PracticeAccounting FirmsFall in trainees produces higher fees at ICAS

Fall in trainees produces higher fees at ICAS

A drop in the number of trainee accountants has forced at least one institute to increase its membership subscriptions to cover the loss of revenue, it has emerged.

Links: ICAS fees on the rise

and ICAS in bizarre new marketing ‘drive’

According to ICAS, the difficult economic climate has forced member firms to cut back on their graduate intake this year, which has hit the institute’s training income.

Last week, Accountancy Age revealed that the Scots institute was planning to ask members to agree a £40 hike in annual membership fees, taking subscriptions for ordinary members to £335. ‘With the current economic conditions, firms have been cutting back on their graduate intake,’ said David Brew, chief executive of ICAS.

‘This has caused a decrease in the number of CA students,’ he added.In previous years, ICAS had been successful in luring students away from its rival, the ICAEW, after the large firms, notably Ernst & Young, became dissatisfied with the ICAEW’s training syllabus.

However, Brew said the problem was not just related to the large firms, and that cuts had been seen ‘across the board’.

But the picture of falling student numbers has not been replicated at other institutes. A spokesman for the ICAEW said it was ‘too soon’ to see whether current economic conditions would affect its student numbers. However, it is understood income from student training at the institute is ring-fenced and predominantly self-financing, so any drop in student numbers would not affect its bottom line.

At the ACCA, a spokesman confirmed student registrations were holding up. He said: ‘Registrations are at least as good as last year, if anything they are a bit higher.’

He added there was no evidence from the figures of a fall in the number of trainees. The increase in subscriptions at ICAS is due to be voted on tomorrow.

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