The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) was established by Royal Charter in 1880. It has over 147,000 members.
Over 15,000 of these members live and work outside the UK. The Institute also has some 9,000 students.
The Institute is a member of the Consultative Committee of Accounting Bodies (CCAB), formed in 1974 by the major accountancy professional bodies in the UK and Ireland. The fragmented nature of the accountancy profession in the UK is in part due to the absence of any legal requirement for an accountant to be a member of one of the many Institutes, as the term accountant does not have legal protection. However, a person must belong to the ICAEW, ICAS or CAI to hold themselves out as as a Chartered Accountant in the UK (although there are other chartered bodies of British Qualified Accountants whose members are likewise authorised to conduct restricted work such as auditing).
The ICAEW has two offices in the UK; the main one is in Moorgate , London and the other in Milton Keynes, in the newly built Hub:MK complex. In 2009 it also opened regional offices in Singapore and Dubai to support its members in Asia, followed by Beijing in 2011.