Board of Accountancy


Although accounting has been practiced in the Philippines since the Spanish period and possibly even before, the seeds of Philippine accountancy as a recognized profession were planted on March 17, 1928, when Act No. 3105 was approved by the Sixth Legislature. Entitled 'An Act Regulating the Practice of Public Accounting; Creating the Board of Accountancy; Providing for Examination, for the Granting of Certificates, and the Registration of Certified Public Accountants; for the Suspension or Revocation of Certificates; and for Other Purposes,' the law paved the way for local accountants to do the work which, up to that time was performed by foreign accountants in the country. Since then, both the profession and the body that directly regulates it have grown rapidly.

From 43 registered accountants in 1923, the number of CPAs has grown to over 185,000 by January of 2018. Many of these professionals have distinguished themselves not only in the field of accountancy itself but in many other areas of human endeavor. To the roster of Philippine CPAs belong such luminaries, past and present, as Jaime Hernandez and Paciano Dizon, the first and second Filipino Auditor Generals of the Commission on Audit; Manuel Villar, former President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives; Washington SyCip, past president of the International Federation of Accountants, the only Asian who has held the position and Founder and founder of SGV & Co.; Jose Diokno, former Senator of the Philippines and Secretary of Justice; Wenceslao Lagumbay and Alberto Romulo, former senators; Alfredo Yuchengo and Andres Soriano, founder of the country’s leading conglomerates; and Heidi Mendoza, presently the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services, Office of the United Nations. Many others have been cabinet members, heads of government agencies, chairmen and members of corporations and institutions, leaders in global institutions; heads and professors in the academe, and entrepreneurs.

The increasing complexity of professional regulation and the developments in the practice of the profession have occasioned the expansion of the Board of Accountancy – from three members (president and two members) under Act No. 3105 in 1923, through six (chairman and five members) under Republic Act No. 5166 ('The Accountancy Act of 1967') in 1967, to seven (chairman and six members) under Presidential Decree No. 692 (The Revised Accountancy Law) in 1975. Under the stewardship of the PRC, the Board of Accountancy discharges its mandate of supervising, controlling and regulating the practice of accountancy with authority and distinction. But over and above its regular functions of standardizing and regulating accounting education, conducting examinations for registering CPAs, and maintaining the rules of the practice, the Board has taken the lead in raising the standards of the profession to a high level of excellence, as evidenced by the following developments:

1. Full computerization of the CPA licensure examinations. The accounting profession was the first among the professions to achieve this, paving the way for the current record two-day release of examination results.

2. Upgrading of the quality of accounting education. With the PRC, the Board made representations with the former Department of Education and Sports for the adoption of standards for the organization and operation of professional accounting programs leading to the prescription of a common baccalaureate degree – Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. The Board periodically reviews school curricula and syllabi to maintain their relevance, particularly in the area of information technology. It also initiated the continued monitoring of schools’ performance in the CPA examinations and the recommendation of corrective measures, as necessary.

3. Regulation of CPA firms and partnerships. To assure compliance of their staff and partners with standards and regulations of the practice, the Board moved for the registration of firms or partnerships of CPAs with both the PRC and the Board of Accountancy.

4. Requirement of CPAs in civil service. The Board made representations with the Civil Service Commission to require that only CPAs be appointed as accountants and auditors or to hold allied positions in government.

5. Initiating the Expanding Horizon initiative in 2014, with its Six Point Strategic Plan and over 110 on going projects, that is intended to uplift the Philippine accounting profession and professionals to levels higher than the global standards in the near future.

As the global professional environment unfolds, with the onset of the 21st century, accountancy continues its trailblazing efforts. It is the first among the Philippine professions to be included under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) policy of liberalization of services. The Board of Accountancy also recently signed the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Agreement on Accountancy Services. With these accomplishments, Philippine accountants are now freely competing with in the global playing field against accountants from other parts of the world and able to hold their own. This is due, in no small measure, to the long and distinguished careers of the country’s accountants, to the linkages that local firms have forged with the world’s biggest accounting firms, and to the integrity with which the Board of Accountancy and the Professional Regulation Commission are now administering a profession that has acquired a global perspective.

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