Chartered Accountants & CPA Merger

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Following this merger with interest. I will share my experience from Canada where we combined 3 accounting bodies into 1. I was one of the biggest opponent to the merger. I resisted to the end and I will share my views now in the later part of this message. Like many of you here, I share the same views where we are the most prestige and our designation is second to none.

Some of the issues facing the CAs were very apparent. It was not growing. Other bodies were catching up and in the next 10 years, it would no longer be the "leading organization" in terms of numbers. The lines between the other accounting bodies were diminishing.

Many of the more progressive saw the writing on the wall voted yes and we all became Chartered Professional Accountants.

Fast forward some 10 years later. Nothing has changed. All the fears of having the other bodies dilute the value of my designation, did not happen. We have a stronger voice in Canada and in the world because of the "numbers" Looking back, I should have voted yes and we reduced some 30+ accounting bodies to just 1 in each province and territories. We have less duplication.

My advice is to look long term. Look at what changed and what benefits come with the consolidation. Do not look at what you went through when you got your designation. They are no longer relevant as others have caught up. The exams over 4 days 30 years ago is not the same as now. We have internet that can find answers to questions easily.

It's not so much as the designation. Its the people. Embrace each other strength. The designation can only get you so far.....

My last thought is what happens if the merger fail? How will the accounting bodies move forward? Will there be a international merger like the CA Australia and CA NZ in the future for one of the accounting bodies in Ireland?

ps: In Ontario and Quebec, we are now trying to separate from the national bodies. And thats another whole discussion. National bodies do not have any power.
Chartered Accountants Ireland has 30k members.
ACCA have 13k in Ireland
CPA have 5k.

Doesn't seem like this merger will mean much to anyone but CPAs who would get to call themselves ACA, and maybe to h6er more subs to help pay for the mistake on Pearse street.
 
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Why don’t they amalgamate the organisations but just not allow CPAs to use the ACA/FCA designation? That seems to be the bugbear, i.e. people who couldn’t get the more prestigious ACA qualification sneaking in the back door of Pearse Street.
 
I’d agree that CPA brand is more widely known internationally. so maybe calling myself a CPA rather than an ACA might be useful in some situation. I can’t think of any relevant to me personally but I’m thinking that if was job hunting it might make it easier to get the cv past the first screening. But it seems that if I actually wanted to practice in the states I’d need a local qualification and the existing arrangements for Irish ACA members is the same as the “new route“ for Irish CPA. Two years supervised work, local tax exams etc.
in terms of numbers, CPA Ireland is very small, they have very few students. In accounting terms it’s an acquisition not a merger I feel. Not sure there are many differences in the member services provided by each body so there might be some economies there and streamlining of resources.
are there big differences in the costs to members of annual membership fees? I think these are often paid by their employers so if there is a significant shift I can see some complaints there.
i think CAI charge about €600 a year.
 
Why don’t they amalgamate the organisations but just not allow CPAs to use the ACA/FCA designation? That seems to be the bugbear, i.e. people who couldn’t get the more prestigious ACA qualification sneaking in the back door of Pearse Street.
And run both sets of exams? I think the plan is to end the CPA exams entirely. I guess you could keep the 2 designations for a while. But it’d be a long while if you were to wait for current CPAs to retire. 40+ years at least. Messy
 
And run both sets of exams? I think the plan is to end the CPA exams entirely. I guess you could keep the 2 designations for a while. But it’d be a long while if you were to wait for current CPAs to retire. 40+ years at least. Messy
A small price to pay for maintaining standards. This merger only benefits CPAs in that they get to sneak in the back door of an Institute that they were either unable or unwilling to qualify for membership via conventional means.
 
