ICAI launches Arizona chapter, to expand presence in US


With an aim to expand its footprint in the US, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) inaugurated its eighth overseas chapter in Arizona on March 31, 2023.

This is the 45th overseas chapter of ICAI globally and one of the three new chapters in the US that had been announced by the ICAI president, CA. Aniket Sunil Talati. The other two are scheduled to be opened in Seattle and Ohio.

Talati said that the new chapters are meant to provide better opportunities to members and expand the international network of ICAI.

In 2022 Piyush Goyal, India’s Union Minister of Commerce and Industry launched the ICAI in six regions in the US. With the addition of six new regions Los Angeles, Arizona, Michigan, Austin, North Carolina, and Ohio, ICAI now has a presence in 21 locations.

The nonprofit ICAI is a statutory body and was established by an Act of the Indian Parliament. The first chapter in the US was set up in New York in 2008 and the San Francisco chapter was established in 2017.

The inaugural function was attended by chartered accountants from the US and different parts of the globe. Members of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW) joined the event online.

Vish Arunachalam, Founder Chairman and Director of the ICAI San Francisco chapter said, “The real heroes of today’s event are the chartered accountants from the Arizona chapter and New York chapter of ICAI and the fellow CAs and well-wishers from around the globe. It was a privilege for me to be associated with the formation of nine of the 47 ICAI chapters. From one active chapter in San Francisco in 2017 to 21 locations in March 2023, this growth was made possible by a fabulous team of ICAI leaders across the US. By June 2023, we hope to have 10 active chapters and nine representative offices in the US. ICAI has the most overseas offices in the US. The US east coast boasts of some of the most accomplished CA leaders in the globe. Most of our ICAI India leaders frequently visit New York. The New York chapter has a very important role to play and it is very apt that we are holding this event at the global headquarters of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) which represents more than 3 million professional accountants worldwide.”

“According to ICAI USA’s vision for 2025, we aim to create economic opportunities for every member of the US-based CA workforce and we plan to have at least one ICAI office for each of the 50 states in the US. We’ll get there by 2025, with the collaboration and cooperation of all of you. ICAI’s international network encompasses 78 cities and 47 countries across the globe. We are arriving soon in Ohio & Seattle. We’re also inaugurating two representative offices in Philadelphia and San Diego in the coming months. When I was in New Delhi in January 2023, I met the ICAI president CA Aniket Talati and he assured us of all support from our parent Institute. Today he’s here amongst us as he had promised then. I encourage all ICAI chapters from around the globe to collaborate extensively with our newly formed ICAI Arizona chapter and the others that are soon to be active,” Vish said.

Gagan Gujral, one of the co-founders of ICAI’s New York chapter and a former Chairman, while comparing the event said: “The New York chapter was set up 15 years ago with 18 members, now we are more than 7000 members in the US. It’s been a long journey in 15 years. The Consulate General of India and the different CGI offices have been very helpful to us. Under the local guidance and support of CGI in New York, the first chapter of ICAI was set up.”

Gujral shifted the spotlight to the CGI of New York Randhir Jaiswal. “We value your work and we would like to do many programs along with you. We are pitching hard on the economic side with our stakeholders in the last two and a half years or so we’ve tried our best to make the consulate the focal point the fulcrum the pivot around which economic activities which bind India and US. In the last 25 years, India’s economy has grown nine-fold – from $400 billion-plus to $3.5 trillion today.”

He predicted that during the next 25 years, the Indian economy will continue to grow nine-fold on a similar trajectory when India celebrates 100 years of its independence. “The work for people like us is cut out, especially those who are invested in the India-US connect. We all have to do more, think big, and press the pedal harder than we are doing today. I’m delighted to learn that we have 7000 chartered accountants in the US, I hope it grows to 70,000 and many more in India because you know the number of stakeholders with such knowledge, and experience would be needed going forward. I am confident that we will measure up to what is required of us but as I said we all have to think big and do big this year, especially since India holds the presidency of G20, a very prestigious global body that almost accounts for 85 percent of the world’s GDP. We’ll seek your support as we convey the message of India to the world at large.”

