Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 10th May 2001 at 29 Lincolns Inn Fields London WC1

ACCA leadership fails to provide decent information to members. The official magazine is censored and the published minutes of meetings are always very economical with information. AABA has taken the opportunity to inform ACCA members
 

The meeting was opened by the President who moved to the first item of business on the agenda being the approval of the minutes of the previous annual general meeting. The President stated that these minutes had been published in accounting and business last year and unless there were any objections these are would be taken as read. At this point Mr Gordon asked that they be corrected in that he bought up the fact that the association had no library it was agreed that the minutes would be corrected. In making his representations as Mr Gordon pointed out that the Royal Charter requires the maintenance of a library or libraries by the Association.

The President then went on to point out that papers had already been circulated about the business to be conducted at the meeting and no other business would be entertained and if members have any queries then these should be raised after the presidents address.

The President went on to state that the meeting was being recorded and that the sake of good order there were to be restrictions on the time allowed for those to speak and on those wishing to speak being required to give prior notice. The prior notice was to be given by way of speaking cards and it was intended to that members should indicate on the cards in which way they were anticipating to be responding to the motions.

The President then went on to address the meeting turning to matters such as the trend expansion across national boundaries, the business to business economy, and how we have gone from the printed word through the railways to the internet and now to the twenty-four seven economy on a global basis. It would appear that the Web in her opinion is the most important development in the global economy and contained within this is a knowledge Capital. The disadvantages of all this technology e-mail and mobile phones etc meant that you were never out of your office. She also went on to point out that only six per cent of the world were online and only 35 per cent in the -developed world. In the foreseeable future all existing forms of communication will still be used and this they believe is essential for good corporate behavior. But there is a lot of opportunity for people with ability.

The Association has built a reputation in raising environmental reporting issues and the introduction of awards along with global reporting initiatives.

The ACCA must be committed to progress.

We are now becoming an information and knowledge-based profession with a broad range of leadership and management skills with the need to play a more proactive role and to develop and expand the skills of members. In gearing up to the knowledgebased economy we must look at the ACCA's initiatives in the online recruitment site, the business-to-business development with Barclays, ACCA Online Communities project, and online CP1) although there is still a major role for face-to-face contacts. The strength is from the membership and like any other business the professional is becoming customer focused. We have developed a new corporate identify to speak with a clear single voice producing a professional and distinctive image for a progressive body for the 2 1 st century.

Council is working to enhance the qualification promoting the expertise of the membership and looking forward with changes such as the challenge of limited liability partnerships. Ethics, independence, high standards of integrity, probity, quality and absolute professionalism are the demands of the future. ACCA must become a Web-based organisation if it is to meet members' expectations and it must be a respected voice within international organisations.

The President them when on to thank those who were retiring from council and make comment about the very sad death-in-service of a council member last year. She also went on to state that this would be Anthea Rose's last Annual General Meeting as Secretary & Chief Executive of the ACCA.

The President then went on to confirm that members wishing to speak would be given a warning after two minutes and stopped after three minutes.

Mr Gordon raised questions about the ACCA and the way in which it presented its accounts. In Mr Gordon's opinion education and services to members were the two major areas in which the Association operated and were its principal functions He asked the there could be better analysis relating to these functions and the cost effectiveness of activities. He also commented on the increase salaries of over 1.3 million and asked the following questions where is there value for money and what is being done to protect the membership and their interest.

The President asked Ross Midgley Finance Director to reply, to his questions. Ross Midgley stated that the full accounts provided additional information and copies were available to those who requested same. However things like value for money are difficult to assess as there are no standards to provide a benchmark He also stated that the accounts follow practice set down in 1997 by council and. Mr Midgley suggested that Mr Gordon speak to him afterwards.

The elections to council were formally proposed and the results of the postal ballot announced and details of which are included in the appendix

A proposal to reappoint the auditors was passed unanimously.

The meeting then went on to discuss the special business the results of which are shown in the appendix and there were no comments from the floor on resolutions 4-7

The meeting then turned to Resolution seven and the President asked Tony Thorne to address the meeting on behalf of the members proposing the resolution. Full details of the text of this presentation are in the appendix.

After Tony Thome's presentation the President went on to state councils opinions on this matter which broadly follow those stated in the annual report. Although she did at the comment about by law two routes to membership this has no basis as all members are of a good standing. However in making a presentation she commented that there are now 81,000 members and outlined the various things on a global basis that members do she also stated at the ACCA have to employee people the very highest standard and it needs the best because it has a public policy role and they must also have good communications skills, be able to work on multiple objectives and not standstill they have to be the brightest and the best. Council feels it cannot be hampered by the imposition of any artificial barrier in the way it is able to recruit the talents required to meet the obligations placed the senior officers.

