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Opening accountancy to all

by Michael Izza on 24.07.2009 02:56

This week’s report from senior Labour MP Alan Milburn on Fair Access to the Professions challenges the accountancy profession on how we source the brightest available accounting talent in the future. Accountancy and other established professions have been, says Milburn, increasingly the preserve of the more privileged.

Thirty years ago, the report tells us, fewer than 2 per cent of accountants were from well-off families, and today that propor...


Focus for the future

by Michael Izza on 23.07.2009 03:54

Today and tomorrow the ICAEW is hosting a summit for accountancy bodies from the G20 nations on behalf of the International Federation of Accountants at Chartered Accountants Hall in London. I’m looking forward to two days of interesting speeches - including a speech by Rt Hon Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the UK Treasury - and discussions.

The aim of the summit is to agree a communique from the global accountancy profession ahead of th...


Walker recommendations

by Michael Izza on 20.07.2009 05:43

Looking at the latest recommendations by Sir David Walker on corporate governance of UK Banks, I believe the Bank of England and the FSA have the best opportunity yet to take a leadership role in convening annual briefing meetings of non-executive directors of banking institutions to discuss issues and regulatory risk outlooks. Both authorities produce valuable information.

In addition, there is a case for large banks having enhanced systems of...


The Prince of Wales issued a call to action at a speech I attended at St James’s Palace last week, warning graphically that we have 96 months left to “take the necessary steps to avert irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse.”

Delivering the annual Richard Dimbleby lecture, Prince Charles demanded that sustainability and environmental concerns be brought centre stage in how we plan for the future. The speech was a stark reminder that every...


Just having passed the halfway point of 2009, I’ve been reflecting on the whole subject of continuing professional development (CPD) and where I’ve got to in terms of my own plan.

CPD is a critical component of maintaining the quality of our qualification. The ACA doesn’t just stand for something that you work hard for at the start of your career and then put on a shelf to admire. It’s a mark of a financial professional who ensures he or she ke...


Our latest research on SME access to finance came out this morning, providing the most up-to-date information on whether Government assistance and economic conditions have had any effect on the ability of small businesses to gain access to the credit they need to survive and grow.

One fascinating insight in the report is that relationships of trust between SMEs and their banks have collapsed over the past year. The second is that while many SM...


Still on the agenda....

by Michael Izza on 09.07.2009 02:41

You would have thought that European Union Finance Ministers had had enough for now of financial reporting issues following Sir David Tweedie’s presentation to the June ECOFIN meeting. But no, it was on the agenda again at yesterday’s ECOFIN, though this time in a different context.

On Tuesday, ministers debated the subject of pro-cyclicality, concluding that the absence of counter-cyclical buffers and the lack of flexibility of accounting rule...