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Timeline

Steps to a professional body - a timeline of the development of the Accountancy Profession in the United Kingdom.

Follow our timeline to explore the development of the accountancy profession in the United Kingdom and the course of events that led to the creation of ICAEW, a story that takes us from ancient times to the present day.

Our journey takes us through the crucial developments in the first half of the nineteenth century (when accountancy starts to take form as an organised profession growing primarily as a result of the commercial and legal activity of bankruptcy, insolvency and the winding up of companies) and takes us all the way to the present.

4000 B.C. - 1852

The beginning. Early printed works. Introduction of double-entry book-keeping to the UK. The first accountancy firm is established in Bristol.

Circa
4000 B.C.
The income of temples is recorded in lower Mesopotamia.
Circa
1300 A.D.
Accountants are mentioned in historical records for the first time in the Statute of Westminster indicating they are considered important.
Circa
1327 A.D.
Early books from the commune of Genoa display an early form of bookkeeping.
Circa
1400 A.D.
The Italian trading period sees sophisticated accounting systems developed within banking houses. Double-entry bookkeeping is discovered.
1494 Luca Pacioli describes double-entry bookkeeping in his work Summa di Arithmetica, printed in Venice.
1543 Jan Ympyn Christoffels' work on the Venetian system of accounts entitled Nieuwe Instructie ende dewijs der looffelijcker consten des rekenboecks is printed in Antwerp.
1543 An English work by Hugh Oldcastle with the title A Profitable Treatyce called the Instrument or Boke to learn to know the good order of the keepying of the famouse reconynge called in Latyn, Dare and Habdare, and in English, Debitor and Creditor is printed in London.
1547 An English translation of Jan Ympyn Christoffels' work entitled A Notable and very excellente woorke, expressyng and declaryng the maner and forme how to kepe a boke of accomptes or reconynges...Translated..out of Frenche into Englishe is printed in Antwerp.
1553 The third book in English on double-entry bookkeeping entitled The Maner and fourme how to kepe a perfecte reconyng, after the order of...debitour and creditour by James Peele is printed in London by the King's Printer, Richard Grafton. Grafton is credited by historians for introducing double-entry book-keeping to England.
1567 A Breffe Instruction, and manner on howe to kepe, Merchants Bokes, of Accomptes, by John Weddington, is printed in Antwerp.
1588 Hugh Oldcastle's book is reproduced by John Mellis of Southwark in his work A Briefe Instruction and maner how to keepe bookes of accompts after the order of debitor and creditor. Such was the popularity of the Profitable Treatyce that it had been used by teachers until it fell to pieces and no other original copy remained.
1635 Another English work called The Merchants' Mirror: or Directions for the perfect ordering and keeping of accounts, framed by the way of Debitour and Creditour after the Italian manner, by Richard Dafforne, is printed.
1683 The first Scottish book on accountancy entitled Idea Rationaria, or the perfect accomptant, necessary for all merchants and trafficquers: containing the true forme of book-keeping, according to the Italian methode, by Robert Colinson, is printed in Edinburgh.
1780 Josiah Wade founds 'Tribe Clarke and Company' Accountancy firm in Bristol. Work mainly consists of auditing merchants' accounts. Josiah Wade is the oldest firm to trace its continuous existence.
1793 Published information records two 'accomptants' working in Bristol and another situated in Liverpool.
1831 A Bankruptcy Act is passed mentioning accountants alongside merchants and bankers as properly skilled to conduct audits. It is the first public recognition of accountants.
1842 The Relief of Insolvent Debtors Act creates a new source of labour for accountants as it requires debtors owing less than £300 to attach a statement of debts when petitioning the Bankruptcy Court.

1853 -1879

Accountancy takes form as an organised profession. Early Legislation. A draft petition for a Royal Charter is submitted.