A poll was taken and the meeting adjourned whilst the votes were counted. When counting was completed the meeting re convened and the results were announced and the details are included in the appendix.

The President then closed the meeting.
 Appendix
V~ Results

ACCA Council Election Results
10-May-01

Elected

J Bekkerlegge 2532
D Main 2492
P Bailey 2455
S Harvey 2398
D Yeates 2396
P Leung 2274
* Ball 2224
* Taylor 2203
* Purewal 2112
M Gaunt 2108
T Cushing 2076
T E Sing 2063
K Singh 2053
P Windatt 2041

Not Elected

J Smith 1846
R Jayapal 1843
M Latouche 1641
S Purgus 1560
B McGuire 1502

Voting on resolutions

Resolution
No                                 Postal Votes                        Final Votes
                                     For     Against                    For Against
1 Report & Accounts     3395      22                                  421
3. Reappoint Auditors   3367      48                                   431
4 Raise  subs                 2632    779                       2653    784
5 Making awards           3165    249                       3191    249
6 Electronic voting        3287    131                       3310    132
7 Electronic Meetings   3242    175                       3266    175
8 75% of Senior
Officers to be
ACCA Members            1151   2254                     1156   2273

 Tony Thorne's address (in support of his resolution : item 8)

Madam President, fellow members

The sponsors of this resolution have read Council's comments to the resolution with great interest.

In moving into the 21st Century we all agree that the ACCA needs to promote a forward looking and professional image.

We, the ACCA, pride ourselves as the ultimate qualification for executive management appointments throughout the World, and in all spheres of activity. Not to employ our own members in the senior executive positions of our organisation makes a public statement of a lack of confidence in our own membership. The resolution proposes rightly to recognise the strengths of the ACCA qualification and its unique position in the World.

Council opens its statement by suggesting that the resolution is similar to that proposed at the 1996 EGM. It is not and anyway irrespective of that, it's time to move on and not peer into the past. We have now moved into the era of commercial professionalism and we need qualified professionals to run our own Association and who is better qualified than our own members? We have not suggested that any particular posts be filled by a member but that the majority ought to be appointed from the membership.

Council goes on to state that the Association is a large and complex organisation indeed it is but let me remind you that regulations for membership require members to have passed:

- the comprehensive and taxing examination programme, - to have had 4 years approved experience

- and last but not least they are required to enter into a life long learning commitment.

By this training alone the membership must necessarily have the required qualifications - surely they must be "the best qualified". We have members in all spheres of activity and we are sure that from within this pool of talent there must be those with the requisite skills and experience to steer the ACCA into the future.

Council also mention that we employ 24 qualified accountants but fails to provide details of their membership qualification route. Based on a sample it would appear that less than one third have actually qualified through the normal examination process and the rest were admitted under clauses 3 (b) to (g) of the ACCA Membership Regulations of which 1 am sure you are no doubt familiar. At present there is only one director who is actually holds ACCA membership and to the best of my knowledge he was admitted under the rules recognising other professional accounting qualifications and again to the best of my knowledge the remainder have no professional qualifications.

As Council has now delegated so much of our the operational activities to the Executive it is essential that those to whom this authority is delegated be suitably professionally qualified. In light of this delegated authority and the indemnity given by we the members to our employees, under clause 42 of the Bye-laws, it is essential that those charged with overseeing the day to day running of the ACCA are subject to the same ethical, professional and regulatory standards as applies to us the membership in general.
It is stated by Council that they should employ the most able candidate with the best relevant skills and expertise, which by any definition must be a member or necessarily they must believe our members are either under qualified or dare 1 say over qualified?

In straight forward terms by suggesting that members vote against this resolution our Council is making a public statement that our own members are not the best qualified to run our own organisation.

The Association's strength derives from its members for without them there would be no ACCA, and it is therefore from these same members we should be looking for senior executive staff who are charged with the responsibility to move us forward in this new millennium.

We therefore ask you to vote for this resolution to ensure that those who are charged with the operation of our Association have the appropriate professional qualifications, understand and are aware of the needs and demands of us the members.

Quite simply if a member is not the most able candidate for the majority of senior positions within our own Association then surely we must be asking Council why and where our training is failing our members?

Thank you.