The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland has declared it is celebrating a record year, with the highest number of annual admissions in its 170-year history.

Nearly 850 chartered accountants joined the profession at ICAS’s admission ceremony on Saturday, the professional body noted.

Gail Boag, executive director of learning at ICAS, said: “This year, we have 843 newly qualified CAs and it is fantastic to see record numbers join the profession. The increase in admissions reaffirms the strength of the ICAS CA qualification and its appeal to a new generation of jobseekers and employers alike.

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“The CA qualification takes those who achieve it beyond the numbers of accountancy and serves as a passport to the highest levels of business and finance. Testament to that is the fact that ICAS members hold senior positions in 83% of FTSE companies.”

She added: “Not only are we seeing record admissions, but we’re also seeing an increasing number of people enter the profession from a wider socio-economic background, thanks in no small part to the work being delivered by the ICAS Foundation.”

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The foundation plays a “key role in widening the pipeline of talent by supporting young people through their studies and providing individualised support until they graduate”, ICAS said.

It added: “Since its inception 10 years ago, the foundation has supported 323 students, with 68% of those progressing on to CA training roles.”

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ICAS noted that 10 of the newly qualified CAs this year had been supported by the foundation.

Chartered accountant Eryn Paterson, audit assistant manager at big four accountancy firm KPMG, is among those to have benefited from the support of the ICAS Foundation, the professional body noted.

Ms Paterson said: “The foundation has helped me in many ways throughout my journey, with financial and mentor support. When my studies became more demanding, the bursary allowed me to reduce my shifts at my part-time job and give as much to my studies as possible.”

ICAS president Clive Bellingham said: “As I told the newly qualified chartered accountants at our admissions ceremony, the hard work they put into qualifying will deliver a truly rewarding career. The CA qualification has allowed me to travel the world, meet amazing people and deliver work that has made a difference. Our new CAs represent the business leaders of tomorrow and the CA qualification is their passport to success.”