Going for a constitutional
A solicitor's review of the practices of the Institute of Chartered Accountants may have snowballed into a fundamental revamp, reports Roger Trapp
Wednesday 22 January 1997
Perhaps surprisingly for a lawyer, Mr Gerrard took a wide view of his remit and examined the whole role of the organisation.
This was, he says, because he was encouraged to do so "by a considerable number of representations to the effect that a fundamental approach is needed to the relationship between the institute and its members".
From the off, then, he can be regarded as having been at odds with those who appointed him. And his report, published last week, continues in similar vein.
For its part, the institute is stressing that the document, which will be debated by council next month, just contains the views of one individual. Yet it is understood that some of the recommendations, particularly those relating to strategy, will get a more sympathetic hearing than might be expected. After all, the institute has already set in train its 2005 programme and intends to build on this once members' views of the first phase have been ascertained.
Mr Gerrard accepts that the moves to establish an external review board and an internal professional standards office should go some way to resolving the conflict over the institute's dual role as regulator and trade association.
But he feels there should be "more visible separation of the regulatory and non-regulatory functions".
As part of this, he calls for a streamlining of the working of the executive and the council. The executive, says Mr Gerrard, former senior partner of the City law firm Lovell White Durrant, should be reconstituted to combine senior volunteers and members of the secretariat, or the organisation's officials, as a "visible central authority with responsibility for proposing policy as well as implementing it".
Committees that presently report to council should, with few exceptions, report to the executive.
The council, on the other hand, should be made smaller - and more representative, with constituencies for members in business, those working overseas and in such areas of practice as audit, tax and information technology in addition to those based on geographical areas. Council should decide "high policy" and control the executive.
Of course, any such changes would be bound to produce winners and losers. Consequently, the secretariat would be headed by a secretary-general, who would enjoy wider powers than those given to the current secretary and chief executive, Andrew Colquhoun. But direct election to the council of representatives of members in business is envisaged as making the Board of Chartered Accountants in Business redundant, while the General Practitioners Board should be redesignated a committee and the need for it reviewed in the light of the development of the regional structure.
Moreover, the call to end the central funding of the district societies is unlikely to play well in the provinces, where such an idea will no doubt fuel the widely held conviction that the institute is dominated by the big London-based firms.
Finally, the institute is urged to increase accountability to members by publishing more information and to consider monitoring members' opinions. This is presumably aimed at avoiding a repeat of the fiasco surrounding the planned link-up with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, through regular professional polling of random groups.
But with all kinds of professional bodies having to face up to the fact that their members are growing increasingly diverse, such a move could beg as many questions as it answers.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Scientists create transparent mouse complete with see-through organs
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 Amazonian Indian tribe filmed making contact with Brazil village in rare video footage
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...
£500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...
£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...
Day In a Page
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000