ACCA to lose its influence on  IFAC

ACCA makes a great play of being a global accountancy body, but it has little or no influence on world matters. This is now set to be further highlighted by the ACCA's absence from the Council of The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). Currently, ACCA is represented by its Secretary (oops, the fashionable term is chief executive) Anthea Rose and former Council member (why not a current council member? what is going on?) Graham Carr.

Now ACCA has lost the battle and it will have no representation on IFAC. ACCA has been out maneuvered by ICAEW  President Dame Sheila Masters and the UK representative will come from the ICAEW. ACCA officialdom feels so aggrieved that the council meeting held on 16th September formally considered withdrawing from the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB). Of course, members will not be told.

The exit from IFAC is the inevitable failure of strategic thinking at ACCA. The management continues to operate with an inferiority complex. It has no strategy other than to ape ICAEW and expand student numbers - most of whom will never ever qualify. Rather than developing its brand and distinctiveness, the management spent huge resources to change name and go for the title 'chartered'. Has that changed anything for ACCA members?

The same management supported the ICAEW call for LLP's for all and generated pressures for the abolition of small company audits. Now ACCA is set to lose its audit regulatory role and is wheeling out the tired old arguments about audit as a protection from fraud (no one believes it). The same management backed ICAEW regulatory proposals for auditing and insolvency. It has still not told members that they will pay 28% of the cost.

The opinions of ACCA members could provide fresh insights and direction for future strategy but the official magazine is highly censored. ACCA chief executive (not an ACCA member, not elected by members, remuneration not decided by members) even keeps KGB style files on dissidents and even urges independent magazines not to print the views of critics. The inevitable consequence is that ACCA lacks debate and vibrancy and remains in the shadows of the ICAEW.