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Australia and NZ institutes to merge

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MEMBERS of the Australian and New Zealand chartered accounting institutes have voted in favour of merging to create a trans-Tasman institute.

The cross-border merger – the first of its kind – brings together the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) to create a single institute with around 90,000 members.

Support for the proposal was higher among ICAA members, with 78% of the 37,423 (62%) who voted supporting the proposal, compared to 70% of the 16,876 (59%) NZICA members who voted.

“The voter turnout is very high and exceeded what we’d hoped for – it provides a clear mandate for change,” said NZICA board chair Graham Crombie.

“This proposal has been almost two years in the making and we’ve been discussing it with members for over a year. We’re pleased that members on both sides of the Tasman have seen the benefits that forming a new institute together can produce.”

In an interview with Accountancy Age earlier this year, Lee White, ICAA chief executive officer, said the new body would have a stronger voice in the profession, the market, with regulators and in the community.

According to Lee, the scale and cost savings associated with the tie up – estimated at between A$5m (£2.9m) to A$10m annually – would allow the combined institute the to improve its educational services and increase its policy formulation, advocacy capability, and global influence.

“To make the core aspiration of the institute come alive we need to make the model broader than traditional areas. We want the brand to be seen as a key business brand,” White said.

Before transition to the new institute is complete the necessary changes to the NZICA Act and Royal Charter in Australia must be secured. These are expected to be complete by April next year.

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