Our historical timeline

Content Summary

Year Events
1886

First meeting at the Office of Messrs. Davey, Flack & co, 10 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne at 8.00pm.

Karl Benz drives the first automobile.

1887

160 members

Incorporated Institute of Accountants, Victoria (IIAV), later known as CPA Australia, is registered.

1915

Mary Addison Hamilton is admitted to full membership.

1921

Name change from IIAV to CIA, Commonwealth Institute of Accountants.

First sports broadcast takes place on radio.

1936

First issue of the Australian Accountant was published, Volume One - Number One.

1937

4440 members

Our Jubilee Convention is held in Sydney with much celebration.

Hitler formally abrogates the Treaty of Versailles - 6 May 1937 and the Hindenburg bursts into flames.

1939

World War II begins.

1947

18,000 members

Our Diamond Jubilee Convention in Melbourne.

1953

FIA and CIA merge to form the Australian Society of Accountants (ASA).

ASA goes international with official Representatives appointed in London and Singapore.

1955

Our first local representative appointed in Hong Kong.

Victorian Society of Public Accountants merges with ASA.

1956

Our first local representative appointed in Kuala Lumpur.

1958

Our request for a coat of arms made by the General Council is granted by the College of Arms, London.

1965

24,000 members

We introduce a graduate entry policy as membership grows internationally.

1966

AICA merges with ASA.

1972

40,000 members

Our first advertisement for the Member Handbook in the February issue of the Australian Accountant.

1976

The introduction of Professional Orientation Program (POP) becomes compulsory for advancement to Associate.

1981

50,000 members

CPD Program, recommending a minimum of 120 hours professional development per triennium introduced
to support lifelong learning.

State President of ASA, Dulce Feige from Queensland, is elected.

IBM releases something called a Personal Computer.

1982

A task force is formed consisting of senior members working in Commerce, Industry, Government, Public Practice and Academia. After six months of discussion with all Divisional Councillors, the report of the Task Force is accepted which Recommended an additional level of membership called CPA, with required workplace-oriented entry exams for graduates of accredited University courses.

1984

Derrick Docherty receives his CPA certificate from Prime Minister Bob Hawke at Parliament House Canberra, for our first CPA Certificate presentation.

Launch of our first National TV campaign – Not Your Average Accountant – to promote the value of the CPA designation.

1986

CPA Program launches in conjunction with new requirements for CPD and for Public Practice Certificates. This was marketed as The Professional Schedule providing credibility to CPA promotion.

1988

Established Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong branches.

1990

The ASA changes its name to ASCPA.

1991

The first issue of Australian Accounting Review is published.

1992

The member offer continues to evolve with our first Members Handbook first published on disk.

Our New Zealand office opens.

1995

75,000 members

Our new leading-edge website, CPA Online, is launched providing knowledge, training and information at the touch of a mouse.

75,000 member certificate is presented.

2000

ASCPA becomes CPA Australia.

2002

Beijing Office opens.

2003 100,000 members
2006

Shanghai Office opens.

2008

CPA Australia releases first Sustainability Annual Report.
Congress offered via Second Life.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offices open.

2009

CPA Congress held overseas with the inaugural event hosted in Singapore.

Our innovative Career Guidance System launches to support the career development of our members.

2011

130,000 members

CPA Australia celebrates 125-year anniversary.

2012

2012 Launch of INTHEBLACK.COM

Guangzhou office opens.

Established Indigenous Accountants Australia initiative in partnership with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. 

2014

150,000 members

2015

Launch of INTHEBLACK fortnightly e-newsletter.

CPA Australia celebrates 50 years in the Northern Territory.

2016

155,000 members

CPA Australia celebrates 130-year anniversary.

Launch of CPA Australia Advice.

CPA Australia celebrates 60 years in Malaysia and Hong Kong.

2018

Co-host the World Congress of Accountants in Sydney with 6000 delegates.

2019

Launch of the inaugural Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to formalise CPA Australia’s commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander peoples.