumption that the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) really is the independent UK regulator responsible for promoting confidence in corporate reporting and governance.

How can Eric Anstee's (ex CEO of the ICAEW and newly appointed chairman of IFA) appointment as a non-executive director of the new board of the Financial Reporting Council provide a leg up for IFA, as IFA president Professor David Hunt states?

Independent bodies do not provide leg ups.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Transparent Council

Over the recent weeks (most especially after having met and had lunch with Michael Izza CEO of ICAEW), I had begun to feel that maybe the ICAEW had finally started to get the message from its members and that it was genuinely trying to make itself more accountable to the membership, relevant and fit for purpose for the 21st century.

Unfortunately that feeling of optimism was blown away when I read Richard Dyson's (President ICAEW) piece in Accountancy (December 2007 page 113) entitled "Seeking Council".

I would provide a link to the piece, but Accountancy haven't entered the 21st century either and don't have it on their website.

In brief, Dyson extols the virtues of the ICAEW council; noting that "council's work is too often unnoticed and unsung..."

Well, there is a very good reason for that; none of the membership are told what council discusses!

In brief I will summarise why I totally disagree with Dyson's views:
  • As I have stated on this site on many occasions, the size of council (over 90 people) is absurd (see Best in Class). Dyson attempts to justify the size of council by saying:

    "..once a body is larger than, say 15 people, it doesn't really make any difference if it's 30, 60 or 90 strong.."

    Clearly he doesn't get it, council should be less than 12 people (as I have outlined on numerous occasions) if it is is to be effective. Following Dyson's "logic" we may as well increase the size to include every member.

    I would note that were the same proportion of MP's, compared to the population of the UK, to sit in parliament as there are council members to ICAEW members, we would have a parliament of 42,857 MP's.

    Would that be an effective body?

  • Dyson proudly states how the ICAEW have made progress, and have tried to make council meetings more transparent and open to scrutiny.

    That being the case, why can the membership of the ICAEW not access transcripts of council meetings?

    I did raise that question during the ICAEW's abortive merger campaign, and got a very irate email from one member of council who informed me that the minutes of the meetings should not be available to the membership as the were "confidential".

    Ah yes, progress indeed!

  • Dyson concludes by inviting prospective council members to contact him.

    Now I know where I went wrong, when I attempted to stand for council at the beginning of this year. Had I contacted Dyson, then maybe the ICAEW would not have refused to let the Croydon membership know that I was looking for nominations.
Why does the ICAEW claim to be international, yet council elections are decided on a local basis?

Why does the ICAEW insist on prospective candidates for council needing 10 signatures from the local area, before they are even allowed to stand?

Why does the ICAEW need 90, or more, council members?

Operating a Victorian trading association model simply will not do for the 21st century.

Until the ICAEW gets that point it will go nowhere.

Judging from the self congratulatory tone and contents of Dyson's article, it is evident that the ICAEW still doesn't get it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Jobs For The Boys

Dennis Howlett raises a very good question about why is it that the Tax Faculty of the ICAEW, rather than the IT Faculty, are commenting on the recent data loss fiasco by HMRC.

I agree with Dennis, the ICAEW have "missed the mark" on this:
  • They should have responded as a body as whole, not allowing an individual faculty to answer

  • Their support of a formal independent review, as Dennis rightly points out, begs for yet more tax payers' money to be poured down the ever open gullets of the big four consultancy/accounting firms; producing no real value whatsoever

  • The failure of HMRC is down to lax systems and lax attitudes; not costs savings targets, rightly imposed by the Treasury
However, that being said, the most effective cost savings wrt HMRC can only be made when Gordon Brown allows Darling to dramatically simplify the tax system; eg set a single rate of tax, eliminate Inheritance Tax and CGT etc etc.

This is where the ICAEW should be pushing the government, and this is the case that they should be making, not "fannying around" asking for consultants to be hired.

A missed opportunity.

Monday, December 03, 2007


The ICAEW recently asked for examples of HMRC issues, www.hmrcisshite.com may provide them with some light relief whilst they plough thier way through the technical stuff.

