Pat Costello, chairman of Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW), welcomed recently a new member to what he calls the "chartered accountancy family".
The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) has been the latest body to join CAW’s inner circle of five founding members from the UK, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
"We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Singapore on board," Costello tells The Accountant. ISCA has 28,000 members in an important business hub, he says. "It’s clear that they are committed to the chartered accountant designation, that’s what we like to see."
CAW is holding a meeting in Beijing, where the group will decide the priorities for the year ahead. But high on Costello’s agenda as chairman of CAW (and possibly as CEO of Chartered Accountants Ireland) is to keep that family of chartered accountants together. Not an easy task when the family has more than 350,000 relatives.
But it seems to be growing. Costello says one body which has recently publicly expressed an interest is the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, but not only them.
"We’re certainly very interested in engaging with the other chartered accountancy bodies in Africa. We are in conversation with a number of them at the moment," Costello says.
Would CAW announce soon that the first African member has joined its family?
"I would be surprised if there weren’t some developments in this area in the next six months or so," Costello says. He would not tell who they are, though.
Senior officials at the Nigerian and Zimbabwean chartered accountants bodies, two institutes which could fit the bill, told The Accountant they are not currently part of the equation.
Other sources in Africa told this publication that no developments have been reported in that respect so far.
Other candidates well positioned in the region could be Namibia or Ghana. In fact IFAC today selected ICAEW (a CAW founding member) as developing partner of its Ghanaian counterpart, a project funded by UK Department for International Development (DFID).
Perhaps the next CAW summit, which will take place in Singapore, could turn into a welcoming party for some African brothers and sisters of Costello’s extended family.