1853 Institute of Accountants in Edinburgh is formed.
1853 Institute of Accountants in Glasgow is formed.
1854 Institute of Accountants in Edinburgh is granted a Royal Charter and is renamed the Society of Accountants in Edinburgh.
1855 Institute of Accountants in Glasgow is renamed the Institute of Accountants and Actuaries in Glasgow.
1862 A Companies Act termed the 'accountants friend' is passed. Establishing the role of Official Liquidator, a person responsible for proceedings in the liquidation of public companies, the act creates a large source of revenue for accountants.
1867 A Companies Act is passed.
1867 Society of Accountants in Aberdeen is formed.
1869 A Bankruptcy Act is passed making accountants more involved in Insolvency processes.
1870 - 1877 Bodies of Accountants form in London, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. The ICAEW starts its early life as a voluntary association called the Institute of Accountants in London. At first it does not admit practitioners from the provinces. This was not done until 1872.
1870 (Jan) Incorporated Society of Liverpool Accountants is formed.
1870 (8 Jun) William Quilter, a senior partner of Quilter Ball & Co, meets with nine respected friends and colleagues at 3 Moorgate Street in London to discuss the advantages of banding together into a professional association of accountants by means of a Royal Charter.
1870 (Nov) A voluntary Association called the Institute of Accountants in London is formed by William Quilter and his friends and colleagues. The Privy Council had previously decided not to grant further Charters.
1870 (29 Nov) At a meeting at the City Terminus Hotel in Cannon Street, London, thirty seven accountants sign a draft copy of the rules and regulations for the new Institute of Accountants in London. A first Council is formed with twelve members.
1870 (13 Dec) The first official meeting of the Council of the Institute of Accountants in London takes place.
1871 (6 Feb) Manchester Institute of Accountants is formed.
1871 (8 Feb) The Council of the Institute of Accountants in London formally adopts the report of the sub-committee on rules and regulations. 300 copies are printed and distributed to members.
1871 The Council of the Institute of Accountants in London appoints a committee of examiners for new entrants. Candidates are examined viva voce (by oral interview).
1872 Society of Accountants in England is formed by those excluded from the Institute of Accountants in London. The Society admits accountants from the provinces.
1872 The first Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Accountants in London is held. A deputation from seven provincial accountants is given requesting the scope of membership of the Institute is extended to those practising outside London.
1872 (7 May) The Council of the Institute of Accountants in London meets. Letters are heard from the Manchester Institute and George William Spence of Newcastle firm Gillespie, Swithinbank & Co., requesting the formation of a national professional accountancy organisation.
1872 (21 May) A special meeting of the Council of the Institute of Accountants in London is chaired by William Turquand to discuss widening the scope of the Institute to include accountants from the provinces. Membership is accordingly widened to accountants throughout the UK. The name is changed from Institute of Accountants in London to Institute of Accountants.
1872 (Jul) A special General Meeting of the Institute of Accountants is held to approve recent changes to the rules.
1872 (Oct) A General Meeting of the Institute of Accountants confirms the changes.
1874 (10 Mar) The Council of the Institute of Accountants invites four leading provincial accountants, Harwood Walcot Banner of Liverpool, Henry Webster of Blackburn of Bradford, Edward Carter of Birmingham and George Edwin Swithinbank of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, to join in an effort to increase nation-wide membership (check date).
1874 (Apr) Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Accountants confirms appointment of the four new members.
1874 (Oct) The Accountant begins publication.
1874 (Dec) The Accountant's Diary and Directory edited by Alfred Harper is published by Williams & Strahan.
1876 Frederick Whinney, who will later serve as President between 1884-1888, leads a motion to enlarge the Council of the Institute of Accountants by three additional members.
1876 (Apr) At the 5th Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Accountants there is a discussion of the plans to enlarge the Council.
