They made a thoroughly prepared attempt to do something really positive a few years ago, but look where it got them. The CIMA and CIPFA councils just were not interested and made loud objections and criticisms, even though there was strong support among their own members for the ACCA proposals.

I always thought the councils prided themselves in exercising their responsibilities in a democratic manner and in the interests of all members but I simply do not understand their attitude when it comes to sensible rationalisation.

What I do understand is that this attitude is a definite hindrance to the development and effectiveness of the UK profession if it continues in its present fragmented way. It is time everyone came to their senses on this one.

‘Cowboy accountants’ continue to sell services to an unsuspecting public without legal hindrance, and the qualified ‘chartered accountant’ invariably suffers from a mistaken identity, gets sidelined by government and the general public … well, they are just confused and who can blame them when someone tells them ‘I’m an accountant or I’m a chartered accountant or I’m a chartered certified accountant or I’m a chartered management accountant or I’m a chartered public finance accountant or I don’t really know what I am but I can do your accounts and tax!’

Ken Stones, financial controller, St Paul’s Cathedral

Heart bleeds for poor men

I’ve come to the conclusion I am the only female who reads your magazine.

I never see any letters from females and you have ignored my attempts at prose. Maybe we are on a different wavelength. Even though I have noticed you print similar items from men.

Last week, however, my heart bled when I read the sob story on Taking Stock about Mr MacKean, who is trying to cope with having to do three things at a time. Please would you put the record straight and send a very big good luck to all female accountants.

Especially those with more than three jobs to do, such as: holding down a full-time job; running a household; bringing up offspring; looking after their spouse; studying to qualify, etc. My heart bleeds for those men who can only cope with doing one thing at a time. The only good news is I see more men are multi-talented and can cope with lots of responsibilities at once.

Valerie Fitch, Bucks

Expressing yourself

I suspect the more racy of John Mellow’s French colleagues (Taking Stock, 3 August) would wish him well with, forgive me, ‘merde!’; whilst the more staid would perhaps say ‘bonne chance’. One thing is certain – they would only tell him to break a leg if they meant it!

Chris Dickson, via e-mail

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