Our founders

Content Summary

On 12 April 1886, our founders met to discuss the future of accounting, recognising the need for greater rigour and substance in the profession. From that early vision, CPA Australia was born.

The inaugural meeting was held at the Office of Messrs. Davey, Flack & co, 10 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne at 8.00 pm. There, a decision was made to form the Incorporated Institute of Accountants, Victoria (IIAV – now known as CPA Australia).

A subsequent meeting decided that those who had accepted the invitation to attend the initial meeting, and who were eligible for membership, were to be known as the founding members.

The foundation membership of 45 was comprised of the 43 eligible acceptances plus John Pickering Dagnell and Robert McCaskie. Investigation of the minutes shows that the committee wrote to John Pickering Dagnell and Robert McCaskie after the 12 April 1886 meeting and requested each join as a fellow and founding father; both accepted and paid the fees. Ebenezer Cox, who was present at the inaugural meeting, was ineligible as he had not been in practice for long enough. 

William Crellin
Fellow and founder
President 1887-92

Arthur Cleveland
Fellow and founder
President 1899-1901, 1911-12 and 1915
Arthur's son, Launcelot Arthur Cleveland, would also serve on the council and is one of the names on the Roll of Honour of members who enlisted in the Great War of 1914 to 1919. 

Andrew Lyell
Fellow and founder
President 1894-96

Benjamin Doughty Smith
Fellow and founder
President 1897

Charles Morell Holmes
Fellow and founder
President 1896-97 and 1903-04

The Hon Edward Langton
Fellow and founder
President 1892

John McAlister Howden
Fellow and founder
President 1901-02 and 1906

Thomas Brentnall
Fellow and founder
President 1893, 1898 and 1902