1876 (Jun) T. A. Welton resigns office of Secretary of the Institute of Accountants but agrees to continue until a replacement can be found.
1877 A new Bankruptcy Bill is introduced and Government appoints a Select Committee of the House of Commons to investigate the Companies Acts of 1862 and 1867. Welton attends the Select Committee meetings and reports back to the profession. It is discovered that following bankruptcy cases liquidators were frequently holding on to assets instead of distributing them to creditors. Institute members are asked to reveal their undistributed assets and they are found to total £66,48718s 10d.
1877 (Feb) William Turquand is elected President of the Institute of Accountants following Quilter's retirement. Ball becomes Vice President. W. G. Howgrave succeeds T. A. Welton as Secretary.
1877 Turquand gives evidence on the conduct of liquidations to the Select Committee. Despite objections on behalf of the profession, the Committee resolves to remove insolvency work from accountants. This was later enforced with the passing of the Bankruptcy Act in 1883.
1877 (26 Apr) At the Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Accountants Frederick Whinney and two friends are elected to the Council.
1877 (14 Mar) Sheffield Institute of Accountants is formed.
1877 (Jun) The Institute of Accountants leases new offices in 3 Copthall Buildings. Howgrave begins to prepare an index of useful cases affecting the profession. Relevant reference, law books and reports are purchased and copies of the accounts of leading railway, banking, and other public companies are requested for the Institute's Library. A clerk's register is established and an examination system for the admission new Associate Members is inaugurated.
1878 (3 May) The Council of the Institute of Accountants resolves to improve its status by incorporation through an Act of Parliament.
1878 (Nov) The Council of the Institute of Accountants hears a draft of the proposed Bill seeking incorporation. The London Gazette publishes the Institute's intention. The Society of Accountants applies to the Lord Mayor and Corporation of London asking to be constituted as a 'sworn body of Accountants'.
1878 (31 Dec) The Society of Accountants sends a deputation to the Council of the Institute of Accountants suggesting an amalgamation of the two bodies.
1879 A Companies Act is passed requiring all banks to have properly audited accounts.
1879 (Jan) The Council of the Institute of Accountants formally considers merging with the Society of Accountants and concludes it is a good idea in principle if satisfactory terms can be arranged.
1879 (14 Jan) The Institute of Accountants receives deputations from by the Liverpool Society, the Manchester Institute, the Sheffield Institute and the Accountants' Incorporation Association requesting affiliation should they gain incorporation.
1879 (16 Jan) At a joint meeting the Council of the Institute of Accountants and the Society of Accountants in England discuss the question of admission to the Institute those also practising in business.
1879 (22 Jan) The Council of the Institute of Accountants meets to discuss the question of admitting accountants also practising in other businesses. They unanimously agree 'that the true interest of the profession requires that eligibility for membership should be limited to persons whose business is that of public accountant'.
1879 (4 Feb) At a Council meeting of the Institute of Accountants a Committee is constructed to complete the Bill, monitor its progress through Parliament, and report back.
1879 (Feb) The Society of Accountants in England meets to inform members that negotiations for the amalgamation of the Institute of Accountants and the Society of Accountants in England has ceased and that the Society is opposing the Bill.
1879 The Bill is handed to Lord Redesdale (House of Lords) and Sir John Lubbock (House of Commons) who consult the Duke of Richmond, Lord President of the Council. They advise the Institute of Accountants to drop the Bill and apply instead for a Royal Charter.
1879 (31 Jul) A draft petition for a Royal Charter is read to the Council of the Institute of Accountants. It is signed by the Presidents of the Institute of Accountants, the Society of Accountants in England, the Manchester and Sheffield Institutes, the Liverpool Society and by two practitioners on behalf of the Accountants' Incorporation Association. Along with a draft of the proposed Charter, it is given to the Privy Council.
1879 (Aug) The Institute of Accountants' Vice-President, John Ball, dies.