HMRC Is Shite is dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of the HMRC, who have to endure the monumental shambles that is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Monday, November 19, 2007

AIA Launches Forum and Blog

The Association of International Accountants (AIA) has launched a public discussion forum on its website (ahead of the ICAEW's plans for something similar), and a personal blog by the CEO Philip Turnbull which is accessible to all members of the public.

I wish them well with these innovations.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

EC Books Failed For 13th Year Running

Accountancy Age reports that the European Court of Auditors has refused to sign off the European Commission's books for the 13th year in a row, citing a "lack of supervision" and "irregularities" in its accounts.

The audit did not unearth any major fraud case. However, it noted that some of the EU's farm subsidies and aid for development of poor regions had/may have gone to ineligible people.


"The most frequent errors were claims for illegible expenditure and failure to carry out tender procedures as well as a lack of evidence to support the calculation of ... costs involved."

This humiliation could not come at a worse time for the EC.

Marta Andreasen, the former chief accountant of the European Commission, has said she is up against a "mafia" in the Commission whose aim it is to frighten off whistleblowers.

Andreasen lost her appeal against her dismissal by the EC last week, but that said she plans to appeal that judgment too.

Andreasen was suspended by the Commission in 2002, and was later sacked after exposing failures and weaknesses in accounting procedures.

As if by strange coincidence the ICAEW has invited Siim Kallas (Vice President of the EC in charge of administration, audit and anti fraud) to address a meeting at the ICAEW on 26th November.

The meeting is being organised by the ICAEW (co hosted by CIPFA) to promote "improved understanding of the Commission's accounting and auditing process".

The meeting also aims to:
  • Consider objectively the progress made by the Commission in reforming internal accounting and auditing process

  • Elicit an exchange of views on how public and private organisations deal with qualified accounts
It might prove to be an "interesting" event!

Given the ICAEW's current predilection for globalisation and co-operation with international professional bodies (despite an internal structure of governance that resembles a Victorian trading association) now would be a good time for the ICAEW to sally forth into Europe, and offer to train those in the EC who hold the purse strings, and have responsibility for spending our money, in the basics of accounting and financial reporting.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


As some of you may be aware, the ICAEW has been conducting a consultation exercise whereby Gracechurch Consulting conduct an hour long telephone interview with selected members of the ICAEW in order to determine the attitudes and requirements of the membership.

I have not been contacted, I am guessing that the ICAEW know my views already:)

However, there is a good summary of the process on "The Small Practice Accountant".

It seems that this is just the start of the process.

Quote from the Small Practice Accountant:

"One of the questions I asked was how many people had been contacted and how many were participating in the initial study. The consultant I spoke too said she would find out and email me. Her reply though said the following:

'With regard to the number of participants in this stage of the study the Institute has asked me to provide you with the following information:

This is an initial stage of exploratory research which will cover members from a range of different segments. We need to review the findings of the exploratory work before a larger scale survey which will cover all segments of the membership can be designed. This will be designed to ensure that accurately reflects the views of all segments of ICAEW membership and it is statistically valid

It seems that the ICAEW has finally started to realise that the membership is not that happy with how things have been run and are being run.

The question is, will the ICAEW have the courage to address the key issues such as; the size of council, the absurd council election process, the fees/costs of the institute etc?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The ICAEW is stepping up its advertising campaign, to promote itself as the top brand. It has launched its first ever cinema advertisement, which is aimed at students.

The advert is called "Blah won't get you far", and will be shown in 23 cinemas on or near university campuses across the UK. Sue Best, the Institute's marketing director, is quoted by AccountingWeb saying that is was "hopefully not something you would expect to see from the ICAEW."

Not too bad for a first attempt.

As I have noted before, I am pleased to see that the ICAEW have finally taken on board the message that our brand is a very valuable asset and should not be diluted.

Watch the ICAEW's new cinema advert here Blah!

Monday, October 08, 2007


I see that the ACCA have launched an ethics module as part of a drive to make ethics pervasive in the ACCA's exam syllabus.

