Taking Stock - Humble accountant heads to Parliament.
Accountants tasked with mulling over government policy may find themselves thinking that they really should be in parliament or government.
Do not despair. There is one government system where the skills of the humble accountant is recognised in full.
Hong Kong, which has just been through its latest round of elections has an accountancy representative in its legislative assembly.
Eric Li, partner with the ex-colony’s Li, Teng, Chen & Co, and a fellow of the English ICA, is elected by accountants to represent accountants on Hong Kong’s Legislative Council.
The assembly also has members that represent insurance, estate agents and other respected professions, but it is Li who chairs the Council’s very own Public Accounts Committee and is Hong Kong’s man from the profession for the profession. Now some might ask why accountants should get their own seat in a legislative assembly like this.
TS realises the constitutional questions are difficult. Why should accountants and not say, dust men? Each are responsible for cutting through..er, lots of rubbish. But it’s the men in suits who get the seat. Strange.
However, TS is willing to see the innovation as a progressive one and wonders why the UK’s mother of all parliaments does not follow suit. We’ve a few suggestions for accountancy MPs. Peter Wyman at PwC has so often been at loggerheads with the current government he should perhaps have his own seat on the backbenches (we have no idea on which side of the House).
For convenience however, TS suggests the seat behind the Chancellor’s so he can lean forward, tap him on the shoulder and put him straight on a few financial matters.