1880 - 1899

Royal Charter granted, the early organisation of ICAEW, the setting of standards for professional conduct, the construction of Chartered Accountants' Hall and the first application for ICAEW membership made by a woman.

1880 (24 Mar) Royal Charter of Incorporation is granted. By its terms the signatory bodies to the petition are to merge and form a new body called the 'Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales' that all the members of the signatory bodies are eligible to join.
1880 (11 May) The Royal Charter Order in Council is signed by Queen Victoria creating the new professional body called The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).
1880 (26 May) At the first meeting of the ICAEW, W.G. Howgrave, Secretary of the old Institute of Accountants, is appointed Secretary at a salary of £400 per year. A clerk is appointed to assist him at a salary of 18 shillings per week.
1880 The College of Heralds grants the ICAEW a Coat of Arms.
1880 Scottish Institute of Accountants is formed.
1881 (Apr) A member is formally censured for advertising for work in liquidation cases under ICAEW's new disciplinary powers.
1882 Birmingham Chartered Accountant Students' Society formed.
1883 A new Bankruptcy Act is passed establishing the position of Official Receiver. This removes insolvency, a main sources of revenue, from accountants. Thereafter, all monies held by trustees in bankruptcy had to be turned over to the Board of Trade's Bankruptcy Estates Account. The ICAEW Council is criticised for not protesting against it.
1883 Robert Harding ends his term as ICAEW's second president by taking up the post of Principle Official Receiver at a salary of £2000 a year.
1884 At the ICAEW Annual General meeting the Council decides to raise the standard of new entrants by making the entrance examinations more difficult.
1885 Society of Accountants and Auditors is formed by those unable to gain admittance to the ICAEW due to its tough entrance requirements.
1885 Corporate Treasurers' and Accountants Institute is formed.
1886 (24 Mar) Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association is established so successful accountants can contribute towards those in difficulty.
1887 A special meeting of the ICAEW was held in London to celebrate the jubilee of HM Queen Victoria on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th June 1887. The three day event included a meeting at the Cannon Street Hotel; a dinner at the Criterion; and a conversazione at the Grosvenor Gallery. The celebrations culminated in a trip for members and their friends to Tilbury by steamer.
1888 The Financial Times begins publication.
1888 ICAEW reaches agreement to take on the lease of a plot of land in Colman Street Buildings for 999 years (now Moorgate Place)
1888 Chartered Accountants' Dining Club founded.
1888 (14 May) Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) is incorporated by Royal Charter.
1890 The architect John Belcher RA, wins an open competition to design a new headquarter building for the Institute to be called Chartered Accountants' Hall, in Moorgate Place in the City of London. Hamo Throncroft, R.A. is commissioned to create a sculptured frieze for the Hall's exterior.
1890 The foundation stone was laid in Moorgate Reception. Underneath is a copy of the Times, the Accountant, the Royal Charter, Institute's by-laws, a list of members and silver and copper coins of the day.
1890 Kalyan Subramani Aiyar (1859-1940), better known as K. S. Aiyar, becomes the first Indian admitted to membership of the Society of Accountants and Auditors (SAA). K. S. Aiyar set up his own accountancy practice in 1900, probably the oldest accountancy firm in India established by an Indian.
1891 ICAEW refuses admission to the first application for membership made by a woman, Mary Harris Smith.
1891 Corporation of Accountants in Scotland is formed.
1893 Chartered Accountants' Hall is completed and opened by the President of the year, Edwin Waterhouse.
1893 The Society of Accountants and Auditors proposes strengthening the profession. Its recommendations become the Public Accountants Bill No. 1 calling for their members and those of the ICAEW alone to constitute the profession and bar all others from practising. A Public Accountants Bill No. 2 is drafted by the ICAEW calling for the registration their members to prevent all others from practising as public accountants. Both fail.
1894 Public Accountants of Liverpool is formed.
1895 The issue of admitting women to ICAEW is raised. The President of that year, Charles Fitch Kemp, comments that he would be so embarrassed by the admission of women that he would rather retire than consider it.
1896 Public Accountants of Liverpool is absorbed by association into the Society of Accountants and Auditors.
1897 A Chartered Accountants Bill is drafted by the Society of Accountants and Auditors and ICAEW calling for the amalgamation of the two bodies with the formation of an extended Institute.
1897 (13 Jan) Two Special General Meetings are held simultaneously by the Society of Accountants and Auditors and the Institute to discuss the proposal. Both reject the idea. The two bodies do not merge until 1957.
1899 Scottish Institute of Accountants is absorbed into the Society of Accountants and Auditors.

