The Big Question – Institute on target, say FDs

Finance directors have given overwhelming backing to the English ICA’s plans to make its education syllabus more business-focused, writes Kathy Greene.

A massive 60% of FDs think the reforms are well-targeted, according to The Big Question. The poll, conducted by Accountancy Age and Reed Accountancy Personnel, revealed the majority of FDs want the institute’s syllabus updated to include more commercially-orientated content. Many respondents complained the qualification pigeon-holed candidates into a narrow set of jobs and called on the institute to ‘do something to make its qualification more geared to business rather than audit needs.’ ‘It is wholly appropriate to review and update the education syllabus to adopt a modern, more business-like approach, especially combining the various theoretical elements with a business case study,’ said Mike Chadwick, acting head of finance at Friends Provident. Lars Maynard, of construction work agency AMH Holdings, agreed. ‘Reforms are necessary and the proposals go a long way towards dealing with the issues of relevance of the current professional qualification,’ he said.

Stuart Chapman, at International Baccalaureate, suggested the institute should also consider updating the syllabus to include global perspectives.

‘The UK is a small part of the international business world and although the qualification is well-regarded it needs to become more relevant to a world-wide basis,’ he said.

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