Going global with ICAEW
ICAEW members can now be found in 152 countries around the world, confirming just how international the Institute has become, writes Will Brooks, London member of ICAEW Council.
Most of us have contacts - and a lot have work as well - outside the UK, but even so, many members typically still see ICAEW as a UK body and the ACA wholly or mainly as a UK qualification. This isn’t correct: things have changed.
Did you know that being an ICAEW Chartered Accountant gives you the right to apply for reciprocal membership of chartered accountancy bodies in other countries? There’s a wide range of them: South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ireland and Zimbabwe are just examples. Oh - and Scotland, of course!
So, if your professional career takes you abroad, you can often obtain similar rights and privileges there as you have here.
More change is afoot, both here and overseas. Some 13 of the 92 members of our Council are based outside the UK. Why do we have so many non-UK representatives? Because a similar proportion of our members, around 23,000 out of 149,000, are registered overseas - and that excludes quite a lot of secondees or dual-resident members who still show as UK.
ICAEW has become an international body, whether we like it or not. We now have members in 152 countries. Through their Council members and through other active members outside the UK, these people bring a 'world view' to our deliberations, which didn’t exist not so many years ago.
You may have heard a good deal already about how ICAEW’s relationship with individual members and firms is changing - the advance of digital communication, more webinars, communities and networking services that will be there if you want them. These developments will help to maintain cohesion between all of us, wherever we are.
Don’t worry, Council and the management team are not taking their eyes away from the UK. There is still a lot going on to improve our organisation and to extend our influence and privileges here - and we have to deliver a home vision if members are to support our work overseas. But extending our reach outside must happen.
The world is getting smaller.
Will Brooks is managing director of Eximus Capital and is a past president of the LSCA. He is a member of ICAEW Council and a member of ICAEW’s Board.
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