1900 - 1918

The term 'accountant' is defined, the first Indian qualifies as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant and the first women are admitted to the profession.

1900 A Companies Act is passed requiring that all limited companies must produce an audited balance sheet annually.
1901 Corporate Treasurers' and Accountants' is renamed the Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants.
1901 Nottingham Society of Chartered Accountants is founded on 27 March 1901 (taken from the date of the meeting at which the rules and regulations were settled according to The Accountant, 11 May 1901). 
1903 Institution of Certified Public Accountants is formed.
1903 A Revenue Act is passed and defines the term 'accountant'. The act limits the right of audience before the Commissioner of Taxes to members of 'an incorporated body of accountants' only. This led to a proliferation of bodies in accountancy and was further defined by the Income Tax Act 1918.
1904 London Association of Accountants is formed.
1905 Central Association of Accountants is formed.
1908 Society of Accountants and Auditors is renamed the Society of Incorporated Accountants and Auditors.
1908 Ardeshir Edulji Cama (1879-1948) becomes the first Indian to qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant, under the name of Arthur Charles Rice, establishing the firm A.C. Rice & Co. in Bombay. From 1914 onwards, he appears in the ICAEW List of Members under his Indian name. Mr Cama served Gwalior State as Accountant-General and then as Finance Minister, before being given the powers of a Prime Minister.
1909 The Companies (Consolidation) Act is passed requiring all companies to have properly audited accounts and making the auditor responsible for reporting to shareholders.
1909 President of the Board of Trade, Winston Churchill, requests the Society of Incorporated Accountants and Auditors and the ICAEW admit women candidates.
1909 (13 May) London Association of Accountants admits the first woman accountant, Ethel Ayres Purdie.
1909 A draft Bill is prepared calling for a register of practising accountants in England and Wales to add status to the profession. It fails as there is no provision for Scotland and Ireland. It is reintroduced in March 1911 but opposed in the house.
1914 - 1918 World War One brings an increase in accountancy work and accountants gain expertise in managing companies and banks, particularly those of enemy states. Accountants assist in the control of costs in relation to the production of ammunitions: management accounting is born. Wartime taxes increase the amount of taxation work available to accountants.
1914 The Prince of Wales National Relief Fund is formed. A Board of Audit Control is appointed to supervise income and control distribution. Local committees throughout the UK are formed and Institute members operate it for no remuneration.
1914 The Local Legislative Committee creates an 'audit clause' by stating that where professional audit is used the standards of the ICAEW and the of Society of Incorporated Accountants and Auditors alone should apply. This prevents new bodies of accountants from undertaking this range of work. However, each successive Bill to be presented has to repeat the claim. The new bodies challenge this each time but lose.
1914 The Postponement of Payments Act confirms a moratorium on the payment of certain negotiable instruments.
1915 The National Registration Act creates compulsory registration of all persons between 15 and 65.
1915 Conscription is introduced. The work of Chartered Accountants is recognised as being of national importance.
1918 Passing of the Income Tax Act repeals the working of the Revenue Act 1903 by stating 'An accountant means a person who has been admitted as a member of an incorporated society of accountants'.
1918 The Representation of the People Act gives women over 30 and men over 21 the vote. Women can also stand as MPs if they own property or are married to a property owner.
1918 (17 Oct) Society of Incorporated Accountants and Auditors holds a Special Meeting to discuss the admission of women.
1918 (11 Nov) Armistice day.
1918 (12 Nov) The Society of Incorporated Accountants and Auditors changes their rules to allow the admission of women.

