THE Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) has seen its membership exceed 20,000 for the first time.

The milestone is revealed in the organisation's 2013 annual review, which notes that membership has increased by 26% in the past 10 years.

ICAS now has members working in more than 100 countries, with new communities recently established in Geneva, South Africa and Singapore.

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On lobbying, ICAS notes in its report that the questions it raised over how pensions would be delivered in an independent Scotland "has been one of the most important interventions in the Scottish referendum debate so far".

This year ICAS will hold events to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the signing of the Royal Charter, which saw Scotland become the home of the first professional body for accountants in the world.