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An overview of ICAEW

ICAEW is a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 180,000 chartered accountants and students worldwide. We provide qualifications and professional development, share our knowledge, insight and technical expertise, and protect the quality and integrity of the accountancy and finance profession.

As leaders in accountancy, finance and business our members have the knowledge, skills and commitment to maintain the highest professional standards and integrity. Together we contribute to the success of individuals, organisations, communities and economies around the world.

Key facts about ICAEW 

  • Name: ICAEW (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales)
  • Founded: 1880
  • Headquarters: Chartered Accountants' Hall, London
  • Offices: UK, Beijing, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Singapore and Vietnam
  • Members: over 150,000 chartered accountants around the world

Our Unifying Dividers

Economia embodies the values that have always been at the core of our organisation. She has appeared on our coat of arms since 1880 and features on the facade of our London home, Chartered Accountants’ Hall.

She has three symbolic tools. The rod signifies command, the rudder represents guidance. The red dividers represent her unique powers of measurement and assessment, as well as her ability to draw perceptive insights from the world around her.

It’s those unique insights which enable us to contribute meaningfully and dynamically to our profession and the wider industry.

ICAEW logo

Creating a world of strong economies together

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Although accountancy is hundreds of years old, it wasn’t until after the middle of the 19th century that the professional accountant became recognised. ICAEW was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1880, giving our members the right to use the designation ‘chartered accountant’.

Many of the founding fathers of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms were early ICAEW presidents - names such as Arthur Cooper, Frederick Whinney, William Welch Deloitte and Sir William Peat.

  • 1880 On 11 May ICAEW was granted a Royal Charter recognising its 'pre-eminence, stability and permanence' as well as defining its public interest remit.
  • 1893 Chartered Accountants' Hall, in the City of London, was completed to the design of the eminent Victorian architect, Sir John Belcher RA.
  • 1920 Mary Harris Smith is admitted to ICAEW, becoming the first female chartered accountant in the world.
  • 1930 The first extension to Chartered Accountant's Hall is built by J.J. Joass.
  • 1970 The extended and new building at Chartered Accountants’ Hall is opened by Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
  • 1999 Baronness Noakes is the first woman to become president of ICAEW.
  • 2006 ICAEW are appointed by the European Commission to study the implementation of IFRS throughout the European Union.

Learn more about

For more information contact library@icaew.com

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Headquartered in the UK, we also have offices in Brussels, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.