1919 - 1938

The World's first female Chartered Accountant, the extension of Chartered Accountants' Hall and the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company fraud trial.

1919 Mary Harris Smith, a public accountant with a London Practice who was refused admission to the ICAEW because she was a woman in 1891, applies to join the Society of Incorporated Accountants and Auditors. The Society makes her an Honorary Fellow as they had previously given up Council powers to elect members in special cases without examination.
1919 The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act is passed making it illegal for the ICAEW to bar women from membership. Mary Harris Smith renews her application.
1919 Institute of Cost and Works Accountants is formed to support the new area of cost control work arising from the First World War.
1920 (May) Mary Harris Smith is admitted as a fellow of ICAEW and becomes the first woman Chartered Accountant in the world.
1920 Five women register as articled clerks.
1920 Miss H. M. Claridge, the daughter of the President of the ICAEW that year, is the first woman to be admitted to the Society of Incorporated Accountants and Auditors by examination.
1922 Institute of Cost and Works Accountants applies for a Royal Charter but is unsuccessful.
1923 Institute of Poor Law Accountants is formed.
1923 British Association of Accountants and Auditors is formed.
1924 Miss Ethel Watts becomes the first woman Chartered Accountant to be admitted to the ICAEW by examination.
1927 Society of Statisticians and Accountants is formed.
1928 The Equal Franchise Act gives the vote to all adults over 21.
1928 Faculty of Auditors is formed.
1929 Sir Thomas Robinson, Chairman of the House of Commons Committee, calls for the accounting professionals to set up a register of properly qualified persons to prevent unqualified persons from practising under the definition of the Revenue Act 1903 and the Income Tax Act 1918.
1929 Institute of Company Accountants is formed.
1930 (7 Feb) Viscount Goschen chairs a Board of Trade Committee hearing on the question of registration. Seventeen different bodies of accountants give their views.
1930 (31 Jul) Board of Trade Committee decides against registration.
1930 50th Anniversary of the ICAEW. William Plender of Sundridge, ICAEW President 1929-1930, becomes the first Chartered Accountant to receive a peerage.
1930 The first extension to Chartered Accountants' Hall is built by J.J. Joass, a partner of the original architect.
1930 London Association of Accountants Ltd challenges the audit clause 1914 and successfully adds its name to the list of recognised bodies able to conduct audit work.
1931 Association of International Accountants is formed.
1931 The Chairman of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, Lord Kylsant, and its auditor, Chartered Accountant H. J. Morland, are tried for fraud. The case concerns concealment of transfers from secret reserves into the profit account when in fact the company had made heavy losses. Morland was found not guilty but the Chairman was imprisoned for a year. Accountancy bodies recognise the importance of stating true profit and loss accounts but this does not become a legal requirement until 1967.
1931 Association of International Accountants is formed.
1933 London Association of Accountants is renamed the London Association of Certified Accountants. The Municipal Corporations (Audit) Act is passed recognising the Association as a body of qualified accountants.
1933 Central Association of Accountants is absorbed by association into the Institution of Certified Public Accountants.
1935 Members of the Institute of Poor Law Accountants are admitted to the Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants.
1936 Incorporated Association of Cost and Industrial Accountants is formed.
1938 Corporation of Accountants Ltd joins the London Association to become the Association of Certified and Corporate Accountants.
1938 Society of Accountants and Statisticians goes into liquidation. To date it is the only accountancy body to be unsuccessful.

1939 - 1967

The establishment of courses for servicemen returning from the Second World War, the publication of the first Member's Handbook and the extension of Chartered Accountants' Hall.

