ICAEW fails to match growth of rivals

Cracks are starting to appear in the ICAEW’s long held position as the
premier UK accounting body as new figures show that its membership figures
remain static, while other institutes continue to grow.

The Financial Reporting Council’s annual study of the key facts and trends in
the accountancy profession has shown that between 2003 and 2004 the ICAEW’s
membership in the UK and Ireland grew by just 308 members to 110,776, less than
0.3%. By comparison ACCA grew nearly 5% with 56,837 while CIMA saw its figures
jump by a similar margin to 51,386.

Worldwide, the ICAEW could soon be in danger of losing its largest institute
crown to ACCA with numbers up 954 to 126,597 compared to ACCA’s jump of 6,320 to
104,613. Overall, ACCA’s global membership has grown 46.2% in the last five

The ICAEW’s reputation as an old boys club also seems to be borne out by the
report. The percentage of female members is the lowest of all six UK and Irish
chartered institutes and failed to grow beyond 21% in 2004. All other institutes
showed growth in female membership, with ACCA having the highest percentage, at

The age profile of the ICAEW’s membership will also be causing concern to the
institutes management team. Worldwide, ACCA has more members aged under 45,
while the ICAEW has by far the largest number over 65 years old, standing at

The situation looks worse when student figures are taken into account. ACCA
has 73,839 students in the UK and Ireland, CIMA has 57,106, while the ICAEW has

Related reading

BAA logo _360x270