Friday, February 29, 2008

The Eye of The Storm

It seems that the ICAEW will soon find itself at the eye of the Northern Wreck storm, as the government has asked it to advise on who (firm of individual) should be appointed as "adviser" for determining the "value" of Northern Wreck.

The bill to nationalise the bank, the Northern Rock Compensation Scheme Order, notes that the ICAEW will have the final say on who will act as "adviser":

"Before making any appointment the Treasury must consult the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales."

Given that the valuation will determine the compensation that the increasingly desperate shareholders are to receive, the role of "adviser" is considered to be a poisoned chalice.

Whoever accepts the role is likely to find themselves the subject of litigation by the shareholders, keen to take as much from the wreckage as possible.

Phrases "touch it" and "bargepole" are rumoured to have been used by possible contenders.

Good luck to the ICAEW on this.

I am happy to offer my valuation services, and save everyone time trouble and expense.

After due thought and consideration, the estimated value of the Wreck is approximately zero!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Diluting The Brand

The ICAEW, having failed to dilute the brand by merging, has found another way to dilute it. This time via the old trick of dumbing down the exams, and extending time period needed to qualify.

Rob Lewis quotes Raymond Madden, the Institute's executive director of learning and development:

"Instead we said you can take as long as you like, but you can only attempt each paper a maximum number of four times.

Theoretically you could do one paper a year and take fifteen years, but the chances are you wouldn't get a job with a firm. The market manages [the time-bar] for us

He added:

"We are more flexible than we used to be..."

Lewis notes that the 12 papers that need to be sat at the professional stage can be taken anywhere in the world by home-studiers, who have never done a day's accounting in their life.

Students can take exams at their own convenience.

The desire of the ICAEW to grow in size is undermining the value of the qualification.

The ICAEW should remember that strength comes from quality, not quantity.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The New VP

Congratulations to Gerald Russell, the new Vice President of the ICAEW, who won last week's vote held by council.

For reasons that are unclear to me, the ICAEW official site does not make any mention of the election or of Gerald's victory.

As I said before, it is also a mystery as to why the ICAEW does not allow the ordinary ICAEW members to vote in this election.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Vice Presidential Election

Good luck to the three candidates standing for the position of Vice President of the ICAEW.

They are:

- Gerald Russell, senior partner in the London office of Ernst & Young

- Ian Hayes, managing director at Vataxworld London

- Paul Wagstaff, client partner at HLB Vantis Audit in Wokingham.

Voting closed yesterday, and the successful candidate will be announced at the ICAEW council meeting this Thursday.

The new vice president will take up the role in June. He will then become deputy president after 12 months in office, before being elevated to the post of president of the institute in 2010.

It is a pity, and indeed a mystery, as to why the membership of the ICAEW are not allowed by council to vote for the vice president.

Anyone would think that council and the ICAEW are not interested in the views and opinions of the membership, but only interested in taking our subscriptions from us each January.

Surely not?

Is this an example of effective corporate governance?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Best Practice

It seems that, according to Dennis Howlett, the ICAEW does not believe that its members need to follow best practice.


"Best practice does not have to be followed by members."

Has the ICAEW taken leave of its senses?

Friday, February 01, 2008

No To Merger

CIMA CEO, Charles Tilley, has emphatically told Accountancy Age that there will be no further plans for a merger with any other accounting body.


"That is absolutely a no.

There is no merger on the horizon

It is good to know that the accounting bodies have finally got the message from their respective memberships that mergers are not wanted.