Institutes quit Cognitor.

Support for the Cognitor – the new accountant-driven global business qualification – appeared close to collapse on this side of the Atlantic this week after the withdrawal of the Scots and Irish institutes from international discussions on its development.

Plans for the new qualification, designed to rival the MBA, was expected to receive a further blow at a meeting of the English ICA council as Accountancy Age went to press, which could also rule to withdraw support for the plan.

But the project, developed following discussions between eight institutes from around the world, could still go ahead after the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants this week reportedly pledged to plough on.

According to a business plan seen by Accountancy Age, the Cognitor hopes to attract a membership of more than 660,000 with total revenues as high as $438.3m (#298.2m) by the end of 2005.

The plan highlights the difficulty national accountancy bodies have in extending the appeal of their qualifications in face of the more international MBA.

Grenville Johnston, president of the Scots ICA, said: ‘The Scots CA qualification is already an international passport to business success.’

He added: ‘We have concluded that the proposed Cognitor initiative is not the way forward for our profession.’

David Simpson, president of the Irish ICA, said: ‘Council had significant concerns about the viability of the model outlined in the business plan.’ The English ICA said it would be inappropriate to comment ahead of this week’s council meeting.

Critics have highlighted the costs of the project, lack of support from firms and the dangers of launching a rival brand.’

Cognitor plan revealed, page 16

Cognitor versus MBA, page 20.

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