What Is the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)?

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) is the world's first professional body of accountancy professionals. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland received its royal charter in 1854 and was the first to adopt the designation "Chartered Accountant" and the designatory letters, CA.

The goal of the ICAS is to uphold the standards of integrity and educational excellence of the chartered accountant profession. The CA designation is recognized worldwide. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland has 23,000 members.

Key Takeaways

  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) is the world's first professional body of accountancy professionals. It received its charter in 1854.
  • The goal of the ICAS is to uphold the standards of integrity and educational excellence of the chartered accountant profession. 
  • The objectives of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland are to develop business leaders of tomorrow, promote the distinctive CA brand, lead professional change, offer lifelong relevance for its 23,000 members, and deliver quality and value through continuous improvement. 
  • ICAS provides individuals with a variety of paths to becoming chartered accountants depending on their background and qualifications.
  • As a student, individuals will have access to coursework, exam materials, test mocks, learning updates, and a variety of other resources.

Understanding the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) has played a leading role in the development of the accountancy profession since its formation. It has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London. The ICAS has mutual recognition agreements with other Institutes of Chartered Accountants based in other countries. 

The objectives of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland are to develop business leaders of tomorrow, promote the distinctive CA brand, lead professional change, offer lifelong relevance for its members, and deliver quality and value through continuous improvement. 

Membership

ICAS's membership focuses on its membership value proposition, which has four key components. They are (1) connect and help to succeed, (2) public trust and big voice, (3) innovate for the future, and (4) customer-centric organization.

Under its connect and help to succeed proposition, ICAS has a global network of CAs for individuals to connect with. ICAS also provides professional resources and technical guidance for individuals, a digital community, training courses and resources, podcasts, magazines, webinars, events, and mentoring opportunities.

Under ICAS's public trust and big voice proposition, the organization focuses on an international code of ethics, thought leadership on the profession to drive its future, active engagement with politicians, regulators, and stakeholders, promoting diversity and inclusion, and public policy contributions and regulatory advice to promote the public interest.

Under the innovate for the future proposition, ICAS focuses on leveraging technology to train CPA candidates. This concentrates on digital delivery, the CA Summit, a digital conference, the CA training program, and online teaching and assessment.

For the customer-centric proposition, ICAS stresses assistance in every way for members. This includes customer support, workplace advice, member rewards, a practice support team, and a focus on fitness, health, and well-being.

Becoming a Chartered Accountant

Through its membership, ICAS offers individuals a variety of paths to becoming a chartered accountant, depending on their background. These include the graduate entry route, the school leaver route, the apprenticeship route, and the professional route.

Once enrolled, students will be able to take classes, complete coursework, and study for the exam. ICAS provides an in-depth portal for individuals to assist in becoming chartered accountants. The portal includes progress and test mocks, achievement logs, a variety of additional learning materials and resources, learning updates, and student rewards. Once ready, candidates can book the CA exam through ICAS.

Becoming a chartered accountant can open the doors to a variety of jobs in many different fields, not just accounting firms. Individuals can work in government, tech, business, and finance. The job is prestigious and comes with competitive salaries and is generally a secure career as chartered accountants are always in demand.

And as the chartered accountant designation is recognized internationally, individuals have the opportunity of working abroad without having to complete other certifications. According to ICAS, 14% of its members work overseas.

What Is the ICAS Qualification?

The ICAS qualification is a chartered accountant (CA) qualification that is designed to deliver a candidate with the knowledge and skills to become a CA. Subjects covered include finance, accounting, management information technology, business tax, financial reporting, and more.

Is ICAS Scottish?

Yes, ICAS is a Scottish organization based in Scotland; however, the organization takes members from all over the world. It allows entry for international students who have degrees that are equivalent to the required U.K. degrees.

How Much Do Chartered Accountants Make?

The average annual salary for a chartered accountant in the U.S. is $80,000. This ranges from a low of $19,000 to a high of $154,000. The salary will depend on an individual's company, location, and years of experience.