The Philippine Institute of Certified Accountants or PICPA is the accredited professional organization (APO) of CPAs by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and has been awarded twice as PRC most outstanding APO from among other professional organizations. PICPA was founded in November 1929 by a group of illustrious pioneers in the accounting profession: Enrique Caguiat, Santiago de la Cruz, Francisco Dalupan, Jaime Hernandez, Felipe Ollada, Ramon del Rosario, Antonio Sanchez, Jose Torres, Artemio Tulio, Clemente Uson and Jesus Zulueta. W. W. Larkin, holder of CPA Certificate No. 1, was its first president.
The group set forth the following objectives:
- To promote and maintain high professional and ethical standards among accountants;
- To advance the science of accounting;
- To develop and improve accountancy education;
- To encourage cordial relations among accountants, and
- To protect the Certificate of Certified Public Accountant granted by the Republic of the Philippines.
Over the years, PICPA has been sustaining its accreditation with PRC. The accreditation started on October 2, 1973, when PICPA was awarded Certificate of Accreditation No. 6, by then PRC Chairman Eric Nubla, after having complied with the requirements for accreditation under Presidential Decree No. 223. This distinction, which recognized the Institute as the bonafide professional organization of CPAs, likewise gave PICPA the responsibility of setting into motion a scheme for the integration of all CPAs in the country.
Integration of the Accountancy Profession was carried out under Resolution No. 106 dated July 12, 1984 as amended by Resolution No. 142 dated March 4, 1987. In compliance with the said Resolution, PICPA revised its By -Laws, and thereafter elected its new set of Board of Directors and Officers on December 2, 1988. With this event, then PRC Commissioner Julio B. Francia subsequently declared that all the conditions for integration had been fulfilled and thus, integration was already accomplished.
A further step was taken when the Accountancy Act of 2004 or Republic Act No. 9298 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations came into form. The law formally recognized the four sectors of the accountancy profession, namely Commerce and Industry, Public Practice, Government and Education / Academe and the four geographical groupings, namely, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and National Capital Region. Also implemented was the requirement with respect to Continuing Professional Education. In compliance with the new Law, PICPA amended its By-laws and changed its structure to give strength to the sectors and geographical areas.
As the recognized umbrella organization, PICPA continuously work and collaborate with the Sectoral organizations in advancing the practice of accounting profession in the country. These include:
- Association of Certified Public Accountants in Public Practice (ACPAPP)
- Association of Certified Public Accountants in Commerce & Industry (ACPACI)
- National Association of Certified Public Accountants in Education (nACPAE)
- Government Association of Certified Public Accountants (GACPA)
Given recognition likewise are the Financial Reporting Standards Council (FRSC), formerly the Accounting Standards Council) and the Auditing and Assurance Standards Council (AASC, formerly the Auditing Standards Practices Council.) as the official standard setting bodies of the profession. The Philippines adopts and follows the International Financial Reporting Standards / the International Accounting Standards, the International Standards of Auditing and the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
The PICPA Organization Structure
PICPA is a registered non-stock corporation with Geographical divisions, regions and chapters all over the country. Geographical Areas, Regions and Chapters do not have juridical personality separate and distinct from each other or from the national office. The PICPA organization consists of the National Office (supported by a national secretariat), the geographical area, regions, the chapters and the general membership.
The National Office is under the management of officers elected by the members of the Board themselves; headed by the President, the Executive Vice President, the Vice President for Commerce and Industry, Education, Government and Public Practice, the Vice President for Operations, the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary, the Treasurer and the Assistant Treasurer. The composition of the Board are twenty one (21) from the nine (9) regions and four (4) from the sectors. Regional directors are elected regionally; four (4) from Metro Manila and two each from each of the remaining regions. Sectoral directors are voted nationally, one coming from each sector. The President is elected annually but rotated among the regional directors from Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and to the extent practicable, among the four sectors of the profession.
The PICPA recognizes the four (4) sectors by which a CPA may be in practice: namely, Public Practice, Commerce and Industry, Education / Academe and Government. The PICPA endeavors to have equal sectoral representations in all its offices from the National Office to its chapters and affiliates. Each Regional Unit elects four (4) Regional Sectoral Representatives who are tasked with the professional development of each particular sector through participation in an accredited Continuing Professional Education program. The Geographical Area Office and Regional Councils are under uniform rules prescribed by the National Board of Directors.
Each of the nine (9) regions is governed by Regional Councils under uniform rules prescribed by the National Board of Directors consistent with the existing rules of the Professional Regulation Commission.