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Accentuate the negative, chartered accountants,

Well the Scots not-so-narrowly voted no. I always thought it would be a good plan to get the desired result to be no, as in my experience a Scot’s first reaction to any form of change is usually a very firm no.

Actually, this may be unfair, as the Scots got their institute going in 1854, before the English. Indeed, it was the Scottish institute that first used the term chartered accountant, so they were important innovators for the profession. There have been some very significant accountants from North of the Border – William Barclay Peat and James Marwick, Robert Arthur Young, Sir David Tweedie (former chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board) and then, of course, Fred Goodwin. 

Oddly, our profession ended up as England and Wales in one body and Scotland in another – a pretty unique set-up without any input from the secessionist Alex Salmond. It seems that many other professions ended up as a British single entity and I really don’t know why the chartered accountants did not do the same. 

It also seems quite natural that there would be a single umbrella organisation with obvious economies of scale and greater influence. But personal agendas probably blocked this idea from ever being realised. Anyway, given that my idea of rebuilding Hadrian’s Wall and charging to travel south is now on hold, what will happen next?

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