Given that the ACCA believes that it is important to have a separate ethics module, and ICAS is introducing more ethics courses to its CA syllabus, why did the ICAEW abandon its plans for a separate ethics exam in 2005?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Accountants and business leaders in Scotland are to receive more ethics teaching from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland in an effort to improve public trust in financial reporting.

The institute also plans to introduce more ethics courses to its 'CA' qualification, in order to restore the public's trust in the financial services industry and business ethics as a whole.

This is precisely why the ICAEW should not have abandoned its plans in 2005 to have a separate ethics exam.

Monday, September 24, 2007


I have had a few people asking me how last Thursday's lunch in my club, with Michael Izza, went.

I was happy to have met with him in this manner, as it provided a very useful opportunity for us to discuss the major issues facing the ICAEW.

To my view the meeting was beneficial for both of us. We were both pleased to have met each other, and to have had the opportunity to speak at length about a number of matters relevant to the future of the ICAEW eg; merger attempts, relations with other professional bodies, council, ethics, education, ICAEW website etc.

Michael emphasised to me that the ICAEW is under new management, and has a new strategy that underpins the value of the brand/qualification.

I would like to thank Michael for paying for lunch.

AIA Accountant of The Year

Following on from my earlier note, about being nominated for "Accountant of The Year" for The Association of International Accountants (AIA), you may be interested to know that I have made it through to the finals.


AIA President's Awards 2007

Congratulations to the finalists and to all those who were short listed. Winners will be announced at the President's Dinner on 21 November 2007.

AIA Accountant of the Year


Ken Lever, Helen Weir, Ken Frost.

Short listed
Ken Lever, John Griffith-Jones, Helen Weir, Jon Symonds, John Connolly, Ken Frost.


An award designed to recognise organisations' accountancy stars. Firms, businesses and institutes are encouraged to make nominations, though individual entries are also welcome. Open to all qualified accountants whether in business, practice or public services.
  • Nominees must have demonstrated sound judgment, technical skill, innovation and leadership ability.

  • Nominees must have demonstrated dedication to clients.

  • Nominees must stand out from their colleagues as an accountant who has made significant impact, taking into account the length of their career in accountancy and any notable obstacles they have had to overcome.

  • Nominations should include any work related activities undertaken and broader contribution to the profession.

  • Nominations should include their contribution to the community.
Source AIA

The two other finalists are:

Ken Lever

Finance Director Tomkins plc
Age: 52

Appointed to the Board of Tomkins plc in November 1999. He is a non-executive director of iSOFT Group plc. He is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the ICAEW Financial Reporting Committee and Chairman of the Hundred Group Financial Reporting Committee. He has held executive directorships at Albright and Wilson plc, Alfred McAlpine PLC and Corton Beach plc and was a partner in Arthur Andersen.

Helen Weir

Group Finance Director Lloyds TSB

Joined the board in 2004. Group finance director of Kingfisher from 2000 to 2004. Previously finance director of B&Q from 1997, having joined that company in 1995, and held a senior position at McKinsey & Co from 1990 to 1995. Began her career at Unilever in 1983. A non-executive director of Royal Mail Holdings and a member of the Accounting Standards Board. Aged 45.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Penny Saved

The ICAEW has reportedly recruited researchers to ask selected members about their current sentiment wrt the institute and its strategy.

I can save the ICAEW a few pennies on this exercise, by suggesting that the researchers do not waste ICAEW time and money on sending me their survey.

I will be having lunch with Michael Izza on the 20th of this month, in my club (The East India), and will be happy to let him know personally what I think of the ICAEW.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I am now back in the UK, having had a very sucesssful business trip to Pyongyang, and thought that you may be interested/amused to see that I have been nominated for Accountant of the Year for the Association of International Accountants (AIA) in the AIA President's Awards 2007.

The Association of International Accountants (AIA) was founded in the UK in 1928 as a professional accountancy body and from conception has promoted the concept of "international accounting" to create a global network of accountants in over 85 countries worldwide.

