The ACCA – an organisation worth quitting

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A few weeks back I wrote a blog about comments made by Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at Britain's Association of Chartered Certified Accountants that I found quite unacceptable. In doing so I noted the following:

I am a member of the ACCA's research committee, in which context I meet Chas Roy-Chowdhury. I am not a member of the ACCA.

So troubling did I find Roy-Chowdhury's comments that I wrote to the ACCA asking if they reflected its policy and saying that if they did that I would have to consider my future position on the ACCA research committee.

I have now had a response, accepting my resignation (although I had not actually offered it, as such). The conclusion is obvious: Roy-Chowdhury's comments do reflect ACCA policy.

I have to say I am saddened by this. He himself has often told me he thinks I am an extreme left winger. All that proves, I have told him, is just how right-wing he is, for the comments I make and many of the suggestions I propose are reflected in the policies of all three of the UK's main political parties on occasion. Those he proposes on behalf of the ACCA could be proposed by a political party in the UK that was seriously expecting to enjoy a democratic mandate. In that sense he occupies the same space as the Taxpayer's Alliance.

Is this really where one of the UK's main professional bodies should be? It's very worrying if it is, because it puts itself far outside the spectrum of reasoned debate on viable taxation policies that professional people should engage with if that is the case.

I'm disappointed by having had my resignation accepted. I'm much more disappointed by the action of the ACCA in failing to curtail the clear exploitation of its status by one of its employees for the advancement of his own political opinions.