UK accounting bodies ‘should merge’ according to readers

UK ACCOUNTING INSTITUTES should merge together, and should no longer remain separate, say Accountancy Age readers.

Of the 119 people polled, 65% felt such a move would be a positive step, with the remaining 35% believing the institutes should remain separate.

The poll was conducted against the background of a planned merger of accountancy bodies in New Zealand and Australia, and the increasing globalisation of the accounting profession.

Talks between the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) have sought to unite the two bodies. This will result in qualifications from either body being mutually recognised, and will also allow more exchange between the two countries. Members will be voting on the proposal later in the year.

Similar mergers have already taken place elsewhere, with Canada bringing together Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and the Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) have merged on a national level to form the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

The move was finalised in the belief it would allow them to meet the evolving needs of accountants and the business community as a whole.

In 2004, ICEAW, CIMA and CIPFA, three of the UK’s largest accountancy bodies began potential merger discussions, citing the increase in influence that a single larger body would hold when discussing accounting issues with governments, regulators, and standard setters. However the plan failed to come to fruition, as the three institutes were unable to find a common ground that members could agree on.

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  • AW1983

    It would certainly be in the interests of ACCA members to have a merger. I’m not disparaging their qualification which I think is equal to all the others but, for an institute that claims to be the body of choice for an international career, it has the fewest mutual recognition agreements in the English speaking world. The ICAEW, through the GAA, will get you recognised with no further study in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA and South Africa (among others). Similarly, CIMA has mutual recognitions with accountancy bodies in Australia, Canada, South Africa, India and the USA. ACCA, for whatever reason, does not have a similar ‘passport’ to most of these countries.

    • jamesbottom

      The reason the ACCA does not have mutual recognition agreements in these countries is simply because it is already recognised in these countries without the need for any agreement with domestic bodies!