PracticeConsulting‘Misleading’ OFT report under fire

'Misleading' OFT report under fire

The accountancy profession risks losing influence at the highest levels of government and industry because of 'misleading' statistics used by the competition watchdog.

Anthea Rose, chief executive of ACCA, said statistics used by the Office of Fair Trading in its report on the professions ‘partially invalidate’ conclusions in the report and could have damaging consequences for accountancy.

She was referring to a section that highlights the fall in growth of membership of the ICAEW but extrapolates figures to claim the whole profession was in decline.

Rose said: ‘While the OFT recognises that the fall in ICAEW growth may be due in part to other professional bodies, like ACCA, becoming relatively more attractive, it still assumes that the institute’s slowdown is an accurate reflection of the position.

‘If this assumption goes unchallenged, the whole profession runs the risk of having less influence at the highest levels of government, industry and commerce.’

The real fear is that future accounting policy decisions will be based on the report. An OFT spokesman said: ‘Our conclusions relate to various restrictions and are not dependent on whether the statistics are going down or up.’

Links

Auditors’ monopoly faces challenge

OFT criticises ‘restrictive’ professions

ICAEW prepares for OFT report

Auditors’ monopoly faces challenge

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