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ICAEW financials improve but falls short on student numbers

STRONGER FINANCIALS and membership numbers were achieved by the ICAEW in 2013, but the institute has failed to hit two of its key student number targets, according to its latest annual report.

Good admissions and retention saw the ICAEW grow membership to 142,334, from 140,573, and beating its target by more than 200, according to its annual report for the year ending 31 December 2013.

Income climbed during the period, up £4.9m to £87.6m, compared to 2012. Retained surplus after tax was £2.2m, stepping into the black from a £1.2m deficit in 2012. The consolidated, or overall, outcome for the year was a £2.6m surplus after tax compared to 2012’s £0.9m deficit. Membership income grew £1.9m to £41.5m, which included “tight control” of its cost base, the institute stated.

While the ICAEW hit six of its eight targets, including its operating performance and total membership, it failed on its ACA student intake and fell short on the number of students looking to take its entry qualification CFAB (1,822 against a target of 1,992). ACA student intake fell to 5,556, from 6,201 a year earlier, which it said reflected both the UK and international markets’ challenges.

Fines and cost recoveries from public interest disciplinary tribunals were £1.3m, although there was a net cost of £2.8m for the FRC’s Conduct Committee’s cases – which replaced the FRC’s Accounting and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) – compared to a net cost of £1.8m in 2012.

ICAEW chief Michael Izza saw his remuneration climb to £526,000, from £501,000 a year earlier, mainly due to an £18,000 increase in deferred variable pay (performance-related, and agreed by the ICAEW’s remuneration committee).

The institute made nearly £5m in payments during 2013 into its defined benefits pension scheme, which was closed in 2010, from £6m a year earlier. An update of the scheme’s financial position in December found the scheme to be in deficit by £9.5m, a large fall on the £24.9m assumption in December 2012.

The ICAEW is taking longer to pay creditors, the report revealed: its trade creditor days increased to an average of 24 days, from 20 days a year earlier. Chartered Accountants’ Hall, Moorgate Place, was valued by external advisers at £9.7m.

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