ICAEW ‘fails general practitioners’

Nearly half of high street accountants believe the ICAEW fails to represent their views, according to a survey at the institute’s annual general practitioners’ conference this week.

The poll, carried out among delegates attending the event in Warwick, revealed that only 52% believed that the institute represented the views of the general practitioner.

Presented by Adrian Gibbons of accountancy support company SWAT, it also revealed that only one in three general practitioners had seen a reduction in fees because of the new million-pound audit exemption limit.

The survey also analysed the fee income and other financial aspects of the delegates’ firms. Among attendees, sole practitioners were the most profitable, with net profit per partner of £91,000. Firms with ten or more partners were less successful, with an average profit per partner of £67,000.

Sole practitioners were seen to be the most bullish, expecting fees to grow by 20% over the next 12 months. These sentiments were echoed by John Malthouse, chairman of the institute’s practitioner panel. Opening the conference, he said the opportunities for general practitioners had never been better.

Institute president Michael Groom, speaking after addressing delegates, said that the institute provided a whole range of services for the practitioners and that his enterprise programme had proved popular. ‘Feedback has been very positive,’ he said.

Groom also defended his trip to South America, a visit organised by the Corporation of London to promote the capital as an international financial centre.

During the two week trip he attended 50 meetings, including those with ministers, central banks and stock exchanges.

Talking about the institute’s role in the global arena, Groom said: ‘Chartered accountancy is the world’s most highly respected qualification.’

President’s trip costs £13,500

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