The ICAEW has struck a major blow in the battle for members against its
rapidly growing rival ACCA, after joining an alliance of institutes across the
world. Chief executive Eric Anstee believes
the move will increase his institute’s global clout.
ACCA chief executive Allen Blewitt responded immediately, dismissing the
plans as a ‘rebranding’ of previous efforts by the chartered bodies to grow
internationally. He said the move was a response to his association’s success.
‘We are active in so many global markets – we’re there already. It’s
flattering for us. We have increased our influence in terms of accessing
regulators, governments and major employers in the last few years, we’re
delivering reality,’ Blewitt said.
But Anstee said the alliance signaled ‘that the ACCA was not the only global
model’. He added: ‘Our members have portability to work at the top level. This
alliance demonstrates how to do that.’
The international group, called the Global Accounting Alliance, is the
brainchild of nine member institutes – including influential US institute AICPA,
as well as Australian and New Zealand bodies. ICAS and the ICAI are also
The new body could prove to be a watershed for the future of the ICAEW. The
alliance pushes the institute into other markets, bringing more than 700,000
The alliance also signals a thawing of relations between the ICAEW and ICAS
following their bitter disagreements last year surrounding the ICAEW’s failed
plan to consolidate the profession in the UK.
Anstee said of ICAS: ‘It’s been very good us both coming together on this.
We’ve found lots of common ground on GAA – it has improved relations
He remained interested in consolidation with CIPFA and CIMA, but due to
CIMA’s global reach, said he would have to speak to GAA members about merger
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