CIMA says ACCA plans ‘takeover’, not merger

CIMA this week stepped up its assault on ACCA’s plan to rationalise the profession, branding it ‘a takeover’.

Writing in this week’s Accountancy Age, CIMA president Peter Layhe says ‘industry knows that merger is PR-speak for takeover’. Pointing out that ACCA was not party to the last attempt at rationalisation which involved a planned merger between CIMA and the English ICA, he accused ACCA of failing to ‘understand the different and conflicting demands’ on members in practice, business and the public sector.

He adds: ‘The CIMA council, after a full debate, has concluded that the ACCA proposals do not form a satisfactory base to go forward. As a member organisation, we are again consulting our members.’

Layhe launched his attack as ACCA produced the latest results of its continuing survey showing that 78% of the 9,273 ACCA responses to its merger consultation paper backed the merger, as did 65% of 6,097 CIMA members and 84% of 1,544 CIPFA members who had responded by midday on Tuesday.

CIMA’s official spokesman said 89% of early respondents to its own survey had rejected the merger plan. But he admitted the results had not been updated for two weeks and more up-to-date figures were not available. CIMA has written to members asking if they think ACCA’s proposals are in their interests.

Layhe was himself attacked this week by Alan Brooks, a member of both ACCA and CIMA. Responding to a letter condemning the merger sent by Layhe to CIMA members last month, Brooks said: ‘If I judge the outline of the proposals right, the offer has been made direct to members to overcome the very prejudices you are now outlining to members in your letter.’

ACCA president Michael Foulds and deputy president Ray Gardiner, also a CIMA member, have written to CIPFA and CIMA members asking them to encourage their councils to move forward by ‘addressing the substantive issues which inevitably and properly remain to be settled’.

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