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.
Each Geographical Area consists of Regions and each Region consists of Chapters, except Metro Manila or the National Capital Region which is designated as Geographical and Regional as well. Each Province or City may establish their respective chapter, except Metro Manila which is as already designated under the By Laws. It is the joint responsibility of both the National, the Geographical and the Regional officers to promote and assist in developing chapters. The regions and the respective chapter area coverage included under each geographical area are as follows:
1. National Capital Region (Metro Manila) Geographical Area
a. Northern Metro Manila Chapter
1. Caloocan City
2. Valenzuela City
3. Navotas City
4. Malabon City
b. Western Metro Manila Chapter
1. Mandaluyong City
3. San Juan City
c. Eastern Metro Manila Chapters
1. Marikina City
2. Pasig City
3. Quezon City
d. Southern Metro Manila Chapter
1. Las Piñas City
2. Muntinlupa City
3. Makati City
4. Parañaque City
5. Pasay City
7. Taguig City
2. Luzon Geographical Area
a. The Northern Luzon Region/Chapters
5. Ilocos Norte
6. Ilocos Sur
8. Kalinga Apayao
9. La Union
10. Mt. Province
11. Nueva Vizcaya
13. Santiago City
14. and all the cities therein;
b. The Central Luzon Region/Chapters
2. Angeles City
6. Cabanatuan City
7. Nueva Ecija
12. and all the cities therein;
c. The Southern Tagalog Region/Chapters
5. Lipa City
7. Occidental Mindoro
8. Oriental Mindoro
11. Rizal-outside of Metro Manila
13. San Pablo City
14. and all the cities therein;
d. The Bicol Region/Chapters
- Camarines Norte
- Camarines Sur
- and all the cities therein;
3. Visayas Geographical Area
a. The Eastern Visayas Region/Chapters
- Calbayog City
- Eastern Samar
- Negros Oriental
- Northern Samar
- Ormoc City
- Southern Leyte
- Tacloban City
- Western Samar
- and all the cities therein;
b. The Western Visayas Region/Chapters
- Negros Occidental
- and all the cities therein;
4. Mindanao Geographical Area
a. The Northern Mindanao Region/Chapters
- Agusan del Sur
- Butuan/Agusan del Norte
- Cagayan de Oro
- Iligan City/Lanao del Norte
- Lanao del Sur-Marawi
- Oroquieta City
- Ozamiz City
- Pagadian City
- Surigao del Norte
- Surigao del Sur-Bislig
- Surigao del Sur-Tandag
- Zamboanga del Norte
- Zamboanga Sibugay
- and all the cities therein;
b. The Southern Mindanao Region/Chapters
- Cotabato City
- Davao del Norte/COMVAL
- Davao del Sur
- Davao Oriental
- South Cotabato
- Sultan Kudarat
- Zamboanga Basilan
- and all the cities therein;
Each region, sector and chapter have their own respective governing council. Through the Regional and Sectoral Councils, both the sectors and the regions are represented in the National Board; the Chapters, on the other hand are represented in the Regional Councils through Chapter Presidents.
The National Office, the sectors and the regions are supported by committees which are formed to undertake specific activities. There is no specific limit as to the number of committees that can be established. The composition and responsibilities of the national, geographical, regional, sectoral offices are specified clearly in the existing PICPA By-Laws.
The National Office sets the overall directions and policies, and each sector identifies the specific professional needs and plans the current and future directions accordingly. At their respective levels, the regions and the chapters take care of implementing the Institute’s policies and/or projects as determined or planned by the sectors. The committees provide the necessary services and support to undertake the planned activities or projects.
Affiliate units located in other countries are recognized after complying with the requirements of the National Office and upon approval of the National Board of Directors. List of International Affiliates Chapters are as follows:
1. Abu Dhabi, UAE
4. Calgary, Canada
6. Dubai, UAE
7. East Coast, USA
8. KSA Western Province-Jeddah
9. KSA Central Province-Riyadh
10. KSA Eastern Province-Saudi
11. Los Angeles, CA
12. New York-Tristate
13. Papua New Guinea
16. Silicon Valley, USA
17. Vancouver, Canada
To recap, the National Office concentrates its efforts on general management, policy formulation, overall direction and coordination, consolidating financial reports, representation before government and other accounting bodies, and addressing national issues. Other that the Annual National Convention (ANC) and Annual Business Meeting, the National Office does not hold events requiring general membership attendance. The sectors, regions and chapters work with the members, since membership is directly attached to them. The functions of these offices determine the chain of command within PICPA and the proper protocol in handling issues.
