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ICAEW Foundation

Shaping the future. A unique opportunity for today's generation to make a contribution of lasting benefit and to help shape the future of our profession.

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What is the ICAEW Foundation?

Launched in 2007, ICAEW Foundation is helping to shape the future of the profession by creating life-changing opportunities for disadvantaged students, producing industry research that inspires business confidence and fostering closer ties between academia and the profession.

We also support the work of Mango by funding bursaries to provide accounting skills training to individuals working in non-governmental organisations in Africa and Asia. 

We have raised almost £2.6m but still have a challenging way to go to reach our goal of £10m by 2017. Your help and support is needed more than ever to make a real difference.

ICAEW Foundations objectives


The Foundation provides annual bursaries to talented aspiring students in universities and business schools in the UK and around the world. We currently provide seven bursaries through CASS Business School and the Universities of Cardiff, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester (two) and Warwick for students studying in the accountancy and finance field. Please see the links below to the individual universities. 

ICAEW Bursary recipients: case studies

Library Services and Heritage

The Foundation aims to enhance the ICAEW’s world-leading specialist Library and Information service (LIS) and to conserve the heritage of Chartered Accountants’ Hall, the ICAEW’s symbolic headquarters.

Chartered Accountants’ Hall is home to one of the finest specialist libraries in the world.

As a global centre of excellence for accountancy and business, it provides immediate access to a first class range of up-to-date accounting, legal, market information, news and research services. The Foundation will build an endowment to ensure that the LIS continues to provide the most comprehensive service to the profession and businesses worldwide.

Designed by John Belcher in the Italian renaissance style in 1890, Chartered Accountants’ Hall is a listed architectural landmark. It is not only a place of historic and architectural interest, but a symbol of the continuity and relevance of one of the longest established professions in the world. It is a working building that reflects the position of the ICAEW as a world-leading body. The conservation and preservation of our historic home for the benefit of current and future members is therefore a duty we take seriously.

£2m would endow the income needed to enhance the superb Library and Information service, as well as contributing to the heritage of the ICAEW’s prestigious headquarters.

Rare Books Collection

The LIS is the custodian of over 3,000 archived rare books on accounting. Spanning six centuries, these volumes are the result of over 100 years of careful collection and include Pacioli’s “Summa di arithmetica”.

Written in 1494 it is the earliest known treatise on double-entry book-keeping. Another highlight is the earliest extant original text on accounting in the English language called “The maner and Fourme how to keep a perfecte reconying…" written by Peele in 1553.

The Foundation aims to fund specialist projects such as cataloguing these rare archives and making them available online. This would provide accounting professionals, academics and the public with unique access to valuable historic information relating to the development of accounting and commerce.


The Foundation is initiating new and practical research into key financial and business issues. Key issues include corporate governance and risk management, inspiring confidence in financial services and SMEs as future engines of growth in the economy.

In the wake of the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression, there is a pressing need for higher levels of funding to provide significant, groundbreaking research which is relevant to the profession, business and policy-makers in the UK and internationally.

There is also a need for more practical market focused studies. Government and regulators, for instance, welcome and benefit from high quality academic research, especially when it brings insight and understanding on issues that matter to them.

£3m would give us enough income to increase the range of research projects.

Case study - Getting It Right

Getting It Right is a comprehensive study on risk management in non-financial FTSE companies. Concentrating on board governance of risk and highlighting good practice, it complements the Walker Review which looked specifically at financial services. You can download a free copy of this report - and perhaps you would consider making a donation to the Foundation here: committedgiving.uk.net/icaewf/public/donor.aspx

A clear message from this research is the need for existing regulation to be implemented more effectively. Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of the Weir Group plc and Scottish and Southern Energy plc, addresses this finding in the report’s foreword: ‘We need to concentrate on making our present system of governance work well, not on adding more regulation. The ICAEW Foundation is to be applauded on taking the initiative to undertake more detailed research in this area.’

We are always open to suggestions regarding proposed research projects in the fields of risk management or corporate governance, or in related audit & reporting issues. Please e-mail us at foundation@icaew.com.

Teaching and PhD Fellowships

The Foundation will create teaching and PhD fellowships to enable practising accountants to bring their personal business experience into universities, business schools and academic research.

Not enough professionally qualified accountants are being recruited as teachers in our leading business schools today. Practising accountants have the knowledge and experience that is absolutely essential to give students a realistic, pragmatic and balanced outlook.

While it is unrealistic to expect working accountants to move into teaching unsupported, teaching fellowships offer an ideal solution.

The lack of clear routes into academia for qualified accountants is having a negative effect on the approach and topicality of research. The foundation will therefore sponsor PhD fellowships for practitioners who want to move into academia, with funding to cover doctoral fees and suitable maintenance.

£2m would endow up to three named fellowships at key centres of learning.

What is a Teaching Fellowship?

A Teaching Fellowship is a flexible commitment that can be adapted to suit your professional specialisation and personal circumstances. Fellows have many options ranging from one-off lectures in their expert field, recurring lectures on particular topics or even teaching regularly as part of a core curriculum.

Whether you wish to share your practical experience for the benefit of future accountants or make a transition to teaching, key attributes include: a desire to teach, a passion for your subject and the ability to make lectures practical, relevant and interesting.

If you would like to express your interest in Teaching or PhD Fellowships, or require more information, please email us at foundation@icaew.com.


The Foundation is not currently providing any prizes.

We aim to build a £500,000 endowment to create new prizes and restore the value of existing ICAEW prizes. Prizes often commemorate the achievements of individuals by family, friends and colleagues. Please contact the Foundation Office if you want to discuss the creation of a prize.

Shaping the future of Accountancy

This is your opportunity to acknowledge the advantages and benefits of being an ICAEW Chartered Accountant and make a real difference to the aspiring professional lives of current and future generations.

Applying for an ICAEW Foundation Bursary

ICAEW Foundation offers a very limited number of bursaries and the awarding criteria is strictly applied. Our bursaries are specifically for talented but financially disadvantaged (a family income of circa £25,000 pa) school leavers who would like to study for an accountancy or finance related degree at university. If you think you broadly qualify for an ICAEW Foundation bursary please complete and return the attached form to Caroline Kearns (details are on the form). Deadline for submission is 1 September each year.

PwC and ICAEW Foundation Bursary

ICAEW Foundation and PwC are partnering to support students from low income backgrounds on the PwC Flying Start partnership degree programmes. Four student bursaries are available, one each at Newcastle, Nottingham and Reading Universities, with the fourth selected from one of these universities. 

Contact the Foundation

To discuss how you can become involved with and support the Foundation, please contact Caroline Kearns.

T: 020 7920 3539 
E: caroline.kearns@icaew.com