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UK and Australian professional organisations unite to form the worlds biggest accountancy body

The 9,000 member and student strong UK-based Institute of Financial Accountants, (IFA) which was formed in 1916, has agreed terms to amalgamate with Australia’s Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), a 26,000-strong membership organisation. Both Institutes focus their attention on the accounting and taxation reporting needs of small and medium sized accountancy practices and businesses.

The autonomy and brands of each Institute will be preserved and, the office-bearers of each believe, amalgamation will “provide the foundation of a stronger, more powerful voice for members and the sector globally”.

The IFA brand will continue to operate as part of the IPA Group, which will have a worldwide membership, including students, in excess of 35,000 across more than 80 countries. It will be based on the premise: “one member- two Institutes - three keybenefits”.

IFA members are being asked to endorse the proposal in a vote scheduled for mid-December 2014.

Catherine Chamberlain, Chairman of the IFA Council, said:“this agreement will bring three key benefits: greater efficiency, greater effectiveness and greater value for members.

“We in the IFA acknowledge that we need to secure stepped growth in our membership numbers and enhancement of 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.

“To help us achieve this long-held strategic goal, we need to join forces with a credible, like-minded, dynamic accountancy body that shares our vision to lead the profession globally and to have a lasting impact on the professional careers of our members long into the future.

“The IFA Council strongly believes in this strategic direction and fully commends it to IFA members for approval,” said Ms Chamberlain.

Jason Parker, President and Chairman of the IPA, said: “we are excited that the coming together of the IPA and IFA 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.”

The proposal to unite the two bodies will be put to the vote of IFA members and the result is expected to be announced in mid-December 2014. Following ratification by the membership, the target date for legal completion is 31 December 2014.

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