1939 - 1945 World War Two sees the area around Moorgate Place badly damaged during bombing raids on London but Chartered Accountants' Hall escapes save a few broken windows. Approximately 3000 Institute members, over a quarter of the membership, serve with the Armed Forces.
1939 Association of Certified and Corporate Accountants is formed following the merger of the Corporation of Accountants in Scotland and the London Association of Certified Accountants.
1939 Tax is levied on the 'excess profit' above the standard at 60 per cent.
1940 Tax is levied on the 'excess profit' above the standard at 100 per cent.
1940 'Pay-as-you-earn' tax is introduced to simplify tax collection.
1941 Institution of Certified Public Accountants merges with the Association of Certified and Corporate Accountants.
1941 The value of accountants in the management of the war effort starts a movement to give non-practising members some influence in the ICAEW and possibly representation on the Council.
1942 At the Annual General Meeting of the ICAEW it is decided that non-practising members should not sit on the Council. Instead a Taxation and Financial Relations Committee (later the Taxation and Research Committee) is set up to deal with matters affecting taxation and business finance with the Inland Revenue and the Government. This signals the start of non-practising members dealing directly with Institute Affairs.
1942 Society of Commercial Accountants is formed.
1943 F. R. M. de Paula, Controller of Finance for the Dunlop Rubber Company is the first non-practising member to be elected to the Institute's Council.
1945 ICAEW organises weekend 'refresher' courses and regional lectures for returning servicemen in the profession. This later developed into a programme of 'Continuing Professional Development' that is still in operation today.
Circa
1950s
The first ICAEW Member's Handbook is published offering guidance to members.
1950 Association of Practising and Commercial Accountants is formed.
1951 Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) is formed following the merger of the Society of Accountants in Edinburgh, the Institute of Accountants and Actuaries in Glasgow and the Society of Accountants in Aberdeen.
1954 Society of Incorporated Accountants and Auditors is renamed the Society of Incorporated Accountants.
1955
(Christmas)
The Society of Incorporated Accountants and the ICAEW agree terms to merge. Members of the Society are to disband and join either the ICAEW, ICAS or ICAI.
1957 (1 Nov) The Society of Incorporated Accountants goes into liquidation.
1957 Members of the Society of Incorporated Accountants become members of the ICAEW, ICAI and ICAS.
1958 The Malayan Association of Certified Public Accountants, now the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA), was founded. Four of the seven founder members were ICAEW Chartered Accountants - Harold Roger Villiers, Yeoh Cheang Kang, Chow Hin Yong and Herbert Kitchener Franklin.
1959 Architect William Whitfield is commissioned to extend Chartered Accountants' Hall by the inclusion of a Great Hall for large meetings.
1961 Association of Practising and Commercial Accountants is absorbed by association to the British Association of Accountants and Auditors.
1963 Richard Vaughan, an ICAEW Chartered Accountant, becomes the last man officially discharged from National Service on 16 May 1963.
1964 ICAEW Council sets up a committee to reappraise education and training policies.
1967 Companies are required by law to publish a sales figure in the profit and loss account.

1968 - 1999

Increased co-operation between the UK accountancy bodies and the centenary of ICAEW.

