Is ACCA a professional accountancy body or a business? According to the ACCA bureaucrats, it is now a 'business'. The failures of accountancy education make headline news. Professional education is neither theoretical nor practical. It is mainly technical and has very short shelf life. How long does an accounting/auditing standard last?
It does not enable accountants to cope with change or think on their feet. Not surprisingly, major companies are no longer offering plum jobs to accountants. ACCA qualification is mentioned by name in less than 3% of the UK job advertisements. Some had hoped that whilst professional qualifications concentrate on vocational aspects, degree courses should concentrate on more liberal and practical aspects. But the ACCA is now keen to destroy this development. In a cynical marketing ploy, it has agreed a new degree scheme with the Oxford Brookes University (formerly Oxford Polytechnic). ACCA did not put the proposal forward to members. There has been no discussion or consultation with members. ACCA's press blurb says that
"Students completing the first and second parts of ACCA's new professional examination will be eligible for the BSc in Applied Accounting (Honours). The new arrangements will be introduced from December 2001 when ACCA begins examining under its new syllabus".
The name of the game is marketing and easy money. The University combines the degree and professional exams classes. The Association picks up the registration fees for the students who register for the degree courses. It is akin to the "two for the price of one" marketing of products on offer at the local supermarket. There is no gain for accountancy education and the ploy does nothing to deal with deep-seated problems of accountancy. Neither is there any quality check on the contents of the proposed degree. Invariably, employers will be wary of the "two for the price of one" qualification.