Institutes at war over new name

Link: Institutes release a statement on merger plans

ICAS has locked horns with the ICAEW over the name of a ‘super institute’ that would be created by a proposed merger. A row broke out after it emerged that Eric Anstee, chief executive of the ICAEW, has made ‘The Institute of Chartered Accountants’ his first choice if the body joins with CIMA and CIPFA.

ICAS, which claims to be the oldest body, has been left fuming at its southern counterpart’s designs on the unqualified use of the prefix ‘the’.

Des Hudson, chief executive of ICAS, told Accountancy Age: ‘This is a matter that we are concerned about and we are speaking to the other parties concerned.’

But Hudson’s diplomatic response masked fury at the Scottish institute. A senior source told Accountancy Age that if diplomacy failed they would fight the matter all the way to the courts. There, the Scottish institute would role out its claim to be the original institute and argue that a minority of ‘super institute’ students will train as chartered accountants.

But Paul Druckman, president of the ICAEW, has been known to dispute the Scots’ claim.

It is understood Druckman and his Scottish counterpart, Ian Robertson, held talks last week, but failed to bury the hatchet. The ICAEW emphasised that Anstee had expressed a personal preference. ‘He thinks it’s got some merit because all three bodies have a charter and represent accountants so ICA seems a good moniker on both those counts,’ it said.

Meanwhile, there were signs that council meetings being held this month may not produce a decision on whether to recommend the merger to members. A joint statement said: ‘We now need to give institute councils the opportunity to review our progress and to identify any further issues which require exploration.’

CIPFA’s council met on 9 December, where it was expected to receive the most enthusiastic support. CIMA’s meets on the 17th (tomorrow) and the ICAEW’s on the 20th (Monday).

No details will be made public until a further joint announcement on 21 December.

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