AIA is constantly working with its people and partners in financial centres worldwide to encourage trust, clarity and shared international standards in the accounting profession. Many of its members are at the top of the industry, from senior management to director level, representing some of the most important and profitable firms in the world. With a select membership demographic including high numbers of these influential decision makers, the AIA is a truly prestigious organisation.

Please note, that I have not won it...nor am I yet in the shortlist.

The award is designed to recognise organisations' accountancy stars. Firms, businesses and institutes are encouraged to make nominations, though individual entries are also welcome.

Open to all qualified accountants whether in business, practice or public services.
  • Nominees must have demonstrated sound judgment, technical skill, innovation and leadership ability

  • Nominees must have demonstrated dedication to clients

  • Nominees must stand out from their colleagues as an accountant who has made significant impact, taking into account the length of their career in accountancy and any notable obstacles they have had to overcome

  • Nominations should include any work related activities undertaken and broader contribution to the profession

  • Nominations should include their contribution to the community
Best regards


Monday, August 13, 2007

One Off

It seems that the ICAEW controversial Malaysian advert, that sold the qualification short, was in fact a "one off".

Friday, August 03, 2007

Destroying The Brand

Accountancy Age report that the ICAEW has launched a campaign in Malaysia that seemingly sells the ACA qualification on the cheap, by offering members from rival bodies an ACA "without study or formal exams".

The advert appeared in Malaysian business magazine, The Edge. However, it has yet to appear in the UK.

I wonder why?

Age quote the ICAEW's response to the criticism, noting that candidates would still be "rigorously assessed" by an assessment committee:

"If this has been misinterpreted, for whatever reason, then details will be clarified at the workshops promoted by the advertisement. ICAEW is committed to attracting high-quality applicants through this innovative scheme which is receiving popular support in Malaysia."

Here are a few questions for the ICAEW:

1 Why is this ad campaign being run only in Malaysia, and not the UK?

2 Is Malaysia being used as a test bed for the advert, to see how strongly the members of the ICAEW react?

3 Why was the adverse reaction to the campaign not foreseen? Is this not what we pay PR and media people for?

4 Why are we offering our qualification to people without making them sit exams?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Reaction from The Bunker

Almost three years after setting this site up, and a "pile" of articles/emails/media interviews later, the ICAEW has finally mentioned my name in public and suggests (Izza Answers - "To this end I would be happy to meet with him to see if we can put some of these issues to rest".) that they would like to talk to me.

I am heartened that three years of effort has not been wasted.

However, I would like to correct a few errors within Michael's blog post:

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with CIPFA

"I am glad to say that the story did not leak during the intervening week and that the story was published on our website on 6th July."

It did leak.

I published the story on this site on 4th July, two days before the end of the embargo.

Merger by the back door?

"a significant majority of our members were in favour of the proposals (just under 67%)."

Oh dear, it seems that Michael has fallen victim to the ICAEW's spin.

As I and numerous members of the ICAEW have stated, only 37,004 members voted in favour of the merger; this represents a mere 29% of the total membership of the ICAEW.

That is not a majority!

"The Institute needs to respect the democratic decision"

How very noble of the ICAEW to grudgingly listen to the membership for once.

Maybe not for long though?

"premature to put a member vote back on the table in the short term to medium term."


"The Institute remains fully committed to working with the CCAB"

Why then do we need a strategic partnership on top of CCAB?


"we believe that it remains the qualification for business leadership"


Was this not the whole point of my "don't dilute the brand campaign", that so successfully scuttled the merger attempt?

I am glad that the ICAEW have taken my message to heart.


"ethics is now examined across the whole syllabus"

This is not enough.

In my view a separate paper is needed, as was originally envisaged in 2005, in order to send a robust signal to the world and to potential new members about our stand wrt ethics.

The Constitution

"I would urge him to stand for Council and make his voice heard."


My voice is heard, by those who choose to listen.

Michael, do you not read the papers or communicate with your fellow ICAEW officers?

