The Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS) is looking to tackle disparities in member fees at its next Special General Meeting (SGM) in April as the institute’s international profile rises.

At the moment ICAS European members (including the UK) pay a membership fee of £438 while non-European members’ fee is at around half of that amount, according to a spokesperson.

According to the latest TA UK survey ICAS has 23,284 members globally, of which 20,260 are in the UK. A spokesperson for the institute told TA: "ICAS has at the moment over 490 members in the EU and over 2,500 members overseas."

And the institute counts 20 groups of membership around the world including in New York, Sydney and Hong Kong.

The institute will recommend to its members that the fees are aligned over a three year period starting in 2016. The proposal will be put to a members’ vote at the SGM.

The institute said it was looking to harmonise its membership fees due to its increasing international network, influence and activities.

ICAS chief executive Anton Colella said: "It seems unfair that members outside Europe pay a different rate. As a globally recognised qualification, non-EU members receive the same value from having the CA designation as other members. This also comes at a time when our technical, regulatory and influencing activities are increasingly international."

As a result, ICAS is currently investing in digital technologies to better connect its members regardless of where they are in the world.

"Our digital investment to connect our membership across the world will also, over time, mean that members can access the same networks and knowledge wherever they are in the world," Colella said.

He added: "It removes the geographical barrier to accessing services like our new mentoring programme which are being taken up by members right across the globe."

Related articles
Scotland’s independence nay

The British profession’s not for EU-turning