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Accountancy Ancestors: Financial Circular

Information on the obituaries, biographical profiles, illustrations and portraits from Financial Circular that are indexed in the Accountancy Ancestors database.

Financial Circular was established as the official journal of the Corporate Treasurers' and Accountants' Institute, a membership organisation established in 1885.


The Corporate Treasurers' and Accountants' Institute was founded in 1885 to meet the need for a body to support the growing number of accountants and treasurers grappling with the finances of local or public authorities.

The idea for founding the Institute was credited to John Elliott (1852-1909), borough accountant of Rochdale, who convened the initial meeting in Rochdale on 14 October 1885. Although a relatively young municipal treasurer John Elliott recalled that he ‘had much correspondence with chief financial officers seeking information and advice in connection with their duties. I suggested to [the Borough Accountant of Rotherham] that it seemed desirable that municipal treasurers should have an association where its members could confer on questions frequently arising in the course of business.’ (p5)

At the annual meeting at Worcester on 21-22 June 1900 a resolution was adopted to change the name to The Institute of Municipal and County Treasurers and Accountants (Financial Circular, July 1900 – p123). The Institute's membership increased as it 'extended its scope to cover all classes of local authorities and public boards.' (p22)< /p>

Unlike other bodies, no distinctive initials were used for the first thirty years of the Institute's existence. In September 1913 the initials AIMTA and FIMTA were adopted for associates and fellows respectively.

The Institute changed its name to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) in 1973.

History of the journal

The first issue of Financial Circular was published in November 1896 as an 'experimental paper' that was intended to meet the need for a forum to discuss topics of interest and to disseminate information of value to members.

Writing the introductory note to the first issue, President W. Penn-Lewis, stated that the publication was intended to be 'private to, and for the use of, the members of the Institute only.' (The use of the existing public journals of day, such as 'The Accountant' and 'The Councillor', had already been considered and dismissed).

From the beginning Financial Circular was published monthly, on the first of the month, although in the run for some years there are only 11 editions (with two months combined in a single issue).

Financial Circular ceased at the end of 1934 and the run was continued by a new title, 'Local government finance' (1935-1973). This publication was in turn replaced by 'Public finance and accountancy' (1974-1993) and 'Public finance' (1993-).

Library holdings

The ICAEW Library & Information Service holds a largely complete run of 'Financial Circular' from 1896 to 1928, although we are missing some issues/volumes from the early years: Volume 1 (December 1896); Volume 2 (July 1898-October 1898); Volume 3 (November 1898 to October 1899) and Volumes 6-7 (November 1901-December 1903).

No issues are held by the ICAEW Library & Information Service for the final years of the journal from 1929 (Volume 33) to 1934 (Volume 38).

Accountancy Ancestors


1896-1928 (all issues indexed, except for those not held by the ICAEW Library & Information Service)

Obituaries and biographical profiles index

395 obituaries or biographical notices are listed in the obituaries index from this journal.

The index includes all obituaries published within the journal except for one line announcements of death or references to deaths made in meetings. The majority of obituaries indexed are for members but the listing also includes other connected individuals, such as family members.

We have included some personal notices (usually about appointments or retirement) where they contain biographical information or information on the character of the individual.

Portaits index

91 portraits are listed in the portraits index from this journal.

The portraits index includes details of photographs of individual members, named members in group photographs and caricatures published in the journal.

Illustrations index

Only three non-portrait photographs were published in the journal for the period indexed. These are included in the list of general illustrations.

First World War

Financial Circular published information on members and the sons of members who had been wounded, taken prisoner or awarded honours during the First World War. Details for 20 individuals are recorded in this index (9 recording deaths, 11 recording other news).

Financial Circular also published a series of lists under the banner 'Officers serving with the Colours' which recorded those members of staff from the finance departments of local authorities who were serving with the Colours. The lists were published from June 1915 until April 1916 and recorded each individual’s name, authority, position (in authority), rank and regiment.

A roll of honour was also published in the magazine from August 1915 until February 1916 to record those members of the finance departments of local authorities who had given their lives in the service of their country. The April 1920 edition also reproduces the text of the Midland Students' Society Roll of Honour.

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Accountancy Ancestors

The Accountancy Ancestors database provides an index to obituaries, portraits and other resources held in the collection of the ICAEW Library & Information Service. To request a copy of an entry from the index, please contact the library.

Go to the databaselibrary@icaew.com