My campaign to stand for council was well featured in The Times and accountancy magazines (even the in house propaganda magazine "Accountancy" mentioned it, after the event!), I also wrote to the ICAEW asking them to let the Croydon membership know that I was interested in standing.

The ICAEW chose not to communicate that fact to the membership of Croydon.

"I would be happy to meet with him to see if we can put some of these issues to rest."

Michael's public invitation was posted on 19th July 2007, yet no private invitation was dispatched to me prior to his public invitation.


As I noted above, I have been campaigning for an improved ICAEW for almost three years. This is the only time that they have ever made the slightest attempt to communicate directly with me, emails of the past have been left unanswered and there has never been the slightest interest expressed by the ICAEW in talking to me before.

Why now I wonder?

Why make the invitation public, without first asking me privately?

Could it be that this blog was a rushed damage limitation exercise?


I received a call on the 20th from AccountingWeb, alerting me about Michael's blog. They said that they has suggested to the ICAEW Director of Communications that Michael and I could do a 10 minute podcast, to discuss the issues raised. Note, this offer was made by AccountingWeb without my prior knowledge.

The offer was rejected by the ICAEW.

Some hours later after the call, and one day after Michael's blog post, I was sent an email from the Director of Communications of the ICAEW asking if I would be amenable to a meeting "our Chief Executive"; thus trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.

It doesn't seem that they ICAEW have handled this particularly well.

I will write back to the ICAEW, with my answer, in the next 24 hours or so.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

ICAEW Strategic Partnership With CIPFA

I am advised by an impeccable source that tomorrow the ICAEW and CIPFA will issue a press release concerning a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that has been signed by the two bodies.

The subject of that MOU is a proposal for a "Strategic Partnership" between the two bodies.

Seemingly various committees etc will be set up, some of which will be led by CIPFA, that will determine the methodology for forming the joint policy of the two bodies.

It would seem that this is a merger by the back door, and that the ICAEW has ridden roughshod over the wishes of the membership. Somewhat surprisingly this comes in the midst of the ICAEW advertising campaign that proudly trumpets that the ICAEW qualification is the best bar none.

How contradictory is that?

It also contradicts Izza's recent interview, in which he made clear that the merger was off the agenda for the time being.

It would appear that the "leadership" of the ICAEW has decided to ignore the views of the members who pay the salaries of the "leadership" and the expenses of council.

How very foolish of them!


Those of you interested in the future of the ICAEW and the integrity/value of your qualification should access this site at 17:00BST today.

There will be an important announcement made on this site at that time.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

U Turn If You Want To, Ken's Not For Turning II

Nice to see Accountancy Age have corrected the misleading impression that their headline about U turns gave last week.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

U Turn If You Want To, Ken's Not For Turning

Today's Accountancy Age has a piece entitled "Long-term critics u-turn in institute cold war".

The article notes that I have stated, in an earlier article, that the ICAEW had "accepted the argument" that mergers would dilute the ICAEW brand.

I have no quibbles with that, and indeed am pleased that the AA article notes that I am unhappy about the size of council and "pension black hole".

I would also emphasise that wrt council, the Victorian nonsense of nationally unknown candidates being "elected" on a local basis, and candidates needing to be nominated, needs to be addressed.

The Victorian trading association model is no longer applicable!

However, I would tactfully like to remind Accountancy Age that the ICAEW (by accepting the argument made on this site for the last two years, that the ACA/FCA brand is superior) has in fact made a U turn, not I!

The AA heading is misleading.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Competitive Advantage?

The ICAEW launched its new advertising campaign this month.

The campaign underlines the value of chartered accountants to business for employers, training organisations and potential trainees.

The headlines used in the campaign, 'A Cut Above' and 'A Competitive Advantage', emphasise (in the words of the ICAEW) the benefits that the ACA qualification provides as a benchmark of the highest professional and ethical standards.

Does this mean that the ICAEW have finally accepted the argument that I have been making on this site, for almost three years, that a merger with a non CA body would dilute the brand?

It would seem that they have accepted that argument.

