The ICAEW's ambitions know no bounds (internatioanlly at least).
Accountancy Age reports that the ICAEW has opened a new office in Beijing, in order to extend its reach in China and Hong Kong.
I wonder how much this office and its staff will cost the membership?
Come to think of it, why does the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England Wales need an office in China?
Whilst people ponder those two questions, Accountancy Age goes on to report that Douglas Lau (regional director of the ICAEW in greater China) will head up the new office.
Factoid: The ICAEW has 200 members in mainland China and around 3,000 in Hong Kong.
As part of the ambition to grow its membership (its attempt to do so by merging with CIPFA et al was thwarted in the UK) the ICAEW will work with the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, with which it has signed memorandums of understanding.
There's irony for you!
It would seem that the article I wrote in October 2010, about ICAEW's ambitins in Sri Lanka, is also applicable to the Chinese venture:
"Global ambitions are all well and good. However, care needs to be paid by the ICAEW to ensure:
1 That any inter institute membership, if it occurs, will be structured in such a way as to ensure that the brand value of the ICAEW qualification will not be diluted.
2 That, given the recession and high cost of subscriptions, UK members' subscriptions are not frittered away on global ambitions that have little relevance to the UK membership."