HomeBussinessMerger of two guilds will benefit accounting profession, court told

Merger of two guilds will benefit accounting profession, court told


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Merging its two professional bodies “offers the best pathway forward”, the court was told, as it was asked to approve the amalgamation.

Certified Public Accountants (CPA) Ireland was granted permission yesterday to enter into the court’s fast-track commercial division its application for approval for a scheme of arrangement which will lead to its amalgamation with the larger Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI).

Mr Justice Michael Twomey agreed, on the application of Brian Kennedy SC for the CPA, to admit the matter to the commercial list and approved directions for an early hearing.

The CPA was set up in 1943 and has about 4,828 members. It was the first accountancy body to introduce a mandatory regime of continuing professional development.

The CAI was established in 1888 and has almost 33,000 members, and provides education for 6,000 students. Both are regulated by the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority in Ireland.

Both sets of members have already voted in favour of the amalgamation.

In an affidavit seeking entry of the application to the Commercial Court, CPA chief executive officer Eamonn Siggins said the merger will have “a significant impact” on the accountancy profession in Ireland.

He said the profession is “facing a generational challenge in terms of attractiveness to new entrants” and in terms of the rapid development of emerging technologies and increased engagement with regulators and other government agencies.

In response to these developments, accountancy bodies across the globe have developed closer ties and, in many cases, amalgamated to strengthen the profession’s strategic positioning and meet the shared challenges and opportunities of this “ever-changing landscape”, he said.

The objectives of the amalgamation, the High Court was told, include supporting the accountancy profession more efficiently with combined scale and resources, increasing the influence of the profession in Ireland, and offering an enhanced member proposition to attract new candidates.

The proposal will be put to CPA members at a meeting on May 17.

Details of the meeting are to be advertised in the Financial Times and Iris Oifigiúil.

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