ACCA confident about merger within two years

ACCA’s chief executive Anthea Rose has claimed a merger with CIMA anded the revolution. CIPFA could take place within two years despite the two institute’s apparent rejection of the certifieds’ current plan.

CIPFA president Margaret Pratt last week revealed her support for a merger, but failed to give her crucial full backing to ACCA’s proposal. CIMA said 85% of its members had voted against the merger.

Despite the knockback, Rose remained hopeful. She said: ‘If nothing happens now, it will be back in a year or two’s time. It’s important it’s in the public arena. The fact they’re all talking about it is an achievement.’

Pratt, who said a merger of all six accountancy bodies would ‘best serve the public interest’, backed rationalisation, but added: ‘Such a big bang is probably unrealistic.

‘The CIPFA council would, I think, support a merger of some (institutes), to create a new body to meet the rest on equal terms. But the merger would need to be structured inclusively so that as many institutes as wish to may comfortably join it.’

The comments offer a small ray of light to ACCA’s plan that appeared to be foundering, although CIPFA chief executive David Adams insisted that the proposal would not go any further.

He said: ‘The accountancy profession has been poorly served by the misguided tactics of ACCA in recent weeks. However, we should not allow this to undermine the principles behind rationalisation.’

CIMA said its members voted decisively against a merger, with 85% of the 16,500 votes opposing the plan. It has recommended its own path for consolidation based on two separate bodies for regulated and non-regulated members.

Peter Layhe, CIMA’s president, said: ‘We can now return to business as usual and, at the same time, begin to develop an alternative path to an effective restructuring of the profession.’

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