PracticePeople In PracticeThe corridors of power …

The corridors of power ...

I wonder if anyone's taking bets on the latest merger round succeeding? I wouldn't put money on it. Eric Anstee, the institute's jet-setting chief executive, has brought a new commercial urgency to proceedings, and that could make all the difference. But he still has to win over two thirds of ICAEW members.

It’s always seemed to me that the ‘m’ word as in ‘merger’ – or should it be ‘c’ for ‘consolidation’? – is simply an excuse for more whinging by accountants. Let’s be honest about it – chartered accountants are superior. They are brighter and more high-flying than that certifiable mob over at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. CIMA is all very well, but it’s not the same. And as for CIPFA … well, it will never be more than a niche player.

I am being provocative about ACCA, of course. ACCA can argue, convincingly, that its qualification is of greater application in the real world.

To use a scuba-diving analogy, it’s a bit like BSAC and PADI. The British Sub Aqua Club has higher standards, but has never really learnt how to promote itself. The Professional Association of Diving Instructors has a sausage-machine approach to training, but has used superior marketing to become the global qualification of choice.

It seems to me that the ICAEW mob will baulk at sharing its elitist club with CIMA and CIPFA. Far better for the smaller players to merge with ACCA if they’re looking for a bit of collective muscle. If it’s all about synergies, does it really matter who they merge with?

Pigs might fly before this one happens. But in the meantime, we can amuse ourselves by thinking up a name for the new super-institute. The Institute of Chartered, Management and Public Finance Accountants (ICMPFA? Er, maybe not.

Jon Ashworth is business features editor at The Times.

Related Articles

Is inefficiency stealing your time and money?

Accounting Firms Is inefficiency stealing your time and money?

6m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
CIMA elects new president

Institutes CIMA elects new president

6m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Transparent currency trade: How to achieve costs visibility

Governance Transparent currency trade: How to achieve costs visibility

6m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Introduction to KPMG UK’s new leadership team

Accounting Firms Introduction to KPMG UK’s new leadership team

6m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
EY appoints head of UK Infrastructure Asset Intelligence practice

Accounting Firms EY appoints head of UK Infrastructure Asset Intelligence practice

8m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
FRP Advisory expands operation with new office, partner appointments

Accounting Firms FRP Advisory expands operation with new office, partner appointments

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Magma Group announces merger, partner promotions

Accounting Firms Magma Group announces merger, partner promotions

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
MHA MacIntyre Hudson advises on management buy-out

Accounting Firms MHA MacIntyre Hudson advises on management buy-out

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor