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The FICPA was founded in 1905.
Walter Mucklow, T.G. Hutchinson and two other Florida accountants envisioned an association that would promote the exchange of ideas; enhance confidence in public accountants among businessmen; and encourage a high standard of efficiency in the science of accounting and the art of bookkeeping. These four men lobbied the Legislature and pushed through the first accountancy law in the Southern states. They created an accountancy exam.
FLORIDA SOCIETY OF ACCOUNTANTS: In April 20, 1905, they organized into a group of accountants under the name of the FLORIDA SOCIETY OF ACCOUNTANTS.
One of the first acts of the newly formed Society was the publication of a pamphlet describing the objectives of the Society, which were: 1. To promote a higher standard of efficiency in the science of accounting and the art of bookkeeping. 2. To bring together those interested directly or indirectly in matters of accounting, to promote the exchange of ideas, and to encourage mutual assistance between members. 3. To encourage the adoption of improved methods and to secure uniformity in matters of accounting. 4. To promote confidence between the public accountant, the bookkeeper, and the man of business.
FIRST ACCOUNTANCY LAW: For its first activity, the Society directed the collective energies of its members towards securing passage of an accountancy law. This was no easy task; while few states had such laws, none had been passed in any of the Southern States.
The principal efforts towards securing passage of the accountancy law were expanded by the Society's special legislative committee, composed of T.G. Hutchinson and John A. Hansbrough signed Florida's first accountancy act on June 5, 1905 and Florida became the eighth state in the Union to pass an accountancy law, being preceded by New York, 1896; Pennsylvania, 1899; Maryland, 1900; California, 1901; Illinois, 1903; Washington, 1903; and New Jersey, 1904.
A relatively simple Florida law, the 1905 accountancy act set up a three-member State Board of Accountancy and prescribed its powers and duties to provide for the examination of qualified accountants and to provide penalties for violations. The Board also was authorized to grant certificates to those candidates who passed the prescribed tests. The first State Board of Accountancy appointed by Governor Broward was composed of Mucklow, E.I. Matthews and George R. DeSaussure. The Board immediately began to function and granted its first five certificates.
FLORIDA SOCIETY OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS: As interest and activity in accountancy increased, the members of the Florida Society of Accountants gradually arrived at the decision to restrict membership to Certified Public Accountants. This necessitated the reorganization of the group under the new name of the FLORIDA SOCIETY OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS in 1916. Membership in the Society was limited to American citizens who held Certified Public Accountant certificates, issue by any State and who had been in continuous practice for themselves or in the office a public accountant for three years. Associate membership was limited to Certified Public Accountants who had not been in practice for three years.
The period from 1917 to 1923 was one of little activity for the Society's affairs. World War I and economic adjustments that occurred shortly after that conflict claimed most of the accounting profession's attention. The Florida Boom of the early 1920's left members with little time to advance the public accounting profession through Society activities.
SOCIETY OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS IN FLORIDA: The Society reorganized in 1924 under the name SOCIETY OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS IN FLORIDA. Officers were Walter Mucklow, president' T.G. Hutchinson and John A. Hansbrough, vice-presidents; J.M. Jordan, secretary; and Robert Pentland, treasurer. The Society had 20 members in total.
A NEW ACCOUNTANCY LAW: Early in 1927, serious thought was given to the ethics of the profession, including such matters as advertising and solicitation of accounting work. It was decided that the accountancy law should be amended or rewritten. A revised accountancy law was approved by the Governor to become effective July 1, 1927. The adoption of revised accountancy law attracted not only the attention of Florida accountants but that of practitioners around the nation.
In 1928, the Society was officially incorporated under the name FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF ACCOUNTANTS.
FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF CPAs: In 1955, the Florida Society of Certified Public Accountants was renamed the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA). At the time, there were 811 members and 350 candidates sat for the CPA exam.
With interests in building a governmental relations program, the Board of Governors voted in 1979 to relocate the FICPA's headquarters to Tallahassee, Florida. In 1985, the FICPA moved into its new, official headquarters within walking distance of the Florida State Capitol. Four years later, the building was expanded.
When it celebrated its 100-year anniversary on April 20, 2005, it represented more than 18,400 CPAs throughout Florida. Authors Lloyd "Buddy" Turman and Heidi Tyline King published a paperback book titled "FICPA: Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants" in 2005 commemorating the milestone.
The FICPA aims to uphold the high standards of the accounting profession and ensure its continued growth and success. The organization employs 65 association professionals, who focus on programs to enhance members' competency and professionalism; support standards of independence, integrity and objectivity that also are in the public interest; promote community involvement; and monitor and actively participate in the public policy-making process.
Past FICPA Presidents/Chairs