PICPA: The professional organization of CPAs

Published July 5, 2022, 11:48 AM

by Ging M. Ireneo

The Philippine Institute of Certified Accountants (or PICPA) is the professional organization of Certified Public Accountants (or CPAs) in the Philippines.  It has been awarded five times as Professional Regulation Commission’s most outstanding Accredited Professional Organization (APO) among other professional organizations.  PICPA was founded in November 1929 by a group of illustrious pioneers in the accounting profession. W. W. Larkin, holder of CPA Certificate No. 1, is PICPA’s first president.  PICPA was established primarily to promote and maintain high professional and ethical standards among accountants, advance the science of accounting, develop and improve accountancy education, encourage cordial relations among accountants, and protect the Certificate of Certified Public Accountant granted by the Republic of the Philippines.

The enactment of Republic Act 9298 (or the Accountancy Act of 2004) in its Implementing Rules and Regulations formally recognized PICPA as the Accredited Professional Organization of CPAs and the four sectors of the accountancy profession, namely Commerce and Industry, Public Practice, Government and Education, and the four geographical membership groupings, namely, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and National Capital Region.  The same law likewise recognized the Financial Reporting Standards Council or FRSC (formerly the Accounting Standards Council) as the acknowledged accounting standards-setting body and the Auditing and Assurance Standards Council or AASC (formerly the Auditing Standards Practices Council) as the acknowledged auditing standard-setting body.  Both standard-setting bodies are responsible for reviewing and adopting the International Financial Reporting Standards for accounting and the International Standards on Auditing for auditing.  True to the objectives of advancing the science of accounting and maintaining high professional standards among accountants, PICPA took the responsibility of rolling out seminars and webinars before and during the pandemic to provide avenues and opportunities for accountants to keep abreast with the ever-changing and evolving accounting and auditing standards and to provide assistance to accountants for them to earn 120 Continuing Professional Development units needed for accreditation purposes.

The PICPA organization consists of the National Office, four geographical areas, nine regions, and 84 chapters all over the country.  Each Geographical Area consists of Regions, and each Region consists of Chapters.  All the nine regions are represented, and the four sectors are likewise represented in the PICPA National Board of Directors, composed of 25 members.  Regional directors are elected regionally, and Sectoral directors are voted nationally, one coming from each sector.  The Institute’s 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.  Through the National Board of Directors, the National Office sets the overall direction, policies, and projects of the Institute.  At their respective levels, the Regional Councils and the Chapter Boards implement the Institute’s policies and projects.  The National Committees, formed annually by the National President, is responsible for crafting and organizing projects and events that will support and operationalize the annual theme of the incumbent President.

There is no dull moment in PICPA.   The start of every fiscal year is  more exciting because of the annual celebration of the Accountancy Week.  Happening every third week of July, the entire PICPA organization and accountants all over the country are in a frantic mood.  The PICPA National Office and various Chapters in other parts of the country would organize and conduct simultaneous conferences and events during the Accountancy week.  As a result, the general membership is provided with opportunities to engage in various forms of meaningful and relevant learning experiences.  The four professional sectoral organizations – ACPAPP, ACPACI, GACPA, and NACPAE are also involved and active during the week’s celebration.  After July, the following months are never-ending, almost overlapping seminars, webinars, and conferences.

The grand event of PICPA is its Annual National Convention.  Happening every November of the year, the Convention would usually bring in no less than 3,500 members before and even during the pandemic.

PICPA is not only an organization of professional accountants.  It is an association of well-meaning, committed, and blissful people willing to serve and contribute their time and resources and, at the same time, engage in life-long learning.  Indeed, it is more fun to be a PICPA member.