The Big Question: Accouting Tasr – Apathy greets Howells post

Trade minister Kim Howells, the first ‘accountancy tsar’, has been snubbed after more than one in three finance directors said they did not care who is responsible for the profession.

This week’s Accountancy Age Big Question survey, carried out in conjunction with Reed Accountancy Personnel, uncovered indifference to Howells’ appointment.

Out of more than 200 FDs questioned, 44% said it did not matter who took charge of the profession. Sunil Patel of Ovid Technologies said: ‘The governing body for the profession is so large that an individual won’t make the sole decision.’

Others believed the profession already had a strong relationship with Whitehall. ‘The profession has always worked closely with the government.

It will not be affected by any personal agenda of a minister,’ said Tony Allen of Yamato, the sewing machine supplier.

But 36% of FDs said it did matter who took responsibility for the profession.

The main concern was an understanding of company law and auditing. Nigel Buss, of Riverside Mental Health Trust, said: ‘It’s important the person understands the Companies Act and the basics about auditing.’

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