ICAEW: ‘We’re still number 1’

The ICAEW has defended its position as the premier accounting institute in
the UK, despite new figures showing that membership has practically stalled.

The institute acknowledged that the FRC’s annual report into the accounting
profession did not make pleasant reading, but warned that ‘it was not quite time
to write the epitaph of the ICAEW’.

Membership growth during 2004 was negligible, with just 308 extra members in
the UK and Ireland and 954 worldwide. At current growth rates, rival institute
ACCA will outstrip the ICAEW globally by 2008. It also had the smallest
proportion of female members and the largest number over 65.

Defending the institute Vernon Soare, executive director of professional
standards at the ICAEW, said leadership and influence were also important
factors. ‘We still believe we are the premier institute, but we are trying to
address some of the issues highlighted by the report.’

Reviews of the ACA qualification and syllabus were regularly undertaken. He
believed the 2005 figures would show improvement.

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