Sunday, December 19, 2010

What do the initials ACA stand for?

A recent advertising campaign by the ICAEW makes no mention of Chartered Accountants. It simply mentions ACAs.

Assume you didn't know that an ACA is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). What would you find out if you ask Google?
Looking just at the first few results you would have a choice of:
  • ACA training - for ICAEW
  • ACA is the representative body for UK consulting actuaries
  • ACA Sports Limited, a UK based online sports shop stocking Football Boots, Football Shirts, Team Kit, Footballs, Shin Guards, Goalkeeper Gloves and Clothing
  • ACA is an acronym that may refer to: A Current Affair, an Australian current affairs based television program [Thanks Wikipedia!]
  • Association for Continence Advice (ACA) - organisation for health and social care professionals concerned with the progression of care for continence.
Methinks someone is taking the proverbial!

And if you think that's bad, check out this more comprehensive list of ACA acronyms. It includes examples such as:
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics
  • Australian Cricketers' Association and
  • Asynchronous Criticality Avoidance
  • Oh, and this one: Association of Chartered Accountants.
Eh? An Association of Chartered Accountants? I thought it was an Institute.

The Americans aren't the only ones to be confused. ACA is also defined as 'Association of Chartered Accountants' on the BPP website. The links from that site make clear though that this is the same ACA as I have defined above. There is no Association. It's an Institute!

Many thanks to Justin Silverman for alerting me to the issue and thus inspiring this blog post.
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