PracticeAccounting FirmsIndependent funding on agenda for Foundation

Independent funding on agenda for Foundation

Funding for the accountants' watchdog could be taken away from the profession, but not until the government has reviewed the success of the current system over the next five years.

Sir John Bourn, chairman of the Review Board of the Accountancy Foundation, told the Treasury select committee on Tuesday that independent funding for the body was ‘on the agenda’, but believed the success of the Foundation would be judged by the Department of Trade and Industry’s five-year review of the self-regulating system.

His remarks came as the ICAEW and ACCA expressed the first reservations about a switch in funding. Institute president Peter Wyman said: ‘If the FSA or DTI want to say “we will take a portion of the funding” I wouldn’t object to that. But if people say it should be paid for and controlled by a different organisation, that is a different matter.’

ACCA voiced similar concerns. An ACCA spokesman said: ‘Alternative funding should be a matter to be considered by the profession, the Review Board and the government.’

But Sir John admitted there was growing concern over the independence of the Foundation, saying the public would ‘draw comfort’ from government funding.

The establishment of the Foundation on a non-statutory basis is a test case to see whether the traditional British approach (of self-regulation) does work in modern times – but it is harder to convince the world this is the case,’ he told the Treasury committee.

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