COMMENTS ON THE STATEMENT FROM ACCA COUNCIL
The 16 page statement accompanying the EGM papers is very economical
with information. It is misleading. We urge ACCA members to SUPPORT
THE EGM RESOLUTION and draw attention to a number of issues.
It is important to note that the statement does not have the support of
the entire council. Two council members Ray Gardiner and Soon Kwai Choi
were excluded from any discussions. There is no indication to show how
many of the remaining council members supported the statement
Council claims that ACCA is not a “business”. ACCA
IS A 'BUSINESS' NOT A PROFESSIONAL BODY (20 May 1999).
ACCA SHARE SALE SCANDAL (10
November 1999). Yet this is exactly what ACCA has become. Its officials
have encouraged the press to believe that ACCA is a business. ACCA has
also submitted a £100,000 legal opinion to the Lord Chancellor’s
office in which it claims that it is a ‘business’ and not a charitable
organization concerned with education. ACCA members would know that ACCA
has already lost money on publishing and television programme making ventures.
Is this why ACCA members joined the Association?
ACCA's GOVERNANCE - WEAK AND ILL-CONSIDERED
ACCA Council repeats its mantra about “acting in the public interest”.
When Austin Mitchell MP asked ACCA Presidents to explain what it means
there was no reply. When he asked them to show which part of the education
syllabus encourages students to know what it is, the ACCA officials could
give no answer. So AABA invites any ACCA Council member to respond.
There is no record of ACCA ever asking members for the abolition
of major policymaking committees.
It is highly unprofessional of ACCA council to personalise the issues with
Anthony Thomas. A little reflection would have reminded council members
that without the aid of reforming voices most people would not have the
rights that they enjoy today.
ACCA assumes that its members are ‘passive’ and that only some carefully
selected papers need to be poured into them. As ‘active’ citizens members
need opportunities to raise issues.
The Code of Conduct drawn up for the Council. ACCA members had no input
in drafting it. They were never asked to approve it.
Until recently ACCA council members served on disciplinary hearings. They
acted as legislators, judge, juries and prosecutors. The document should
say that the ACCA’s practice has changed only recently. In addition, council
members continue to be legislators, judges, juries and prosecutors whenever
they feel like it. For example, in his letter of 5th July 1999 to Austin
Mitchell MP, ACCA President wrote that “ACCA’s Council gave careful consideration
to the course of action it should take with respect to Ray Gardiner, including
the possibility of disciplinary action being brought against him. It decided
that disciplinary action was inappropriate.” By what authority did the
President or ACCA council act as judge and jury?ACCA
officials violate the Human Rights Act 1998 (8 February 1999)
Who is on this remuneration committee? Under the Cadbury rules, the
composition of the committee should change once every three years, but
Peter Langard has been on it for longer than that. Why? Beside, the final
decision about the assessment of the chief executive’s performance must
rest with the members and not with the friends of the chief executive.
ACCA members have not been told anything about the terms on which
the chief executive will retire even though they have borne and will continue
to bear the financial cost.
ELECTION OF COUNCIL
Council meets behind closed doors. So members do not know what really is
discussed. Carefully released snippets through the censored in-house magazine
neither amounts to any consultation nor a full report. No information is
ever published about the background and links of these so called ‘independent
OUT OF TOWN BINGES (4 May 1999)
WHO IS NORMA, MR. LANGARD? (27
NO DEMOCRACY AT ACCA
The entire ACCA electoral process is not subject to any independent
control. ACCA ballot papers are not prenumbered and a stock of incomplete
papers is held by officials. The whole process is open to fraud and abuse.
Only after Professor Sikka campaigned on the issue in 1994, ACCA was forced
to bring in independent scrutineers for the count. Rest of the process
is not subject to any independent oversight. Unlike the local, regional
or national elections, the ACCA council candidates are prevented from attending
the vote count or demanding a recount. Whilst the supporters of the status-quo
can use the magazine to support their views, challengers are not allowed
to. They can are only permitted 180 words of election address.
It should be noted that a number of elections are often held within
ACCA. The proxy voting system is not used for the International Assembly,
any functional society or district society. It is only used for the body
the Council. The system enables ACCA officeholders (usually the President)
to cast 20-25% of all votes and effectively “appoints” and ‘co-opts’ council
members. ACCA Presidents appoint their friends and cronies and thus override
the open preferences of ACCA members. The proxy voting system is
open to corruption and for this reason it has been outlawed in the UK trade
union legislation.Ballot-rigging as usual
ACCA pre-prints the name of officeholders on the proxy voting form.
