Accountancy Age reports that the latest survey of accountancy by the Professional Oversight Board shows that ACCA had 137,233 members worldwide in 2009, up from 131,398 a year earlier. The ICAEW saw member numbers increase to 134,698 from 132,411.
ACCA is now larger than the ICAEW.
Sadly this may be used by the ICAEW as an excuse to dilute the brand by making it easier to join the ICAEW.
A quote by "Peter" on the AA website alludes to the fact that this is already happening:
"If the ICAEW is more elitist as the second comment claims why is it the case that they now allow members of other chartered institutes, ie CIMA, ACCA, to become ICAEW members (through the Pathways to Membership programme) without even taking the exams of the ICAEW after they have been fully paid up members of their own institutes for 5 years.
The ACCA and CIMA would only allow members of the ICAEW to become members of their institutes after passing the final exams of their respective institutes regardless of how many years they have been members of the ICAEW."