1968 (25 Jul) ICAEW proposes two major changes to the profession. Firstly, a merger of the ICAEW, ICAS, ICAI, the Association of Certified Corporate Accountants, the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants and the Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants into three geographical Institutes in England & Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Secondly, a reduction of the number of qualifications to two: the Chartered Accountant (signifying highly qualified) and the Licentiate Accountant (less qualified).
1970 (24 Jun) At a joint meeting at the Albert Hall the proposals to merge the professional bodies and change the qualification structure are discussed. Opponents speak against it and at their own expense canvas every member to vote against it. Their efforts pay off as they win the postal vote and the proposals fail.
1970 (May) The extended and new building at Chartered Accountants' Hall is opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
1971 Association of Certified and Corporate Accountants is renamed the Association of Certified Accountants.
1973 Institute of Cost and Works Accountants is renamed the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants.
1973 Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants is renamed the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. (CIPFA)
1973 Faculty of Auditors is absorbed by association into the British Association of Accountants and Auditors.
1973 International Association of Book-keepers is founded.
1974 Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB) is established partly solving the problem of the proliferation of accountancy bodies and helping the co-ordination of efforts.
1974 Institute of Company Accountants is renamed the Society of Company and Commercial Accountants.
1977 International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) is founded.
1978 (Jun) Association of Technicians in Finance and Accounting (ATFA) is launched backed by the ICAEW, ICMA and CIPFA.
1980 Centenary of the ICAEW.
1980 (12 May) ICAEW Centenary Thanksgiving Service held in St Paul's Cathedral
1980 (12-15 May) Three day ICAEW Centenary Conference at Royal Festival Hall opens. HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh attend a reception at the conference. HM the Queen was presented with the number 1 Centenary Plate from a special limited edition of 2000 fine bone china plates featuring the Institute's coat of arms and details taken from the architecture of Chartered Accountants' Hall. The opening speaker was the Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Howe, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
1980 British Association of Accountants and Auditors is absorbed by association into the Society of Company and Commercial Accountants.
1980 Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is incorporated by unifying the Institute of Accounting Staff (IAS) and the Association of Technicians in Finance and Accounting (ATFA).
1983 (December) Gloucester House, the ICAEW's new building in Milton Keynes (replacing the offices at City House and St. Alphage House in London) is completed.
1984 (29 October) Gloucester House is officially opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester.
1984 Association of Certified Accountants is renamed the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.
1986 Institute of Cost and Management Accountants is renamed the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
1990 Society of Company and Commercial Accountants is renamed the Institute of Company Accountants.
1996 Chartered Association of Certified Accountants is renamed the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

2000 -

ENRON, Arthur Andersen, and the adoption of international accounting standards.

2001 (2 Dec) Enron, the once global energy trading giant, files for protection under Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
2002 Enron's Auditor Arthur Andersen discloses that staff at its Houston office had shredded documents and deleted emails relating to the Enron Audit. Andersen is indicted by the Justice Department on charges on obstruction of justice relating to the enquiry into Enron's Accounting.
2002 (Mar) International Accounting Standards are adopted by the European Union with changeover target of 2005.
2002 (15 Jun) US Andersen is found guilty of charges of obstruction of justice in relation to the Enron collapse.
2002 (Aug) The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is passed in the United States in the wake of the Enron scandal.
2002 The Proceeds of Crime Act makes it an offence for accountants not to report suspicions about their clients to the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS).
2003 (29 Jan) UK Government Announces that the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) will assume the functions of the Accountancy Foundation to create a unified, independent UK regulator.
2003 (Jan) The Higgs Report on the role of non-executive Directors is published.
2003 Institute of Company Accountants merges with the Association of International Accountants.
2004 Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) established by HRH The Prince of Wales.
2004 (1 April) The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) becomes the UK's unified independent regulator for corporate reporting and governance, following the package of reforms announced by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in 2003.
2005 Listed companies in the UK required to present their financial statements using the international accounting standards adopted by the EU for periods commencing on or after 1 January 2005. 
2005 (25 May)
HRH The Prince of Wales makes a speech during the 125th anniversary celebrations of ICAEW, focusing on accounting for sustainability.
2005 Formation of the Global Accounting Alliance for which ICAEW was a founding member. The Alliance was formed in response to the emerging challenges of globalisation. The GAA promotes quality professional services, global membership support, information sharing and collaboration on important international issues between leasing professional accountancy bodies in significant capital markets.
2007 HRH The Prince of Wales becomes the first honorary member of ICAEW, after being nominated in recognition of his work to persuade the accountancy profession to tackle the issue of sustainability, through his leadership of the Accounting for Sustainability project. A spokesman for Clarence House said the prince was 'delighted and honoured' to be ICAEW's first honorary member.
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