ICAEW and CIPFA look to ‘work closer’

February 2022

CIPFA and the ICAEW have admitted that they are looking at opportunities of working closer together. Could this be the start of new merger talks?

A joint press release says: “The vision driving the discussions would see ICAEW and CIPFA combining their strengths and resources to better equip them to serve the public interest across all areas of economic activity, including the enterprise, public and third sectors.”

And in a joint statement, ICAEW Chief Executive Michael Izza and CIPFA Chief Executive Rob Whiteman said: “We believe there is significant strategic benefit in our two bodies working more closely in the future and our discussions will examine ways of achieving that.”

ICAEW and CIPFA will now conduct further discussions with the aim of bringing forward proposals in 2022.

An ICAEW press spokesperson said: “Any outcome to these talks will be subject to approval within ICAEW, as appropriate and necessary under our governance requirements, but at this stage we do not believe that the nature of the relationship with CIPFA under discussion would require an ICAEW membership vote.”

This is not the first time a ‘coming together’ has been attempted. In 2005, a merger was voted down after an ICAEW membership vote fell short of the necessary majority – by just one percentage point. Some 65.7% of ICAEW members voted in favour of a merger, but it needed 66.7% to go ahead. CIPFA members voted overwhelmingly for a merger, with 86.7% in favour.

Then in 2007 the two signed a memorandum of understanding, but that seemed to fizzle out.