Charter of Incorporation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Royal Charter of the 11th May 1880
Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME GREETING! Whereas an Humble Petition has been presented to Us by the following Public Accountants namely William Turquand of Coleman Street in the City of London John Unwin Wing of Prideaux Chambers Sheffield Anthony Wigham Chalmers of 5 Fenwick Street Liverpool Henry Grosvenor Nicholson of 100 King Street Manchester Jarvis William Barber of Alliance Chambers George Street Sheffield and Charles Henry Wade and Edwin Guthrie both of Marsden Street Manchester setting forth (among other things) to the effect following:
That the Petitioner William Turquand is the President of a Society established in 1870 in London called the Institute of Accountants that the Petitioner John Unwin Wing is the President of a Society established in 1872 in London called the Society of Accountants in England that the Petitioner Anthony Wigham Chalmers is the President of a Society of Accountants established in 1870 at Liverpool that the Petitioner Henry Grosvenor Nicholson is the President of a Society of Accountants established in 1871 at Manchester that the Petitioner Jarvis William Barber is the President of a Society of Accountants established in 1877 at Sheffield and that the Petitioners Charles Henry Wade and Edwin Guthrie are Public Accountants at Manchester.
That the Profession of Public Accountants in England and Wales is a numerous one and their functions are of great and increasing importance in respect of their employment in the capacities of Liquidators acting in the winding-up of companies and of Receivers under decrees and of Trustees in bankruptcies or arrangements with creditors and in various positions of trust under Courts of Justice as also in the auditing of the accounts of public companies and of partnerships and otherwise.
That the aggregate number of members of the said societies exceeds 500 and in that number are comprised nearly all the leading Public Accountants of England and Wales.
That the said societies were not established for the purposes of gain nor do the members thereof derive or seek any pecuniary profit from their membership but the societies aim at the elevation of the profession of public accountants as a whole and the promotion of their efficiency and usefulness by compelling the observance of strict rules of conduct as a condition of membership and by setting up a high standard of professional and general education and knowledge and otherwise.
That in the judgement of the Petitioners it would greatly promote the objects for which the said societies have been instituted and would also be for the public benefit if the members thereof were incorporated as one body as besides other advantages such incorporation would be a public recognition of the importance of the profession and would tend to gradually raise its character and thus to secure for the community the existence of a class of persons well qualified to be employed in the responsible and difficult duties often devolving on Public Accountants.
That the Petitioners desire and propose that if incorporation by Charter is granted to them such conditions should be laid down as would require for the admission to membership of persons now already following the profession either long actual experience in the profession or service for a long time in the capacity of a Public Accountant’s Clerk or else the passing of appropriate examinations under the supervision of the Corporation.
That with respect to the admission to membership of persons hereafter desirous of entering into the profession the Petitioners contemplate that subject to future determination by the Council or Governing Body of the Corporation a strict system of examination should be established including a preliminary examination to be held before the candidate for membership enters on service under articles an intermediate examination to be held in the course of his service and a final examination and that no person be allowed to present himself for the final examination unless he has served for five years at least or if he has graduated in any of the Universities of the United Kingdom then for three years at least under articles as a Public Accountant’s Clerk.
That the examinations would (subject to future determination by the Governing Body of the Corporation) be of such a character as to test the knowledge of the candidates not only in bookkeeping and accounts but also in the principles of mercantile law and in the law and practice of bankruptcy and the winding-up of companies.
That the Petitioners believe that such a system would have an educational effect of a highly beneficial kind.
That the Petitioners further desire and propose that the Corporation should lay down such rules respecting admission to membership and exclusion therefrom as would prevent Public Accountants from mixing the pursuit of any other business with the discharge of the higher duties devolving on them as Public Accountants and as would put an end to the practice which has been much objected to of the division of profits with persons in other professions or callings in the form of commission or the like.
That the Petitioners further desire that the members of the Corporation should be authorised to annex to their names distinctive letters indicative of their membership.
And whereas by the said Petition, the Petitioners on behalf of themselves and the other members of the said societies and of the profession generally most humbly prayed that We would be graciously pleased to grant our Royal Charter for incorporating under the title of the Incorporated Institute of Accountants in England and Wales or under such other title as to Us might seem fit and with all such powers and privileges as are mentioned in the Petition or such others as to Us might seem fit the Petitioners and the several persons who were then members of the said societies or of any of them and other Public Accountants who might thereafter become members of the Corporation in pursuance of the regulations thereof.
Now therefore we having taken the said Petition into Our Royal consideration and being satisfied that the intentions of the Petitioners are laudable and deserving of encouragement have constituted erected and incorporated and We by Our Prerogative Royal and of Our especial Grace certain knowledge and mere motion by these Presents for Us and Our Royal Successors do constitute erect and incorporate into one body politic and corporate by the name of THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS IN ENGLAND AND WALES the said William Turquand John Unwin Wing Anthony Wigham Chalmers Henry Grosvenor Nicholson Jarvis William Barber Charles Henry Wade and Edwin Guthrie and such other persons as are by this Our Charter made or declared to be members or as shall hereafter be admitted as members of the said body corporate with perpetual succession and a Common Seal and with power to alter and renew the same at discretion Willing and ordaining that the said body corporate (hereinafter referred to as the Institute) shall be capable in law to take and hold any personal property and also to take purchase and hold lands buildings and hereditaments for the purposes of the Institute with power to dispose thereof but so that the Institute shall apply its profits (if any) or other income in promoting its objects and shall not at any time pay any dividend to its Members. And we do also will ordain and declare as follows (that is to say): (Clauses 1 to 28 inclusive were revoked by clause 32 (now clause 18) of the Supplemental Charter of 21st December 1948.)
In Witness whereof We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent. Witness Ourself at our Palace of Westminster, the Eleventh day of May in the Forty third Year of Our Reign. By Her Majesty’s Command, CARDEW.