The Big Question – Institute fights harm members

The first real evidence that ordinary accountants are growing fed up with internal institute battles emerged this week, after just 17% of UK finance directors said they were satisfied that the services institutes are providing to their members were not being harmed by official power struggles.

With the English ICA holding its annual conference in London next week – and CIPFA holding its annual meeting in Birmingham this week – the findings of this week’s Accountancy Age/ Reed Accountancy Personnel The Big Question come at a bad time for the profession.

It follows the news last week that only a minority of English ICA members bothered to vote on a motion to change the institute’s syllabus – a decision widely seen as determining the future of the institute.

ACCA is also wracked by internal divisions following the ousting of president-elect Ray Gardiner in a closed council vote on the day he was due to take office.

Because of these and other disputes 45% of FDs said member services were being overshadowed by internal politics. Some 38% of FDs were split on the issue.

‘ACCA is in a mess and as an English ICA member I’m disappointed with the ICA syllabus changes,’ said one FD.

Another berated the institutes for self-indulgent infighting at the expense of their members’ interests. ‘They seem preoccupied with internal wrangles and very remote,’ he said. ‘It seems as though the institutes can please themselves rather than members.’

But not everyone was downbeat about the issue. ‘Services to members are definitely not effected,’ insisted one CIMA member.

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