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Under the strong support of former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, the Shanghai National Accounting Institute (SNAI) was established in September 2000 as a public service institution affiliated to the Ministry of Finance of China (MOF). The Institution is subject to the dual leadership of MOF and the Shanghai Municipal People's Government and its operation is managed by the President under the supervision of the Board of Directors. Meanwhile, SNAI also hosts the Asia-Pacific Finance and Development Center (AFDC) created by the Chinese Central Government for region-wide capacity building under the APEC framework.

In the past 10-plus years, SNAI has sought to find pedagogy proper for senior financial and accounting professionals, cultivate high-end talent for the accounting industry and provide advanced continuing education for macroeconomic regulators, large-and-medium-sized SOEs, financial institutions and intermediaries. Today, SNAI has created its own unique teaching philosophy and methods underpinned by the three pillars of degree education, executive development program and distance education. Over the years, SNAI has gradually established its reputation and become a spiritual home for accounting practitioners.

So far, SNAI has trained over 1.4 million trainees. Many programs, such as the National Leading Accounting Talents Program, Program for Chief Accountants at SOEs, and a series of advanced, customized courses for enterprises, financial institutions, and finance and taxation departments have become brand-name programs with wide influence. In 2011, SNAI is approved by the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council as the unit for granting Master's Degree in Professional Accounting and Auditing. In the same year, the EMBA program in cooperation with Arizona State University was ranked 20th globally by the Financial Times. In 2013, EMBA and EMPAcc programs obtained the accreditation from the Ministry of Education. In 2014, SNAI was approved by the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council to offer another degree program-Master of Taxation. As a national-level continuing education base, SNAI also provides distance education for accounting practitioners at the grassroots level and managerial talents in western China. Looking forward, SNAI will continue to make unremitting efforts to build it into the world's leading accounting institute with international recognition, which entails the realization of four sub-goals as being a highland in bringing up accounting talents in China, a think tank for national accounting policymaking and corporate finance, a national aggregator for accounting information, and an international platform for communication and exchange in accounting.