Published: 17/11/2005 Volume 115 No. 5982 PageThe failure of the proposals to integrate the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales - albeit by the narrowest of margins - represents a missed opportunity.

The boundaries between public and private sectors have become increasingly blurred in recent years and there is a growing requirement for accountants from both sides to share knowledge and expertise.

The NHS is increasingly seeking commercial finance skills to push modernisation. Foundation hospitals, payment by results and shared services are just some of the new realities driving the need for finance skills more traditionally found in the private sector.