And run both sets of exams? I think the plan is to end the CPA exams entirely. I guess you could keep the 2 designations for a while. But it’d be a long while if you were to wait for current CPAs to retire. 40+ years at least. Messy
In Canada, we were designated with the legacy status for a period, during which I utilized CPA, CA. This designation ceased after a decade, allowing us the freedom to opt for CPA or CPA CA. Initially, there were concerns about other entities benefiting from membership in the chartered body. However, this fear didn't materialize. The Big 4 were predominantly staffed by CAs, while medium and small businesses were largely represented by other bodies. This dynamic remains unchanged in Canada.
I come from an older mindset where there was an inherent belief in the superiority of our body. I vehemently opposed sharing our prestige with others. Reflecting on this now, I realize the error in my thinking. I'm grateful that the more prudent voices prevailed, leading to a stronger, unified body with a singular standard. We now speak with one voice. Best wishes to all. I empathize with your perspectives and extend my heartfelt wishes for success. Regardless of the outcome, change is inevitable. Considering the global trend towards consolidation, many of you may encounter merger discussions again in your lifetime. If it is not now, it will inevitably be revisited again.
 
Qualified as a CPA back in the 90's and then qualified as a Cima accountant later on. I am still an active member of both associations. Both qualifications were tough, can't comment on ACA exams or ACCA as never did them and can't imagine that you can be an expert on anything if you've never done it. I've never done an open book exam. In relation to the "sneak in the back door comment I think it's all out in the open and the ACA press release reads " Ms Donovan added that the tabled amalgamation is endorsed by the councils of both organisations and is “based on months of productive discussions and on a strong financial case”. The best way to sort something like this is by vote which is exactly the case. Cima have already formed a joint venture with the AICPA so really of no benefit to me but I will be voting yes as I am a progressive person, but I will keep my own designation. I know a lot of ACA's, ACCA's, CPA's and ACMA's, all good accountants and good people.
 
I'm glad to see a debate on here about the proposed merger, because there are not enough discussions online, on platforms like LinkedIN. I have made my own comments online in an effort to balance the discussion, but I think there are too many Chartered Accountants who are afraid to put up a negative comment with their name on it.

Anyway, my views.....
This is a win-win for CPAs, and we cannot begrudge them for accepting this offer that has been put in front of them. I have nothing negative to say about the CPA, and I have been an admirer of the CPA syllabus content for a few years now. Their course material often gives a far clearer understanding of accounting and tax topics that the ACCA or CAI material.

It's important to bear in mind, and this is not highlighted enough, that the CAI does not currently recognise CPA qualifications or membership for entry into CAI courses or membership !
See this link here - only CIMA and ACCA are recognised for exemptions:
charteredaccountants.ie/Prospective-Students/Entry-Routes/Member-of-another-body
And yet we are being told that a merger with a body that is not even recognised for exemptions makes sense !? Bizarre.
I asked this at a recent webinar and eventually got a response taking about how the exam syllabuses were similar....but no response addressing the question of non-recognition.

I can see zero tangible benefits for current CAI members, and I do feel sorry for those who worked damn hard to get their CAI qualification. CAI has always been the premium brand, and I'm not trying to be pompous with that comment. But this merger would be a dilution of the brand. I do not, for a single second, believe their nonsense about creating the largest professional body, and to have a louder voice. CAI is already the largest accounting body, and if they feel they are not already the loudest voice, then they're doing something wrong.

The only possible benefit to CAI members is that they have said there will be no increase in the sub next year. Again, a pitiful offering. With extra millions coming into the CAI with this merger, I'd be expecting a reduction in subs

Anyway, I will be voting No, purely for the reason that I think the CAI is trying to sell us a pup.
 
I'm glad to see a debate on here about the proposed merger, because there are not enough discussions online, on platforms like LinkedIN. I have made my own comments online in an effort to balance the discussion, but I think there are too many Chartered Accountants who are afraid to put up a negative comment with their name on it.

Anyway, my views.....
This is a win-win for CPAs, and we cannot begrudge them for accepting this offer that has been put in front of them. I have nothing negative to say about the CPA, and I have been an admirer of the CPA syllabus content for a few years now. Their course material often gives a far clearer understanding of accounting and tax topics that the ACCA or CAI material.

