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History and development of the accountancy profession

An outline of the early history of the accountancy profession and how ICAEW came to be formed.

Although accounts have been kept since records began, it was not until the industrial revolution the accountancy profession took the form it is today.

The demand for professional accountants brought the need to protect the public from rogue practitioners who had the potential to damage the reputation of genuine, honest accountants. In order to elevate their status and gain respectability for their work, accountants required an organisation that would be able to regulate the education and training of new members, set standards of conduct and have the authority to punish those who broke the rules.