'Cognitor' Designation Moves Forward, Despite Defections

Following last week's defections by the Scots and Irish institutes, Bob Elliott, Chairman of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants confirmed that the remaining partners are pressing ahead with plans for the new global credential, currently referred to as "Cognitor."

"The leadership in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have expressed strong support for continuing the work," said AICPA Chairman Bob Elliott. "Also, there is interest in continental Europe which confirms that the idea has validity."

The Scots and Irish institutes' decision to bail out of the Cognitor project may not prove fatal, but there is still a long way to go for the remaining participating bodies. The two defectors voiced concern about the Cognitor business plan and the costs of the project may prove too high for larger bodies.

The English Institute has been reviewing its commitment and will discuss the international designation idea at its council meeting on Wednesday. The North American bodies conceived of the new designation, but even they have yet to gain the backing of their members. A month ago, for example, the AICPA postponed a vote on Cognitor until next spring.

AICPA's Elliott was defiant. "The concept remains sound. The research results were compelling," he said.

"All the CEOs of the original partners were involved in the development and review of the preliminary business plan. The plan remains the subject of constant review and analysis. We also are in the midst of developing a global marketing. The UK Institutes may change their minds. We know there is marketplace interest in England, Ireland and Scotland - the research confirmed it."

Editor's Note: Since this story was published, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has also decided to pull out of the global designation project.

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