CIPFA in the black for 1998

Extensive rationalisation by CIPFA will turn its #500,000 deficit – calculated at the end of 1997 – into an expected surplus of #200,000 at the end of 1998, chief executive David Adams said this week.

In an interview with Accountancy Age, the public-service institute head said the savings had been made following a period of change which had seen the senior management team trimmed and commercial operations consolidated into IPF, its commercial arm.

The institute also plans to relaunch its Education and Training scheme in June, and pledges to halve the cost of studying for its professional qualification.

The other five CCAB institutes have been providing cheaper education and training for some time. Adams said providing the best qualification did not necessitate it being the most expensive.

CIPFA’s previous sectoral approach did not work as well as the institute had originally hoped, and it has switched to a regional provision.

‘We have to try and persuade employers and students that we have the best qualification,’ he said. ‘If it is that much more expensive, being best may not be the most important thing. We will no longer be the most expensive institute. Where we believe we have a competitive edge is that we are more focused on the student, without being less professional and wide-ranging,’ he added.

Other developments CIPFA has made in the past year include the formation of a health panel to provide commentary on NHS matters; and revision of corporate governance arrangements, with the intention of modernising committee structures.

The voting turnout for the 1998 council election was 35%, reversing the gradual decline of previous years.

‘The rationalisation allowed us to cut overheads,’ said Adams. ‘And we have also been able to increase profitability and we have also managed to operate more cost-effectively.’

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