Otherwise, were they to try to foolishly push another merger attempt with eg CIPFA or CIMA, the words of their own advertising campaign would be thrown back at them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Prince Charles

I see that Prince Charles is to become an honorary member of the ICAEW.

I wonder where he stands on the merger issue, and the size of council?

Does anyone have his email address?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Pension Black Hole

Given the ever increasing pension black hole in the ICAEW accounts (it has grown by £4M over the last year), it is hardly surprising that the ICAEW has asked to raise subscriptions this year by 4% (which, despite their denials, is above inflation).

The triannual actuarial review will be carried out later this year and, as sure as eggs are eggs, we can assume that the black hole will have increased.

The astute amongst you will realise that the ICAEW will therefore be again coming cap in hand to its members, to ask for another inflation busting subscription increase in 2008.

Given these never ending increases in staff costs, why did the ICAEW hire 125 more people in 2006?

Do they regard the membership as a docile compliant cash cow which can be milked to death?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Inspiring Confidence?

Why did the ICAEW need to recruit 125 more staff in 2006?

Why do they need to put the fees up by 4%, given that they show a net income of almost £1M in 2006?

Why did the ICAEW backtrack on the setting a separate ethics paper?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Merger No Longer a Priority?

Accountancy Age reports that Michael Izza, CEO of the ICAEW, no longer believes that consolidation is a priority.

We shall see.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Hat Tip

The RebelI tip my hat to Martin Waller of The Times, for mentioning this site again.

Can an accountant be a rebel?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Inspiring Confidence

The ICAEW is, as is the tradition at this time of year, asking its long suffering membership to stump up for another increase in subscriptions.

We are told that the rise of 4%, is "in line with inflation".

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but the inflation figure for March was 3.1%, and is expected to be around 2.8% in April (Bloomberg).

Therefore where does the ICAEW get its 4% from?

I know that it may not seem to be much of a difference (43% actually). However, as accountants we are meant to be reasonably accurate when it comes to numbers...aren't we?

"Inspring Confidence"?

I think not!

Needless to say, I will be voting against the rise.

I recommend that you do the same.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

CA Qualification To Be Offered Outside The UK

ICAS is to offer its CA Qualification outside the UK for the first time. ICAS will offer students in Luxembourg the CA course.

ICAS Chief Executive, Anton Colella said:

"We are breaking new ground by taking the CA qualification outside the UK and onto the continent.

We are responding to clear employer demand for our qualification, which is regarded by many as the 'gold standard' in accountancy training. CAs work successfully in a global business environment – so it made sense to offer business outside the UK the chance to train the leaders of the future through our CA programme

John Li, Managing Partner, KPMG in Luxembourg said:

"We welcome this excellent initiative from ICAS... We have found that the CA is admirably equipped to satisfy these and other demands from our clients and KPMG are therefore delighted to be at the forefront of supporting this initiative."

Why doesn't the ICAEW opt for in house training, instead of farming it out to third parties?

The ICAEW could then offer its qualification globally, and earn money for doing so, without diluting the brand.

Friday, April 20, 2007

ICAS To Go Global

The Scotsman reports that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) is to unveil plans to offer its "Chartered Accountant" qualification worldwide.

ICAS's CEO, Anton Colella, is quoted as saying that he is identifying major capital markets for expansion:

"People are looking for a premier accountancy qualification and that's what we provide. ICAS-trained accountants have a global reputation and the term CA is well-known. I want people to see the institute as one of the nation's 'jewels in the crown'. I don't think Scots realise the impact it has on global business."

It seems that despite reports of being on good terms with Michael Izza, Colella has no intention of merging with the ICAEW:

"We will stay ICAS and we will not be merging with any other body; it's just not on the horizon. We are the oldest and first and want to stay that way."

The dividing line between ICAS and ICAEW policy is clear. ICAEW believe that size matters, and that growth should be achieved by the short term fix of acquisition and absorption. ICAS believes in growth through "student sign ups", by marketing its qualification as the brand leader.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ethics and The World Bank

It looks like the World Bank could do with a lesson in ethics and effective corporate governance.

Happy to oblige!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Accountancy Auction Now Closed

The auction of my collection of Accountancy magazines has now closed.

