Institute acts to avert crisis in student numbers

The ICAEW has taken ‘urgent steps’ to tackle low student numbers, an ageing
membership and a poor international profile with measures that include
integration with the Institute of Financial Accountants, according to documents
obtained by Accountancy Age.

The papers detailed two meetings between ICAEW and IFA executives last year,
which show the ICAEW was seeking an affiliation to prevent it losing its status
as the largest institute.

Fears that ACCA would overtake ICAEW ‘in the foreseeable future’ unless
significant changes were undertaken to attract more students were outlined in
the documents.
One of the papers revealed that ICAEW chief executive Eric Anstee was interested
in creating a ‘confederation’, to include the IFA and its sister organisation
International Association of Bookkeepers, alongside a now defunct merged

Accountancy Age understands that talks on an affiliation between the
two bodies are continuing.

‘We talk to other professional bodies on a range of topics on an ongoing
basis. It is not our policy to comment on discussions that take place at private
meetings,’ said an ICAEW spokeswoman. The IFA refused to comment.

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