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Membership of Accounting Body Value Proposition

ACCA, UK claims "The world largest and fastest growing global accountancy body."

CIMA UK - "is a leading membership body that offers an internationally recognised professional qualification in management accountancy, which focuses on accounting for business."

ICAEW, UK - "As a world leading professional accountancy body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) provides leadership and practical support to over 130,000 members in more then 160 countries, working with government, regulators and industry in order to maintain the highest standards."

Australian Superbikes

Source : Australian Superbikes

ICAI, India - "The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is a statutory body established under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (Act No. XXXVIII of 1949) for the regulation of the profession of Chartered Accountants in India. During its more than five decades of existence, ICAI has achieved recognition as a premier accounting body not only in the country but also globally, for its contribution in the fields of education,....

ICWAI, India: "We are a premier, dynamic, vibrant professional institution actively associating itself in the industrial and economic development of the nation. The profession places itself at the service of the nation, government, industry, and the society to realise the objectives of a welfare state resulting in the prosperity and the well being of its people - a fact increasingly realised with the opening up of the country's economy and change in the economic scenario of the world."

The real test lies is "What is the benefit of being a member of a particular accounting body ?" Or to rephrase "What is the added value of being a member of premier accounting body ?"

I looked at the membership section on the website of each of the professional body and analysed what each institute offers their members in promoting the profession. Of course, it is difficult to make a judgement looking at the website but it gives a fair view what an Institute can do for its members and profession.

ACCA, UK : Offers CPD, learning opportunities and Job portal for members. Access to publication, booklet and fact sheet for the members. Online resource providing free access to UK and international Accounting and Auditing Standards. Global support to the members who are spread across 80 countries.

CIMA, UK: The members section does not have much details. The section which states, "As a student, member or one of our business partners, you will already have a unique Contact ID. You can use this to create your own My CIMA sign in and access our wide range of personalised services and resources that are all tailored to your needs."

ICAEW, UK: The member section has a wealth of information. This ranges from Members News and Event, Branding the Profession, Online library with collection of over 40,000 books, Business Essentials, Practise Information, Resources and Support, Products and Services, Special Interest Groups and much more. The Institute also has Press and Policy comments. Also see Service Standards.

ICAI, India: Members section focussed on what services Chartered Accountant can provide rather what the institute can offer. However Resource section is very impressive with list of Accounting Standards, Guidelines and circular which is useful for the members as well as the general public.

ICWAI, India: Membership section has resources and download section with Cost Accounting Standards and few other items.

The best institute to reckon is ICAEW, UK with maturity it displays on the website in all matters concerning the profession. The depth of information contained in the website demonstrates its leadership in the profession and the other accounting bodies are bound to follow. The cross recognition with the other accounting bodies will help the mobility of members globally. The service standard section acknowledges the Institute has a strong infrastructure to respond.

ICAI, India website is not focussed for its members but the contents are available to general public, which is really a plus. Although ICAI is the only accounting body (without any parallel in India), it has made a lot of progress in past one year. Thanks to Mr. Sunil Talati. The members of ICAI are bound to gain from the statutory protection for assignments in the country and as professionals they will never be out of work. Outside the country.... they will face a uphill task.

ACCA, UK has been forefront in promoting itself globally with a membership base in 80 countries. They have recognition arrangements with lot of accounting bodies in the world and actively pursing to cover all the accounting bodies in the world. The reason ACCA, UK does not have full recognition arrangements with the other Chartered bodies (recognised under Royal Charter) primarily they have recognition arrangement with ICAEW, UK.

CIMA, UK has been promoting as 'Accountant for the Business'. Practise areas very limited but their members are positioned as backbone of business. Competing with MBAs.

So far the best value for membership is : - ICAEW, UK. Share your thoughts and comments on this topic.

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Santosh Puthran

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