Welsh rebellion over merger plans

Another blow has been dealt to attempts by the three main institutes to merge after a straw poll revealed that the vast majority of Welsh accountants in practice are against the proposals.

Link: CIPFA leader says merger commitment still solid

Members Against Consolidation -ð a protest group of Welsh ICAEW members -ð has coordinated the poll of 400 practice accountants which found they were 11 to one against the current merger plans.

Of 88 replies, 78 were against the merger, seven were in favour and three were undecided. ‘We don’t want the ICAEW to become some political pressure group,’ said Bruce Lawson, leader of the protest group.

‘Anstee has said that the Welsh are in favour of the merger but look at the evidence. And we need to know the cost of these roadshows and all the letters they have sent. It must come to at least £150,000. They’ve flown a kite and no-one wants to play with it.’

Lawson said that the next step to block the merger would be to put together an ‘action fund’ or put himself up to join the ICAEW council. ‘I need 250 signatures,’ Lawson said.

Last week, Accountancy Age revealed that CIMA was holding off from the merger, leaving the ICAEW and CIPFA to go it alone in a plan that would see the merger take place in two bites. ‘A two-stage process has been negotiated to help facilitate CIMA while at the same time maintaining a strong forward momentum,’ said the institutes.

An ICAEW spokeswoman said: ‘A straw poll of this nature is premature and cannot be relied on to provide a meaningful representation of members’ views.’

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