PracticeAccounting FirmsICAS in disciplinary u-turn

ICAS in disciplinary u-turn

ICAS may join the Financial Reporting Council's investigations and disciplinary board (IDB), after a strategy review found the institute needed to explore ways to improve its disciplinary processes 'with some urgency'.

Link: Raising audit threshold risky, says ICAS

The institute had previously refused to sign up to the new board, claiming that its investigative powers were not far-reaching enough. However, ICAS chief executive Ian Marrian has now admitted that joining the IDB is under consideration.

‘Joining the IDB is one of the options we are looking at. The situation with our disciplinary procedures can’t be allowed to run on.

The council will be deliberating on that in its next meeting in December and I expect a decision will be reached then,’ said Marrian.

Despite the thorny issue of discipline, education was at the forefront of the new ICAS strategy unveiled this week. The publication Fast Forward to 2010 proposed that the institute once again takes on non-graduates and look at new methods of training in an attempt to make its ‘CA’ qualification more widely available.

ICAS will introduce a training contract between the institute and the student to remove employers’ responsibility. Its syllabus is likely to be changed to provide more emphasis on ethics and business skills while training in auditing is toned down.

‘While we want all our students to have the option of becoming auditors, there is already a downward trend in the number of students coming out audit-qualified,’ said Marrian.

Mandatory continuous professional development (CPD) is another aim of the institute and, although it may be some way off, it encourages all members to undertake CPD and is developing a self-assessment framework.

‘I have no doubt that a small minority of our members will resist mandatory CPD, but the vast majority support it and are already involved in the CPD that we have available,’ said Marrian.

The institute is currently devising plans to increase its influence in political and industrial spheres, while it also wants to improve communication with its members. ICAS claimed it wants to be ‘all things to all members’ and will use technology as much as possible to achieve this.

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