ACCA wages comparable[QQ] I am writing following the publication of a letter (Mistreated by PwC, 25 January, page 11) by Christopher Slight, who was an ACCA student with PricewaterhouseCoopers. It would not be appropriate to comment on an individual case. ACCA does, however, consider professional staff should be paid according to performance, not qualification. Our experience is that this is the approach which is adopted by the Big Five and among accountancy practices generally. ACCA’s salary survey with recruitment firm Michael Page shows remuneration for ACCA members and students is fully comparable with that of other reputable accountancy bodies. In today’s market, professionals are highly mobile and have access to high quality information on which to base career decisions. Employers should be aware that failure to pay the going rate will result in demotivated staff and high turnover. Anthea Rose, chief executive, ACCA – I was surprised at the letter (Mistreated by PwC, January 25, page 11) where discrimination claims against PwC were made by an ACCA member. I say this because I am an ACCA qualified member and work for PwC. Whilst I am not able to comment on PwC’s policies regarding promotion and career development, I would like to say that I have never felt any form of discrimination towards me or my qualification. I have succeeded in achieving my career and remuneration goals to date with PwC without a hint of discrimination because of my professional qualification. I believe PwC rewards staff based on clearly laid out criteria and that progression is open to anyone willing to go after it. I concur with Mr Slight’s comments that some firms do appear to favour ACA members, as I have experienced at other accountancy firms where I have worked, and that our professional qualification continues to be looked upon as ranking below the ICAEW’s own. However, I would like to say that any barriers to career progression will only be overcome by dismissing such stigmas in the minds of both employers and employees, and establishing the measurement of an individual’s potential for success on their own abilities to perform their duties. Ricardo Arends, PwC – PricewaterhouseCoopers has 18,500 UK staff, many of whom hold professional qualifications. We believe there are up to 50 different types of qualification held by our people. Where they are performing a similar role, we pay them similarly. PwC is an equal opportunities employer, and one of our great strengths is that our structure allows people from many different backgrounds opportunities for advancement. We have many ACCA qualified people within the firm and many ACCA trainees. We are committed to all of them and value their contribution. Jon Bunn, UK head of media relations, PwC Not amused by panto link I am disappointed that you chose, in Taking Stock, to connect our business news last week to the charity pantomime which we put on for London’s less privileged children (Partners get axe, 25 January, page 3). Whilst no doubt you found it amusing to link the two stories, I did not – not particularly on my own behalf, as the panto’s executive director or indeed the firm, but on behalf of the more than 70 staff who gave up their evenings and Sundays to do something for others who are less fortunate. I doubt that the article would find favour either with the charities, London schools and hospitals to which the panto was broadcast live. I hope you find it in yourself to apologise to our staff for descending to this level of apparent ‘wit’. J E K Smith, UK management board, PwC Editor’s note: We hope last week’s piece did not cause offence to any of those involved. However at no time did we question the laudable motives behind this undertaking. We have always understood the spirit of pantomime to be parody and irony. It seemed therefore to coincide with the spirit of TS. Are you saying you don’t know what you’re doing? Following a brief exchange with the Companies House enquiries department today, I was tickled to the point of collapse having telephoned with a routine question concerning ever-shifting audit exemption limits (quicker than looking it up, as you will appreciate, especially in January).

‘I don’t know – you’ll have to ask and accountant,’ was the innocent reply.

All I can say is ‘quis custodiet ispos cusodies?’ (who guards the guards?).

Are we subjected to all this anguish for nothing, or is someone up there having a good laugh at our considerable expense?

I hope this will afford fellow sufferers some light relief this month of months.

Mrs T Brown, very sole practitioner, Shropshire

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