PracticePeople In PracticeRe: CIPFA’s fast track

Re: CIPFA's fast track

Quentin Langley states that the fast-track route to the CIPFA qualification focuses on the parts of the qualification that make it unique such as the emphasis on strategic management skills and public-sector ethics.

I would disagree with this statement (CIPFA’s fast track).

The one element of the CIPFA qualification which does make it unique is the project. This is missing from the fast-track qualification.

The accountancy bodies also feature strong strategic management skills as part of their syllabus. ACCA’s new syllabus includes strategic financial management, strategic business planning and development, performance management and business information management in the final level whilst the current syllabus includes management and strategy and financial strategy.

Stage 4 of the CIMA exams features strategic financial management, strategic management accountancy and marketing, information management and management accounting control systems, all of which have a strategic management bias. I am not as familiar with the English ICA’s examinations but I would dare bet, that they also include some of these skills.

The comment that CIPFA is unique on public-service ethics is almost tantamount to saying that non-CIPFA accountants working within the public sector are unethical.

The NHS now has more trainee accountants studying through CIMA than CIPFA. Other public bodies such as the National Audit Office have English ICA students through the TOPP scheme and the Civil Service train many accountants through CIMA and the ACCA.

The old nationalized industries that have been privatised see no relevance in CIPFA and have chosen other institutes to train their finance staff in. It seems that local government is the last bastion of CIPFA accountants. Some CIPFA accountants do occupy senior positions as Mr Langley states but these tend to be in the public sector, and there are many CIPFA accountants who don’t occupy senior positions.

Tom Gorman ACCA

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