Fifth of voters against ICAEW fee increase

ALMOST A FIFTH of those polled in the ICAEW’s annual general meeting voted against a rise in subscription fees.

Nearly 8,000 members voted, with 80.2% for the changes to the fees and subscriptions and 19.8% against.

Some 97% voted through Grant Thornton’s re-appointment as auditors, with 3% against.

Michael Izza, chief executive of the ICAEW, reported a decline in the number of firms registered to provide audit, with 3,865 ICAEW member firms providing audit services compared with 4,526 in 2007. Izza said he expected the decline to plateau at about 2,000 firms.

Izza said: “There is quite a marked change going on in the audit market. [It] continues the change which began a number of years ago. The status quo as we know it – I don’t see prevailing. There will be changes, but what those changes will be is very hard to be sure about. If you were to go back even further – to 1999 – the number of firms would be over 9,000.

“We have to be prepared for the fact that the number of 3,865 is going to go down even further and the reason is that quite a large element of those firms has between one and five audits, and you have to ask how long that is sustainable.”

Mark Spofforth is to become the new president of the ICAEW, replacing Clive Parritt.

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