English ICA admits blow from Ernst & Young defection but denies evidence of exodus

Admitting that the loss of E&Y’s students – which account for about 7% of its 4,000-4,500 annual student intake – was a blow, officials said its new qualification had already attracted widespread support.

But executive director of education and training Professor Brian Chiplin said: ‘We have no evidence that anybody else will follow suit.’

Institute secretary general John Collier acknowledged that a loss of sizeable numbers of students could threaten the institute’s self-financing education and training division but added: ‘We are nowhere near that situation.’

The new business-friendly, unified qualification was agreed at a three-day meeting in Northampton last weekend. It is designed to address the concerns of the majority of members who voted against introducing electives into the institute’s syllabus last summer, as well as those of the Big Five which had threatened to withdraw students unless options were introduced.

Chiplin said the new qualification had addressed concerns that the institute’s training did nor reflect the modern business world in which accountants work. But he added: ‘We’ve no evidence of any opposition to the direction in which we are going. Even Ernst and Young were very positive.’

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