Lawyers boot CPAs from members club

The dramatic decision was made recently at the end of a series of hearings.

Gavel [Illustrative] (photo credit: INIMAGE)
Gavel [Illustrative]
(photo credit: INIMAGE)
Israel Bar Association president Avi Haimi ordered the immediate release of thousands of accountants from the Extra Members Consumer Club in light of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (ICPA) refusal to meet financial obligations to the club, which is managed by the IBA.
“The lawyers will not be the accountants’ ATM,” Haimi said. “They do not want to. They do not need to.” At the same time, the IBA’s central committee approved a claim from the ICPA for NIS 1 million for past debts.
The dramatic decision was made recently at the end of a series of hearings, and after a number of letters of warning were sent to the ICPA’s office and to its president, Iris Stark. In the letters, the lawyers clarified that they would not be an ATM for the ICPA and would not be an economic source in light of the financial strength of the Extra Members Club.
In response to the Bar Association’s demand and letters of warning, Stark claimed that the policy of the ICPA is the same as it was under the former president of the ICPA, Yizhar Kana.
In response, Haimi replied: “Agreements must be respected. The lawyers will not fund the accountants. The club loyally serves everyone. If they do not pay the debt to the club, they will not enjoy the benefits. I ordered to sever contact with them and take them out of the club.
“The accountants benefit from our economic strength. This is a great and significant benefit. They enjoy a successful consumer club, which is gaining momentum. They are not willing to pay their relative share of the cost of running the club, and we will not agree to that. After sending a number of warnings and unwillingness to meet the obligations, I ordered separation. We will continue to run the club for the welfare of tens of thousands of lawyers and tax consultants who are members of the club. In addition, I ordered to sue the ICPA for NIS 1 million for past debts.“
In 2017, the Members Consumer Club was rebranded, and the Extra Members Club was launched, which is home to tens of thousands of Israeli lawyers and accountants. The idea of branding and re-launching was to upgrade the club and the services and benefits it offers to its members. In order to manage the club, it was decided that the expenses would be distributed among the bureaus proportionately.
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants rejected all the Bar Association's claims.
"We are sorry that the Bar Association is taking steps that are not respectable, are illegitimate and violate the understandings and summaries of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants with the Israel Bar Association regarding the activities of the club," the group said.
"We hope that [these claims] are not [coming] because of the election period in the Israel Bar Association or due to unaccountable misfortune in the club. There are those who seek to create crises for the sake of elections or to try to find an address to eradicate the deficits."