PracticeAccounting FirmsMembers split on merger

Members split on merger

ICAEW, CIMA and CIPFA members have yet to be convinced over a merger following a 'knife-edge' online poll conducted by AccountancyAge.com, writes Larry Schlesinger.

Bold: Institutes discuss possible merger

Over 2,000 readers took part in the survey, with a slight majority ð 50.4% ð in favour and 49.6% against. Among the readers? who revealed their qualifications showed more than two-thirds of ICAEW members (70%) were against a merger, while the vast majority of members from CIMA and CIPFA (80%) favour the merger.

Eric Anstee, ICAEW chief executive, called the results ‘encouraging’ but pointed out that readers voted ‘blind’ on the ‘simple proposition’ of a merger ‘without the strategic business case’. He told Accountancy Age: ‘If and when we put a proposition to our members, we will only do so if we believe a compelling strategic and business case supports the rationale for consolidation.’

CIPFA called the result ‘interesting at this very early stage’, emphasising that detailed proposals have yet to be worked up or tested out.

‘We must be able to demonstrate with real conviction that consolidation serves the public interest and that it offers practical benefits for members ð who will have the final say,’ CIPFA said.

CIMA stressed it was in ‘exploratory talks’, which would succeed if all the institutes believe ‘consolidation will accelerate their individual strategies’. ACCA dismissed the latest attempt at a merger ‘a defensive response to ACCA’s success by bodies which have found it difficult to attract students and members’.

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