The 127,000 members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales have received final proposals and voting papers on plans to integrate with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.
The new combined organisation would have 140,000 members, 14,000 students and combined revenues of more than £90 million. Eric Anstee, chief executive of the ICAEW, said: "We are stronger if we stand collectively on the issues and challenges facing the modern profession.
"Integration with CIPFA will create a clear commercial and intellectual leader for the industry. It will reinforce the Institute as the voice of the profession and deliver increased influence with Government and standard setters. It will also deliver substantial cost savings, which will be reinvested to benefit members, and also preserve the prestige and brand strength of the Institute."
Reginald Wynniatt-Husey, president of the Birmingham and West Midlands branch, added: "I believe that the future of the Institute is relevant to all its members and that our reputation as individual professionals is linked to that of the Institute.
"Over the next few weeks, both the ICAEW and CIPFA will be focusing on effectively communicating the issues surrounding integration and on encouraging the highest possible voting turnout. I believe that, for the future of our profession, a 'yes' vote on integration is the right thing to do." The deadline for receipt of postal, fax and online votes is October 23.
There is also the opportunity to vote in person at a special meeting on October 25 at Chartered Accountants' Hall in London. CIPFA is holding its special meeting at the same time, at The Guildhall in London, after which the results of the two votes will be announced.
A two-thirds majority of those voting is required from each institute for the integration proposals to proceed.
Meanwhile students who have already expressed an interest in a career in accountancy, business or finance are set to benefit from a new initiative.
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is joining forces with selected Business & Enterprise Schools in England, and one of the first is Trinity High School in Redditch. ACCA Insight Schools will provide support to schools committed to teaching business and enterprise as part of their syllabus.
Teachers and students will have personal achievement awards, a business game challenge, careers talks, free materials and magazines and membership of the Careers Research Advisory Council.