The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) has reported ever-increasing membership numbers in 2014, both in Scotland and abroad, despite a slight fall in income.

Last year marked the 160th anniversary of the establishment of the institute, whose results for the most recent financial year showed an increase in membership to numbers 20,401.

The increase builds on the success of the end of 2013, when it surpassed the 20,000 mark.

Further, after witnessing a slight fall in 2013, from 963 to 767, last year ICAS recouped some of its losses in CA student intake figures, reaching 902.

In financial terms, the institute saw an income of just over £15bn ($22.5bn), backed by assets worth £12.6bn, down over £0.2bn on the year before.

According to ICAS, the decrease was due to a £0.5bn fall in commercial income over the year.

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Over £6bn, 42%, of the institute’s funds in 2014 were derived from memberships; education made up 37% with £5.6bn, regulatory income provided £1.8bn and 12% worth, while commercial and other income tailed with £1.5bn at 9%.

Education income also fell slightly compared to 2013, primarily due to the fact previous year’s figures included income from "one off projects".

However, member income increased by almost £0.3bn, thanks to both rising membership numbers and a 3% subscription increase rolled out in 2014.

Member fees were at the centre of talks earlier this year, when ICAS announced it was looking to tackle disparities between charges for European and non-European members’ fees.

In February, the institute suggested fees be aligned over a three year period starting in 2016, in view of the increasing internationalisation of its network.

ICAS president Jann Brown and chief executive Anton Colella praised the institute’s financial performance as "healthy", including almost £0.5bn in profits before tax.

Both leaders welcomed the increase in membership numbers, adding: "We have seen the membership of ICAS grow by nearly 50 per cent in the last 20 years."

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