PracticeAuditFoundation faces test of faith

Foundation faces test of faith

The Accountancy Foundation will this month face its first test of faith after it emerged CIMA council members will consider earlier than any other institute whether their body should continue backing accountancy's independent regulator.

Link: Foundation awaits responses to ethics questions

CIMA council members have expressed concerns over the direction of the Foundation, believing it to be more relevant to auditors and accountants in practice than management accountants in business.

If CIMA were to quit the regulator it could come at a time when the government has brought forward its own review of the Foundation. Margaret May, a CIMA council member, told Accountancy Age: ‘While the rhetoric has claimed the Accountancy Foundation was to be set up to cover auditors and accountants across the spectrum, now it is finally defined, it appears to cover audit only.’

CIMA is considering its membership of the Foundation a full nine months before it would need to give notice to quit. Like the other five institute members, CIMA is required to give six months notice before leaving the Foundation, which it cannot do before the end of 2003.

Charles Tilley, CIMA chief executive, said the time was right for a ‘general discussion’ as the institute had joined the Foundation on a three-year basis, which was due to expire at the end of next year. ‘One doesn’t want to look at these things at the last minute,’ Tilley said. He said the focus had been on audit since Enron but added that the Foundation’s role was of equal relevance to accountants in business.

It is thought CIMA is unlikely to make a decision on its future in the Foundation at its October meeting.

Chris Wobschall, secretary of the Foundation, said: ‘The Foundation has a broad remit to cover all the activities of accountants; any focus there has been recently on auditors has been the perceived need to act as a result of Enron.’

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