International merger proposed by UK-Australian accountancy institutes

10th December 2014

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The UK's Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) has agreed terms to merge with the Institute of Public Accountants of Australia (IPA) in order to continue to grow. The two institutes will form the IPA Group, the world’s largest SME/SMP professional accountancy group.

This new international coalition would form a 35,000 member strong group. The partnership is conditional on a vote due mid-December at a special general meeting of the IFA, where members must agree by a majority of more than 50 per cent.

A strong working relationship has been maintained between the two groups since 2003 and they solidified the partnership in 2012. The IFA decided upon a joining with the IPA after reviewing a variety of alternatives for amalgamation as it “represents the best option for growth” and will “provide the foundation of a stronger, more powerful voice for members and the sector globally”, said the IPA.

The two institutes will be self-governed and the individual brands will be maintained but will share a common worldwide membership with the ideal goal being “one group, two Institutes, and three key benefits”.

Chairman of the IFA Council, Catherine Chamberlain, said the three main advantages of this partnership will be “greater efficiency, greater effectiveness and greater value for members”. She also highlighted how this will allow the IFA to “secure stepped growth in our membership numbers and enhance our current operating model to give us a leading role as the voice both of the SME and of the small and medium-sized professional practice”.

Ms Chamberlain also highlighted how “the IFA Council strongly believes in this strategic direction and fully commends it to IFA members for approval”.

The joining is also celebrated by Jason Parker, president and chairman of the IPA, as he believes the agreement will “culminate in a managed and structured transition which will drive member value and achieve substantial efficiencies”.

“We see this amalgamation as a development which will enhance both the public interest and the accountancy profession globally” he said and then added that benefits for members will include “greater global reach and influence and an expanded membership pathway”.

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