By Peter Holgate
By Elizabeth Buckley
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2009
Online Publication Date:November 2009
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511575631.006
The accountancy profession
There are currently six major accountancy bodies in the UK and Ireland:
The vast majority of practising members of the profession are in one of the first three Institutes. The ICAEW is the largest body, although ICAS is proud to be the oldest. ACCA includes some practitioners and many members overseas. Many of the members of these four bodies, having trained in the profession, work in industry and commerce, and members of CIMA do so almost exclusively. CIPFA members work almost entirely in the public sector.
These bodies to some extent compete with each other – not least for students and, therefore, for members. They also cooperate on some matters through the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB). Setting accounting standards and auditing standards used to be in the domain of the CCAB – the Accounting Standards Committee and the Auditing Practices Committee were CCAB bodies from the 1970s for about twenty years. However, as explained in chapter 2, the accounting standards activity was moved away from the profession in 1990 when the new Accounting Standards Board (see below) was formed. Similarly, a new Auditing Practices Board was formed in April 2002, thus removing a second important role from the professional bodies.