Gujral then invited to speak Helen Partridge, CFO and Director, Accountancy Education, US and also the incoming IFAC CFO in April 2023. She leads IFAC’s finance team, manages its sustainability and carbon footprint reporting, and provides counsel to IFAC’s CEO. Ms. Partridge is also IFAC’s Director, Accountancy Education, leading IFAC’s global approach to advancing accountancy education, including working with the International Panel on Accountancy Education and education directors at IFAC’s member organizations and the Forum of Firms member firms.

Partridge congratulated ICAI on the launch of its Arizona chapter and said: “The reach of ICAI clearly goes beyond the borders of India, into many countries and it’s truly a testament to your history, your service to your members and your contribution to the profession. ICAI has been a valued member of IFAC since its establishment and we really appreciate the contributions of all past and present representatives to IFAC’s various boards and committees and also its contributions to the various International standard-setting boards.”

Secretary of ICAI, Jai Batra, while addressing the participants said: “It’s my great pleasure to be a part of this inaugural ceremony of the Arizona chapter of ICI which is the eighth chapter in the US after the last chapters in New England, San Francisco, Houston, New York, Dallas, Washington DC, and Chicago. This is the 45th chapter of ICAI. Since its inception in 1949, ICAI has been contributing to the economic development of India, and its remarkable contributions have been appreciated by the government of India. ICAI has grown manifold to become the second-largest accounting professional body in the world serving more than 3.5 lakh members and 7.5 lakh students. The objective of ICAI is to serve the nation. We have a very wide network in India with five regional councils and 167 branches. The five regional councils of ICAI were constituted in the year 1951.”

When Gujral called upon the ICAI president Aniket Talati to address the gathering, he said: “Members of IFAC and ICAI are contributing to the cause of the accounting profession. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is extremely proud of our relationship with IFAC. The foreign chapters of ICAI, I personally believe, have a huge role to play in the success of the profession. Today, if we are 370000 active members, I would say the number is close to 400000 in terms of our membership strength. More than 50000 of our members are abroad and it is this diaspora in so many countries that have enabled us to have our presence in 47 countries. Wherever we go we meet chartered accountant members who have gone places. We’re extremely proud to have all of you as part of the institute’s members and wherever you’re representing whatever you are doing in whatever capacity, the Institute truly appreciates all the efforts. You are the real brand ambassadors of the profession.”

Talati spoke about the academic face of ICAI and said that it is looking to expand its wings. “We have now a new course curriculum which is under the final stages of approval with the Indian Corporate Affairs Ministry and I’m confident that it will be approved very soon. This is a new course curriculum where we are changing the entire course pattern of the chartered accountancy exam. We plan to have a foundation course with four papers, an intermediate course with six papers and then we have four self-paced learning modules. Another new concept that we are introducing at the institute is going to be e-learning based and more importantly the assessment is also going to be online so the examination is going to be computer-based and then the final is another six papers.”
He added that what ICAI is proposing in this curriculum is not to just have Indians or people from India or commerce graduates take up chartered accountancy. Talati said that the idea is going to be that commerce students in any part of the world will be able to take up the chartered accountancy offered by ICAI. “We are going to market this course across the globe,” he added. Addressing all of the participants in the US, those online, all the embassies, and the consulates, Talati said: “You have been a tremendous support to ICAI and we will look forward to your invaluable support in the future too. We look to each one of you to propagate and promote this course and let us offer the Indian chartered accountancy course which we are now going to Brand as CA India. We are going to rebrand the course curriculum and we’re going to promote this internationally.”
“Thanks to IFAC and the World Congress of Accountants which ICAI had hosted last year in November. We had the best of the accounting world come to Mumbai in India and participate in the World Congress. We had 8000 participants from over 120 countries and delegations from so many different parts of the world, different accounting bodies who came and saw not just the institute but the development of India. Many opportunities have opened for us and for the institute ever since the World Congress took place.”

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