It's important to bear in mind, and this is not highlighted enough, that the CAI does not currently recognise CPA qualifications or membership for entry into CAI courses or membership !
See this link here - only CIMA and ACCA are recognised for exemptions:
charteredaccountants.ie/Prospective-Students/Entry-Routes/Member-of-another-body
And yet we are being told that a merger with a body that is not even recognised for exemptions makes sense !? Bizarre.
I asked this at a recent webinar and eventually got a response taking about how the exam syllabuses were similar....but no response addressing the question of non-recognition.

I can see zero tangible benefits for current CAI members, and I do feel sorry for those who worked damn hard to get their CAI qualification. CAI has always been the premium brand, and I'm not trying to be pompous with that comment. But this merger would be a dilution of the brand. I do not, for a single second, believe their nonsense about creating the largest professional body, and to have a louder voice. CAI is already the largest accounting body, and if they feel they are not already the loudest voice, then they're doing something wrong.

The only possible benefit to CAI members is that they have said there will be no increase in the sub next year. Again, a pitiful offering. With extra millions coming into the CAI with this merger, I'd be expecting a reduction in subs

Anyway, I will be voting No, purely for the reason that I think the CAI is trying to sell us a pup.
I believe there's only 7k COA members, so it does seem a strange arguement on the size of the combined membership.
 
They spent something insane like €58m on Chartered Accountants House. This proposal is the chickens kind of coming home to roost. The salient point is that the Institute doesn’t give any credit for CPA exams whereas it does for ACCA etc. So academically the Institute thinks CPAs are useless, but now for economic reasons they want to sneak them in the back door and give them Institute membership. It’s a farce.
 
So is ICAI doing this just for extra membership fees? Thats outrageous if thats the case.
How does one vote and when is it?
 
Do you think many CAI members vote in favour for this proposal?
The only messages coming from CAI are for a Yes vote (not surprising, and to be expected). They are roping in various dignatories for short videos to promote the Yes vote. BUT there are still lots of people attending the online and in-person information events. That tells me that there are some undecided, or wishing to challenge the apparent simplicity of the proposal. I reiterate my point that everyone (1) should vote, and (2) should vote in accordance with their own opinion, rather than with the crowd. If the Yes vote wins out, it's still important that the CAI also has a measure of the No vote.
 
Interesting about the non recognition of the CPA exams. I hadn’t realised that. I wonder if that’s just because it hasn’t been looked into for a while.

Also are the salaries in Pearse street very fat? l guess the annual report will tell me. Off to have a look now.
 
Interesting about the non recognition of the CPA exams. I hadn’t realised that. I wonder if that’s just because it hasn’t been looked into for a while.

Also are the salaries in Pearse street very fat? l guess the annual report will tell me. Off to have a look now.
Yes imo
 
There are some people in this discussion asking how to vote. You should have received an email from the CAI with the subject "IMPORTANT NOTICE - Open to cast Your Vote on Chartered Accountants Ireland's proposed amalgamation"
The voting is being managed by CIVICA Election Services, so maybe search for 'CIVICA' in your Inbox, or check your Spam folder. That email contains your login codes, and also contains a link to the Special General Meeting on 21st Feb.
If you haven't received that email, send an email to [email protected]
It's important to be able to vote if you're a CAI member.
Remember that online voting closes at 1pm on this coming Wednesday, 14th. After that, you can only vote in person at the Special General Meeting on 21st. Although I am not sure if you can vote online on the day of the SGM if you are attending it online. Best to get the vote in by 1pm on the 14th.

While reading the SGM booklet today, I have also just learned that CPA firms will, if the proposal is carried, be able to change their firm's title to "Chartered Accountants" - a HUGE bonus for current CPA firms. If I managed a Chartered firm, I'd hate to think that my direct competition has just grown by 20% !
 
They spent something insane like €58m on Chartered Accountants House. This proposal is the chickens kind of coming home to roost. The salient point is that the Institute doesn’t give any credit for CPA exams whereas it does for ACCA etc. So academically the Institute thinks CPAs are useless, but now for economic reasons they want to sneak them in the back door and give them Institute membership. It’s a farce.
Is 58m correct? It seems insane. I have never been in the building. That’s how much value I get from it.
 
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