The ICAEW wants to create a hierarchy of accountants, with the
Committee of Accountancy Bodies at the top and book-keepers at the bottom.
The radical moves, which emerged in private papers published by accident on
the institute’s website last week, have outraged smaller institutes.
The plan, part of moves to formally recognise the ‘accountant’ term, would
see CCAB members top the league table, followed by financial accountants,
accounting technicians and then book-keepers.
The ICAEW intends to submit the structure to the Privy Council. ‘There was to
be a mapping exercise carried out, so that the relative positions of the other
accountancy bodies could be established,’ the council papers say.
But the papers acknowledge that the plan is likely to meet with fierce
opposition from ‘second tier bodies’ such as the Association of International
Accountants and Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.
The ICAEW said it would
not comment on private documents, thought to have been intended for the council
ICB chief executive Garry Carter said: ‘Our members are highly qualified,
they are not the scum of the earth.’
Philip Turnbull, chief executive of the AIA, said the proposed structure was
more about the ICAEW’s commercial interest than the interest of the industry and
public at large.
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