My congratulations to the highest bidder who, by bidding £100 and offering to pick them up from me, has won the auction.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Accountancy Auction

My thanks to Martin Waller of The Times, for featuring my Accountancy auction for the third time in his City Diary.

The auction closes this Tuesday at 17:00.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Accountancy Auction

The auction of my collection of Accountancy magazines will close at 17:00 this Tuesday 10th April.

The highest bid received, so far, is £100.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Praise Indeed

I see that The Times reports that Accountancy, the official organ of the ICAEW, has described me as "meticulous".

High praise indeed!

In other news, I have today received a bid of £100 for my copies of Accountancy, dating back to 1984; any other bids?

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Times

My thanks to Martin Waller, of The Times, for helping to spread the word about the back editions of Accountancy that I have for sale.

In the event that I actually manage to sell them, I will be happy to send a percentage of the earnings to him.

However, the best offer I have had so far is £0!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I have almost every edition of Accountancy magazine printed, going back to late 1984, they are in good condition.

What am I bid?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Despite a recent report in Accountancy Age, quote:

"The ICAEW is revamping its syllabus for 2007, with a focus on ethics and allowing employees to choose modules relevant for their trainees".

It seems that the ICAEW will not be setting a separate Ethics paper in the revamped syllabus. This is somewhat baffling, as in 2005 the ICAEW had decided that the subject of Ethics was so important that it deserved a separate paper.

Whilst Ethics can be covered to a limited extent in the other papers, the ICAEW has sent entirely the wrong signal to the world by not setting a specific paper on the subject.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Izza Blog

Further to my recent welcome extended to Michael Izza of the ICAEW, to the Blogosphere; it should be noted that if you try to access his blog, via the ICAEW website, you will not get very far unless you are a member of the ICAEW.

It seems that the ICAEW do not want the hoi poloi reading the thoughts of Izaa.

No matter, here is an RSS feed that bypasses the ICAEW firewall Izza blog.

You will note that Izza, in his recent post, asked:

"But it may be that you feel you're not able to get involved. If so what would it take to get you to involved?

Or of more concern, what are the barriers stopping you

I was going to post a response along the following lines:

"If the ICAEW are so keen for members to become involved, why did they refuse to inform the members resident in Croydon that I wished to stand for council?"

As said, I would have liked to have posted that question. Unfortunately, Izza's blog no longer accepts comments from the membership.

The ICAEW have much to learn about the net, and the ways of communicating the 21st century.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Unloved Season

Much like the depressing and inevitable return of an unloved season, the ICAEW are proposing to increase subscriptions again this year.

This time they want 4%, the CPI is currently at 3%.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Congratulations to the students who passed the ICAEW December 2006 Professional Stage exams, with stunning results.

I used to mark the auditing PEII papers in the early 1990's, and the pass rates then were far lower.

Evidently, today's students are far brighter than those that I marked in the 1990's.

That can be the only explanation.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

ICAEW Clueless

The ICAEW is clueless, not my words this time but Dennis Howlett's.

Maybe Dennis was thinking about handling of the recent ICAEW Council nominations.

In November the ICAEW wrote to all members, informing them that Croydon had no representation from members "not in practice".

"Election to the vacancy will therefore be 'assured' for a member not in practice provided one or more such candidates come forward..."

Election procedure 18 states:

"To redress the under-representation on Council of members not in practice and, in particular, of members in business, the Council has agreed that, for the years 1995-2007 inclusive, it will 'assure' one seat per constituency for a member not in practice..."

Well, I am not in practice, and I am in business. I offered to stand, and advised the ICAEW as such; but noted that although I know many ICAEW members nationally who would sign my nomination, I knew no one in Croydon.

Despite this, they refused to notify members of my wish to stand.

Given that they could not have possibly known, before nominations were in, as to whether there would have been a non practising member standing, and given that they were asking for non practising members to stand, I wonder why they did not help me inform the members of my wish to stand?