The monthly Accounting Times and quarterly Accountants’ Journal are distributed or mailed to the Institute’s members. The Accounting Times carries a newspaper format and reports on new developments in the profession as well as on activities and trends within the organization.
The Journal, on the other hand, contains higher level technical insights and formal papers written by distinguished experts in their field.
PICPA also regularly disseminates exposure drafts and publishes bulletins and pronouncements released by the Financial Reporting Standards Council (FRSC) and the Auditing and Assurance Standards Council (AASC).
The PICPA Building
The four-storey refurbished PICPA building serves as the PICPA Secretariat’s office. The place is staffed by men and women always ready to attend to members’ needs, and is open to all members who wish to use its function rooms for meetings and seminars. In addition to training rooms, the building has a PICPA Library with a well-stocked collection of books, periodicals, clippings and other valuable research materials. It serves members, researchers, as well as students in accounting.
PICPA in the International Scene
Through PICPA, the country is actively represented in the world’s major accounting bodies. Foremost among these international organizations is the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the broad objective of which is the development and enhancement of a well-coordinated worldwide accountancy profession functioning under harmonized standards. Another organization is the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA), which seeks the development of a coordinated regional accounting profession with harmonized standards. Finally, there is the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA), which strives to work together in a spirit of cooperation with the ASEAN region’s varied groups, whose economic efforts may be complemented by the accountancy profession. PICPA had assumed the overall leadership of these organizations in a number of times and has been taking active roles in the pursuit of their respective goals. PICPA had also a significant part in the formative years of these organizations. Several conferences sponsored by these international bodies were held in the Philippines and led by high ranking PICPA officials; not to mention that as early as 1957, the First Far East Conference of Accountants initiated by PICPA and held in Manila brought forth the idea for the need of organizing internationally linked accounting bodies.
Year-Round Continuing Professional Education Program (CPE)
Seminars are regularly organized on varied technical subjects such as Auditing, Taxation, Management Services, Accountancy Education, International Accounting Standards and Philippine Standards on Auditing, EDP, etc. conducted by outstanding lecturers and speakers. Attendance to CPE provides opportunity to make valuable contacts with fellow members for a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and experiences, and to earn CPE credits.
A responsive and globally relevant professional organization committed to service excellence towards its members and stakeholders.
To serve the best interest of the members and the stakeholders while promoting, upholding, and maintaining high standards in the accountancy profession and protecting public interest.
1. Professional Excellence – We are committed to excellence in all aspects of our professional practice.
2. Integrity – We advocate the truth and conduct ourselves at all times with honesty, uprightness and adherence to sound moral principles, thereby gaining the respect of the public.
3. Commitment – We bind ourselves to uphold these ideals to ensure the accomplishment of PICPA’s Vision and Mission.
4. Partnership and Team Work – We uphold a strong bond of unity, working in the spirit of harmony and commonality.
5. Advocacy for Quality – We strictly adhere to the code of professional conduct adopted by PICPA to ensure highest spiritual, moral and ethical standards.
6. New Technologies and Innovativeness – We seek and apply new ideas to improve performance. We continuously promote creativity, flexibility and resourcefulness amidst constant change.
7. Social Responsibility – We commit ourselves to a strong, active and devoted sense of duty to society.
About the Philippine Accountancy Act
Republic Act No 9298, otherwise known as the “Philippine Accountancy Act of 2004”, is the law that regulates the practice of the accounting profession in the Philippines. Accordingly, the law recognizes the invaluable contributions of accountants in nation building and development.
The Hon Noe G Quiñanola, the Chair of Professional Regulatory Board of Accounting (BOA), explains the proposed amendments to the Philippine Accountancy Law.
Through the Professional Regulatory Board of Accounting (BOA) and Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), several proposed amendments to the Accountancy Act have been proposed in order for the profession to remain responsive and relevant.
