ACCA posts ethnic poll

ACCA has denied that its decision to send ethnic monitoring questionnaires to UK members last week was a response to pressure from the Commission for Racial Equality.

The questionnaire asks members to state their ethnic background, which ACCA will use to ensure that its policy of equality and non-discrimination is effective.

But the Commission for Racial Equality confirmed this week that it had been pressing the professional body to carry out such an exercise.

ACCA has carried out ethnic monitoring of its disciplinary process for about two years as a result of approaches to the CRE by Austin Mitchell MP.

A Commission spokesman said he was pleased ACCA had decided to extend the process to its wider membership, about 50% of which is non-white.

ACCA said the decision to circulate the questionnaire was routine and something which most organisations did at various stages.

But Prem Sikka, professor of accounting at Essex University, claimed ACCA’s move was the result of a long campaign to get professional accountancy bodies to further help members from ethnic minorities.

He said the other professional accountancy bodies, such as CIMA and the English ICA, were now likely to come under pressure to send out similar questionnaires.

‘I would now like ACCA to develop policies which help ethnic minority accountants fight discrimination in the job market,’ he said.

Referring to all the professional bodies, he added: ‘One would argue they should develop good policies to ensure everyone is capable of realising their potential.’

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