PracticeAuditMore bad news for the ICAEW

More bad news for the ICAEW

Rightly or wrongly, the ICAEW has traditionally been seen as the gold standard of accountancy training. Its members usually account for the more senior positions in the bigger firms and the bigger companies.

We say usually because proving anything about how the six members of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies measure up to each other has always been very difficult, if not impossible.

But this week that gets easier, with the first major piece of research by the Accountancy Foundation revealing which institutes are on the rise and which of them are on the slide. It will make for depressing reading at Moorgate Place.

The most rapidly growing accountancy body since 1996 in terms of membership is ACCA with a growth rate of 52.3%. Second is the Irish chartered institute, the ICAI, which has grown by 27.4% since 1996.

Compare that with the ICAEW, which has grown by 9.7% over the last five years. The only crumb of comfort to Moorgate Place will be the fact that ICAS has expanded by just 6.4% over the period.

Of course there are mitigating circumstances – the chartereds point to strict controls over access. But the traditional argument that real growth at CIMA – and particularly at ACCA – comes from overseas does not stand up. They are growing strongly in the UK too.

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