Training – Big Five consider rival option

Big Five firms are considering dumping the English ICA and establishing a rival accountancy qualification through a joint venture with a leading business school.

Discussions have taken place at top-level meetings of training partners and are expected to intensify following last week’s rejection by members of the introduction of optional papers, or ‘electives’, into the institute’s exam syllabus.

Big Five chiefs, who argue electives are essential in today’s business environment, expressed despair at the decision. Ernst & Young audit head, Geoff Norman, said: ‘It appears the English ICA is unable to deliver what is needed to take our profession forward. We will be giving serious consideration to alternative training approaches.’ Other firms echoed his views. The Big Five provide 60% of the institute’s intake.

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