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.

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