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ICAEW: 2006 a successful year?

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30th May 2007
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The latest ICAEW annual review hails 2006 as a successful year, regardless of membership growth of only 0.5%. The financial statements also show a net income of almost £1m and a £4m increase in assets, despite membership being asked to vote on an above-inflation subscription hike next month. Rob Lewis reports.

In the opening statement president Richard Dyson said “2006 has seen us building on our recognised strengths... there is now a new sense of energy and purpose within the Institute”. He also praised the leadership of the first ICAEW chief exec Eric Anstee, who resigned in June, and current CEO Michael Izza for the instigation of “essential changes.”

The review, entitled ‘Inspiring Confidence’, explains how the Institute has been “increasing our international footprint, aligning itself with members’ careers, embracing the full breadth of the economy and maintaining our reputation for excellence.” Members may remember these were the four goals initiated by Anstee’s strategic review in 2004.

The report reveals that in 2006 its advisory service help lines fielded over 100,000 member enquiries, and that national, regional and district society events had attracted over 100,000 attendees. The previous year also saw the creation of several advisory boards and special interest groups, from which over 45,000 members are said to have benefited. The new Pathways initiative is also celebrated, despite what some consider to be very disappointing admission figures.

A solution to the absence of a dedicated ethics exam component also appears to have been found. In 2005 the ICAEW declared that ethics was important enough to warrant its own exam paper, but backtracked from the decision last year. In contrast to rivals ACCA, who have already implemented a separate ethics exam, the 2007 ACA qualification will contain an ethical aspect within each of its main papers.

“By building ethical components into each stage of the ACA we can ensure students actively consider threats and safeguards,” said Raymond Madden, executive director in learning and professional development.

The financial statements included in the report may anger membership, however. The issue of a 4% increase in the price of subscriptions seems incongruous when one considers the Institute is running well into the black.

“They say it’s in line with inflation, but it’s not,” said AccountingWEB member Ken Frost. “And they were raising fees way over inflation a couple of years ago. Last year it was 9%. I think it’s to keep their pensions up, because they’re not really cutting back on their staff.”

An Institute spokesperson said that the inflation figure was traditionally taken from the consumer price index for the south east of England.

The ICAEW recruited 125 staff in 2006.

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By jimeth
30th May 2007 13:56

Vote Against the Fee Increase
I voted against the fee increase as I could see no justification for an above inflation increase.

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By kenfrost
30th May 2007 16:13

Pension Black Hole
I think that I said the increase in fees was to fill "the pension black hole" rather than "keep their pensions up".

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By AnonymousUser
02nd Jun 2007 20:43

What Success?
If 2006 was a successful year for the Institute it makes you wonder what the PR men at the ICAEW would consider to be a bad year!

In just the first three months of 2006 it was reported that approximately 800 ICAEW members had resigned their membership and as figures for the remaining 9 months of the year have not been forthcoming it makes you wonder whether the situation become even worse later in the year!

As for the Pathways strategy of poaching the members of other chartered institutes the following link clearly shows that this has not been the success which has been claimed:

http://194.143.187.55/pass/main.asp?StoryID=6840

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