CONTROVERSIAL PROPOSED AMENDMENTS
There are 17 proposed amendments to the Philippine Accountancy Act, but the controversial proposed amendments include:
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Believe it or rue it but the accounting profession continues to face unprecedented challenges, and are often fraught with crises and complexities. The past couple of years tested our competencies and resiliencies, leading us to re-think strategies and cleansing us from complacencies which may have otherwise make things even worse.
According to the International Federation of Accountants, the profession is projected to face three major realities: the increasing use of sophisticated and smart technologies to enhance traditional ways of working; the continued globalization that could potentially create more opportunities and challenges for members of the accounting profession; and the increasing regulation which is likely to have the greatest impact for the years to come. These realities are happening here, right now.
We have seen how PICPA and the Filipino CPAs rose in solidarity amid challenging times. We rose to take up the invitation to transform our organization by embracing possibilities and realizing potentials which are key to thriving in the VUCA world. PICPA, through solidarity, synergy and sustainability picks up the fragments of an old game. And we shall play it forward this year.
We begin by investing in social capital, creating opportunities for members of our community of practice to develop their competencies and skills. Let us pave the way for mutual support by strengthening our core values of partnership and teamwork, commitment, and social responsibility.
We work together. By linking with organizations who champion correlative advocacies and mutual initiatives, we can create networks and work streams of value for the institute to be responsive and relevant.
PICPA and the Filipino CPA shall play it forward
A play of words from the popular expression “pay it forward”, this proposed theme endeavors to advocate something that each member can recall, imbibe, own, and live up to.
Etymologically, “play” is derived from the Greek word “paizo” which means “to act”. Categorically, play also denotes finding enjoyment and fun in doing something which is a good starting point for encouraging more members to actively participate in the programs and activities of PICPA.
“Forward” implies furtherance, advancing the Institute that can thrive in whatever normal that may come its way.
By playing it forward, PICPA, as an organization which uplifts its members and the community that they serve.
The theme enjoins us to realize that innovation is a strategy to navigate the way forward. In the age of technological advancement and Big Data, everything seems to be volatile and uncertain and that the efficient ways to move forward are by sensemaking as we interact with our environment and with others; recalibrating expectations such that the institute is open to being creative and innovative about work; reestablishing commitment by emphasizing our “why’s” to complement our “how’s”; and rebuilding capacity by systematically identifying means of energizing the members both on personal and professional scales.
With this theme, PICPA designed a theme logo that speaks of its plan on how it will realize its goals and aspirations this year.
Be it the ubiquitous play button or a chevron, PICPA adopted a similar logo for this year’s theme, PLAY IT FORWARD: SECURING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE.
The double right arrows signify PICPA’s renewed candor to pursue active service to its members and stakeholders. The pixels represent the Filipino CPAs joining PICPA in its ardent and urgent quest for a sustainable future for the organization and the members, as well as for the profession and the society.
The arrows were also designed to connote a forward direction, with the members continuously and consistently clicking them, signifying their keen desire to do more and achieve more, as they play it forward in solidarity for the common good.
So whatever challenges face our profession, and us as professionals, we will not just survive, but more importantly, thrive, because PICPA, together with its members, will always PLAY IT FORWARD!
Prior Years Theme
- TRANSFORM Realizing Potentials Embracing Possibilities (FY2021-2022)
- Rising in Solidarity Amidst Challenging Time (FY2020-2021)
- Reinforcing for the Future. Together . Today. (FY20219-2020)
The PICPA logo is a stylized graphic presentation of the letters C, P, and A for CPA’s. It is a geometric design of clasped hands symbolizing the unification of accounting groups into a solid, cohesive and responsive national organization of CPA’s.
The clear and concise design with elements emanating from the top and bottom and neatly meeting at the center also shows the unification of the kindred and diverse components of the accounting profession. The balanced perspective of the design represents the basic objective of accountants- balanced accounts in all transactions.
The colors of the logo are green and blue – green to signify the growth with the ultimate goal of the organization, and blue to symbolize the vastness and universality of the accounting profession. The dark blue and green arrows at the center going outward and duplicated in lighter shades signify the accountants’ objectivity and expansiveness as they discharge their functions as guardians of business and economy.