Or maybe I don't:)

The ICAEW Bunker is welcome to comment.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Times

My thanks to The Times for again mentioning my attempt to stand for Council in dispatches, and for trying to energise the Croydon vote:

"Ken Frost, the Croydon maverick, has failed in his attempt to make it on to the Council of the accountants' professional body the ICAEW. As I have written, Frost, who has been making trouble for the association these past couple of years, needed the support of ten accountants in his area. 'Regrettably the ICAEW and Croydon District Society refused to inform Croydon members that I wished to stand. As such, only one of those who offered support lived in Croydon,' he says. Joy at the ICAEW is presumably unconfined."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thank You

I would like to thank all of you who wrote, and called me, offering support in my attempt to stand for ICAEW Council.

Regrettably the ICAEW and Croydon District Society refused to inform Croydon members that I wished to stand.

As such, only one of those who offered support lived in Croydon.

Therefore ICAEW Council will have to manage without me.

It is ironic that at a time when the ICAEW claims that it wishes to take a more active role on the international stage, it is still using a voting model (local constituency based nominations and votes) more suited to a Victorian trade association.

However, do not be downhearted, this site will continue!

Friday, January 05, 2007

The New Logo

The new logo of the ICAEW has been leaked to the world today, it cost £65K.

Here is the new logo

ICAEW New Logo

Here is the old logo

ICAEW Old Logo

Money well spent?


In theory the logo was not to have been officially unveiled until Monday. However, this being the ICAEW, things have not gone to plan.

This shambles come as no surprise, as I am informed that the ICAEW bunker is in a terrible mess internally on a number of fronts.

Frost Selected For Honour

My thanks to my ICAEW colleagues who nominated me for the AccountingWEB New Year's Honours awards for "services to the opposition".

"Qualified accountant and AccountingWEB member Ken Frost was recommended by some of his fellow members for an honour. With a degree in economics from Edinburgh University, Frost joined KPMG in 1984 where he gained his accountancy qualifications.

With several years audit experience in businesses including Philips and De Beers, Frost is best known for his outspoken comments on the ICAEW. He has been most vocal in his opposition to the institute's attempts to merge with other accountancy organisations.

In 2004, Frost set up the 'Stop the Merger' website where he regularly voices his opinion on the issue. Frost is currently seeking support to stand as a candidate for the ICAEW council.

Member's reason for award:

'Sir Ken Frost sounds about right. He has done the most for the ICAEW in recent times and his messages now command widespread support amongst its members and students'


A fellow FCA informs me that the executive of the ICAEW have a new word that they use to describe us, the membership of the ICAEW.

They refer to us as "volunteers".

Now correct me if I am wrong, but the ICAEW is not a political party, a charity or indeed a voluntary organisation.

In order to be able to use the designatory letters ACA or FCA, after passing the exams, you have to pay an annual membership fee to the ICAEW.

The ICAEW is a closed shop, not a voluntary organisation.

The fees collected from the membership pay the handsome salaries of "our" executive officers, and are used to pay for failed PR campaigns to try to persuade the membership to support mergers.

To refer to us as "volunteers" is not only arrogant and patronising, it demonstrates how out of touch the executive of the ICAEW has become with the membership.

Should you want to change the status quo, then please help me find 10 ICAEW members living in Croydon who will nominate me for Council.

Thank you.

Ken frost MA FCA FIPFM

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

AccMan Supports Frost

My thanks to Dennis Howlett for coming out in support of my candidacy for the forthcoming ICAEW Council elections.

The Times Supports Frost

My thanks to The Times, which has come out in support of my candidacy for the ICAEW Council elections:

"Ken Frost has found one Croydon accountant, so it’s nine to go. As I wrote the other day, Frost, a long-standing critic of the accountants’ professional body in England and Wales, wants to stand in elections to its council. But according to the peculiar rules of the ICAEW, he needs ten nominations first from members of his local association. One has come forward, he tells me, and I may be able to put him in touch with another, if Herne Hill in South London is deemed sufficiently local. The ICAEW insists the rules must be observed in all cases. Frost must run!"

Let us see what happens!