Opinion – Balancing income and expenditure.

It is ironic that one of the leading accountancy professional bodies has financial troubles.

The ICAEW has some tough decisions to make as it attempts to balance its budget – and it seems that services that members do not value will go.

Which services these are remains to be seen, and undoubtedly all are seen as valuable by some.

A simple solution would be a modest increase in membership fees. Bringing the fee up to #200 would bring in an extra #4m a year – more than enough to put the finances on an even keel.

But this is perhaps too simple and too obvious.

On an individual basis, the extra #33 might not seem that much, but for a Big Five firm, collectively this would be a pretty large bill.

And the Big Five probably get the least out of the institute as they are large enough to stand on their own and represent their own interests.

The incoming president, himself a PwC man, might have difficulty in justifying the increase to his own constituency.

So what choices are left? Where should the axe fall? ‘Reprioritisation’ is a word that has been used to describe the budgeting process, but that inevitably means some services will be deemed to be less of a priority.

But the bottom line is that there is a mismatch between the institute’s income and expenditure.

Of course it should manage its expenditure so it provides focused, relevant services. But is it too much to charge more for what Moorgate Place itself calls a world-class, leading qualification?

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