This is contrary to the specimen form approved by members and included
in the Rulebook (see page 38 (bye-law 62) of the 1999 Rulebook). There
is no bye-law which enable it to do so.
The Council’s comments about the October 1996 EGM deserve a response. Prior
to it, the Association conducted a hate campaign against one of the organisers
(see July, August and September 1996 Certified Accountant) without giving
him any right of reply. The person concerned received hate mail and racist
threats. Police was informed. ACCA (like now) sent officials all over the
world to denigrate the organisers. So a civilised debate was not possible.
Only a tiny number of members voted on the resolution. The President himself
cast a large number of votes without any explanation. It is true that the
defenders of the status-quo secured more votes.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
THE ROLE OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE
ACCA IN MALAYSIA
However, from that it does not follow that the issues have been dealt with.
How many attempts did it take to secure universal franchise, votes
for women, abolition of slavery, royal charter for the Association and
so on? Members also know that a large number of ACCA members have
never voted on the matter, many have joined ACCA since 1996. So to argue
that one ‘rigged’ vote for ever deals with the issue of ONE PERSON
ONE VOTE is naive.
ACCA HAS CONTINUED TO TREAT MALAYSIANS AS SECOND CLASS. FOR A RESPONSE
TO ACCA COUNCIL'S STATEMENT CLICK HERE
Your correspondent, ‘No longer proud to be a ‘Certified Accountant’
(Letters 21 November) feels his resignation would go unnoticed by the ACCA
establishment. He may be mistaken.
Why is the council selectively identifying some of the signatories to the
EGM motion? There is no authority for it in the bye-laws. Under the influence
of collective amnesia, ACCA quotes from a letter published in Accountancy
Age by a Dr. William Hipperson. Here is an earlier letter by the same member
in Accountancy Age.
After a protracted (and ultimately fruitless) correspondence
with the ACCA, I threatened not to renew my subscription. Their written
response included the chilling passage ‘.... you will no longer be
able to use designatory letters ..... the police generally do initiate
proceedings when they receive complaints .... ‘.
At one point, I reported ACCA to its own disciplinary committee
for ignoring my professional correspondence - no reply was received.
Readers may also wonder why Certified Accountant seldom publishes
the comments of members critical of ACCA. When I raised this with the chief
executive I was advised (2 August 1996) that ‘The journal is part of the
Members Services operation and each issue is seen at proof stage by my
office, it is not an independent publication such as Accountancy Age’.
The ACCA executive appears to require only two actions from
its members - to pay up, and shut up.
Dr. William Hipperson, Crawley, Sussex
Source: Accountancy Age, 28 November 1996, page 11.
There was nothing defamatory on the ACCA Malaysia web site. Just
students and members expressing their anger at the colonial mentality of
ACCA. If ACCA was so concerned then in common with other organisation it
could have instituted editing processes, but it did not. The internet forum
has not been restored.
ACCA never secured members’ approval for its tie-up with Oxford Brookes
(OBU) University. Where exactly in the University League table is OBU?
What rating (the scale used was 1-5*) did its accountancy staff secure
in the last independent research assessment exercise. What rating did the
same secure for its teaching? Why is ACCA silent? Perhaps, it has something
In the market place, employers are very discerning. When they learn that
anyone with partial ACCA exam success can have an accounting degree from
OBU, what importance do you think they will attach to it? And what respect
will they have for the ACCA qualification? Not much. AABA’s members work
in universities, industry, commerce and public practice, none will attach
any value to the freebie OBU degree.
ACCA FAILS TO SECURE RECOGNITION IN USA AND CANADA
(8 July 1999
ACCA FAILS TO MAKE THE ACCOUNTANCY RESEARCH GRADE
(8 Sept 1999)
Despite taking more than 20 pages to respond to a two page statement, ACCA
leadership has failed to provide a meaningful analysis and information.
There is no reflection upon the underlying issues.
VOTE FOR THE EGM RESOLUTION
Anthony Thomas drafted the EGM resolution after consultation with lawyers.
He incurred the personal cost because he cares for the long term future
of the Association. He does not stand to make any personal gain from it.
The resolution is not even committing the Association to introduce any
specific changes. All it asks is that an Independent Commission be appointed
so that all members can have their say in building a stronger Association.