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Protect the term accountant: News Report in UK

The ongoing debate about protecting the term ‘accountant’ has again raised its head, as a report was ‘accidentally’ posted on the ICAEW website a couple of weeks ago which laid out its plans to fragment the profession by systematically dividing it into ‘tiers’. The document, entitled ‘Report on IFA Activities’, is designed to give the ICAEW an overview of the Institute of Financial Accountants’ activities during 2007 and contains a detailed strategy regarding the structure of the accountancy profession. Not surprisingly, the report proposes that CCAB bodies, such as the ICAEW, become the top tier of the profession with only their members able to use the term ‘accountant’; financial accountants, technicians and bookkeepers would create the lower tiers.

Sunset Fishing

Source: Sunset Fishing

Bodies outside of the CCAB, such as AIA, would not be included in the ICAEW’s plans, despite being one of the longest-established global accountancy organisations (this year celebrating its 80th birthday); and being a Recognised Qualifying Body (RQB) under the Companies Act 1989 with over 13,000 members and students worldwide! While we support moves to protect the term ‘accountant’, we are extremely concerned to see that this debate is being undertaken behind closed doors by parties with strong vested interests. The report puts forward the commercial benefits to the ICAEW, referring to a “strategy to gain further streams of ACA students”, but fails to address the public’s interest in the matter. The ICAEW seems to be approaching the issue as a trade body protecting its own interests, rather than promoting the wider public good.

Read Philip Turnbull reports in Accounting Web

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Santosh Puthran

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