The Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA)
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:
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.
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 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:
III. Navotas City
III. San Juan City
III. Quezon City
III. Makati City
VII. Taguig City
VIII. Kalinga Apayao
XIII. Santiago City
XIV. and all the cities therein;
VII. Nueva Ecija
XII. and all the cities therein;
VII. Occidental Mindoro
VIII. Oriental Mindoro
XIII. San Pablo City
XIV. and all the cities therein;
III. Camarines Sur
VII. and all the cities therein;
III. Calbayog City
VII. Northern Samar
VIII. Ormoc City
XII. and all the cities therein;
III. Butuan/Agusan del Norte
VII. Oroquieta City
VIII. Ozamiz City
XII. Surigao del Sur-Tandag
XIII. Zamboanga del Norte
XIV. Zamboanga Sibugay
III. Davao del Norte/COMVAL
VII. Sultan Kudarat
VIII. Zamboanga Basilan
Each region, sector and chapter has 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:
Abu Dhabi, UAE
East Coast, USA
KSA Western Province-Jeddah
KSA Central Province-Riyadh
KSA Eastern Province-Saudi
Los Angeles, CA
Papua New Guinea
Silicon Valley, USA
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 thhe 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.