Ernst & Young becomes first Big Five firm to ditch English ICA over training dispute

The move follows months of uncertainty following last June’s vote by the institute’s membership against the introduction of optional papers, known as ‘electives’, into its training syllabus.

E&Y and many other large firms had seen the introduction of electives as vital to the future of the English institute’s qualification and had threatened to pull their trainess out of the institute if they were not introduced.

E&Y has now become the first firm to carry out this threat. Its move, announced in a statement this morning, could mark the start of an exodus by other firms.

The Big Five alone provide 60% of English institute trainees, and if other firms were to follow E&Y’s lead, its long-term future is in serious doubt.

Today’s announcement is a major coup for the Scots ICA which has signalled its greater willingness to introduce flexible and optional papers for accountancy trainees.

E&Y’s statement today said: ‘The firm has chosen the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland?s education model for training its chartered accountants as from autumn 2000.

‘Ernst & Young will be the first firm to use the Scottish Institute?s syllabus for all its English based chartered accountancy trainees.’

Geoff Norman, the firm’s National Head of Audit added: ‘The changing face of business in the global connected world requires new approaches and skills. We are very impressed with the Scottish Institute?s model which reflects these changing needs in terms of its structure, syllabus content and timing, and it also complements the firm?s internal learning and development programme.

‘We particularly like the fact that greater emphasis is placed on workplace assessment and that the technical content is examined in a business context.’

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