The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) will consult their membership on whether they are up for further integration between the two professional bodies.

Until April, AICPA and CIMA will stimulate discussions and issue a consultation on the state of their current joint venture, launched in 2011, and will find ways to take their collaborative relationship to the next level setting a common management structure.

What the professional bodies seem to have in mind is to revamp the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, created at the time the joint venture was launched.

The CEO of the beefed-up association would initially be current AICPA president and CEO Barry Melancon.

The proposition would not involve dismantling the council of each body and their respective qualification, nor would CIMA’s royal charter be repealed.

The association would be an "engine room" to enable both bodies to have one voice and one strategy, as described by a source close to the situation.

The initiative would be presented to members as a way to exploit synergies, improve efficiency, promote their employability and provide them with greater support – with no membership fees rise.

If the feedback from the consultation is positive towards the integration, a vote will be held in due course. CIMA students will have a say in the consultation but are not eligible to vote.

The proposition is the result of a year-long internal debate as part of CIMA’s vision for 2020, in which a transatlantic merger is not on the cards.

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Consolidation trends: AICPA and CIMA call ‘referendum’ on transatlantic integration