Since the institute's council first gave its approval in 2004 to our proposals to integrate, we have consulted widely with members and refined our proposals on the back of this feedback. Having done so, we now have an agreed proposal for which we want to seek members' support through a vote.
I am convinced that the phrase we have used in our previous communications - that integration is an 'historic opportunity' - remains absolutely true.
Our profession has historically seized an opportunity to develop and transform itself and it is because of this willingness to embrace change that the profession is now a linchpin of modern economic activity.
The partnership we are proposing is focused on operational alignment, as well as a bringing together of expertise and resource to create an institute whose expertise and influence is unique on the world stage.
CIPFA and the ICAEW already have a history of working together, through the International Federation of Accountants and the European Federation of Accountants, as well as the CCAB in the UK. Greater crossover between private and public sector issues surrounding accounting and auditing is making a stronger relationship more important.
On 13 September, we are jointly holding a policy breakfast on the Public Sector Efficiency Review to be held at the Cinnamon Club in Westminster.
Clearly, measurement, control and transparent reporting are the heartland of accountants in our search for added-value and value for money in whichever sector. This event will provide the opportunity to demonstrate to key opinion formers how accountants' knowledge transfer between public and private sectors is both necessary to developing best practice and in the public interest.
It has taken a little over a year to prepare these proposals and I have made it my mission to ensure that all members have access to the information as the plans have developed.
We are now entering the final phase leading to an all member vote on 25 October and it is imperative that every one of us has the full facts in order to make an informed choice. This is why we will be commencing a wide-ranging communications campaign in September and October.
Clearly, it will be up to individuals to decide whether or not to analyse and participate but I echo our president's sentiments: the future of our institute is relevant to all members. To think otherwise serves neither our professional body nor our fellow chartered accountants, existing or future.
As chief executive, my obligation is to point the direction. As members, it is your obligation to decide whether or not you want to go there. Please take the opportunity to vote.
VOTING PAPERS TO BE SENT OUT THIS MONTH
Look out for the institute integration special report in next month's Accountancy.
On the 30 September the ICAEW will be sending out voting papers to all members asking them to vote on the institute's integration with CIPFA.
Members have until 25 October to submit their votes. On that day the results will be announced at a special meeting at the ICAEW's Moorgate headquarters.
Next month's issue of Accountancy, out at the beginning of October, will include a comprehensive special report analysing the proposals, looking at the two institutes and their roles, and asking members from around the country what they think.
AN OPEN LETTER TO ICAEW MEMBERS FROM THE PRESIDENT
This month's letters page features an open letter from ICAEW president Ian Morris on the institute's integration with CIPFA. Turn to p21.