ICA still leads the FTSE 100

Reports of the demise of chartered accountancy status are greatly exaggerated, according to a study which confirms qualified chartered accountants are still firmly entrenched as finance directors in the FTSE 100.

The survey, published today in Accountancy Age’s sister title Financial Director, revealed more than 75% of the UK’s top FDs are fully qualified accountants and, of those, 55 called themselves chartered accountants.

The bulk of qualified accountants in the survey were English ICA members.

The institute’s qualification is currently subject to a major overhaul designed to give students a broader view of business and equip them for life as an FD.

Robin Vaughan, secretary of the Board for Chartered Accountants in Business, said: ‘We may be working to improve it, but the status of chartered accountant is still very much sought after. Most intelligent people make a judgement that this is the best body to join.’

Only six of those asked were ACCA-qualified, but the certifieds’ association said its status was improving. A spokesman said: ‘The feedback we get from recruitment agencies is that demand for ACCA members is on the increase – our membership is growing at 14% per year. ‘They are not experiencing the same demand from chartered accountants.’

‘ACCA is strong in middle management at the moment, and as these people work their way through the ranks, the number of ACCA members among the FTSE 100 FDs will increase,’ he added.

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