Institutes – Rivals forge alliance

Rival accountancy bodies in Manchester have forged a groundbreaking alliance designed to foster co-operation and sweep away old divisions.

Other professionals, such as lawyers, bankers and chartered secretaries, have also agreed to join a new group which will focus on areas of common interest in financial and commercial activities.

The group met for the first time this month at the offices of the Manchester Society of Chartered Accountants.

The initiative reflects a growing trend for rival institutes to co-operate, and highlights the increasing importance of multi-disciplinary groups.

Bob Sweeting, president of the Manchester Society of Chartered Accountants, said the exchange of ideas would benefit the local economy. He said: ‘It means that events can be arranged to encourage entrepreneurial business and better corporate governance.’

The move follows a call by CIMA last month for the institutes to shelve any remaining merger plans and forge closer links in non-contentious areas.

ACCA and CIPFA’s leadership, however, rejected the olive branch, which marked the first serious debate between the institutes since ACCA’s abortive three-way merger attempt with CIMA and CIPFA last year.

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