London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:

1870 - 2019

Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, including charter, minutes of the Council and various Committees; committee reports; bye-laws; circulars; correspondence; legal papers; legal advice; precedent books of complaints; membership lists and registers; scrapbooks, event and printed material; and papers regarding the International Congress of Accounting.

    Records of the Institute of Accountants; including minute books; rules and regulations; and letter books.

    Records of the Society of Incorporated Accountants and Auditors; including minute books; registers of members; and papers relating to staff.

    Records of Chartered Accountants' Trustees Limited and associated funds, Chartered Accountants' Charities Limited and other subsidiaries. Also held are records of The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies Limited (CCAB) and other other organisations which were jointly established by ICAEW with several accountancy bodies.


    Most records are freely available for study and research apart from the records of the Investigation and Disciplinary Committees, which are subject to an 80-year closure, and records relating to examinations, which are permanently closed and available only by permission of ICAEW. Further records relating to members are subject to restrictions under data protection legislation. Requests to view records with restricted access should be directed to ICAEW Library and Information Service staff who will liaise with the relevant ICAEW department on your behalf. Contact:

    Photographic reproductions of the unrestricted records may be made for private study, provided that no damage to the records will be caused by the copying process. Researchers requiring photographic reproductions for publication should apply for written permission from ICAEW.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MAIN MEMBERSHIP RECORDS AND INDEXES HAVE BEEN RETAINED BY THE INSTITUTE AND ONLY SUBSIDIARY RECORDS ARE HELD AT LMA. All enquiries about membership should therefore be directed to the Registrar, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Gloucester House, 399 Silbury Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire MK9 2HL.
Extent: 1936 production units.
Classification: BUSINESSES
Former Reference: MS 28404- 28409; MS 28410- 28482, 35338, 35860- 6, 38403- 8; MS 28483- 28511, 35339
Site Location: Held offsite; some items at London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales was established by royal charter on 11 May 1880 reference code CLC/B/124/MS28431B). The charter incorporated the five English accountancy bodies established between 1870 and 1877: the Incorporated Society of Liverpool Accountants (now the Liverpool Society of Chartered Accountants); the Institute of Accountants; the Manchester Institute of Accountants (now the Manchester Society of Chartered Accountants); the Sheffield Institute of Accountants (now the Sheffield and District Society of Chartered Accountants); and the Society of Accountants in England.

    Its objects as redefined in the supplemental charter of 1948 were, and are: "to advance the theory and practice of accountancy in all its aspects, including, in particular, auditing, financial management and taxation; to recruit, educate and train a body of members skilled in these arts; to preserve at all times the professional independence of accountants in whatever capacities they may be serving; to maintain high standards of practice and professional conduct by all its members; to do all such things as may advance the profession of accountancy in relation to public practice, industry, commerce and the public service".

    Membership of the Institute at the time of incorporation was 599. The charter defined two classes of membership, fellows and associates, and provided for examination of those applying to be associate members. From the outset, the Institute aimed to raise the standards of new entrants to the profession. Its refusal to relax its strict admission requirements led, in 1885, to the formation of the Society of Accountants and Auditors by 300 accountants who did not qualify for membership of the Institute. This Society eventually amalgamated with the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Scottish and Irish Institutes in 1957.

    The first application for membership by a woman was received in 1888, but was not allowed until after the First World War when the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act in 1919 made it illegal to bar women from membership. In 1992, the Institute had over 100,000 members.

    The Institute sets its own entry requirements, code of ethics and disciplinary and practising standards, and monitors the activities of members and firms to ensure that the standards are maintained. It undertakes technical work and research, and offers arrange of advisory services to its members and to the public. It is a member of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies which includes the five major accountancy bodies in the British Isles, and is represented in the major international accountancy organisations. The Institute is governed by a council of 60 elected representatives who elect a president, deputy president and vice-president to hold office for one year. It is represented around the country by 22 district societies and 27 branch societies.

    The Institute has operated a library from the outset, as one of the principal objects of the Institute. The ICAEW library catalogue of 1903 states 'The foundation of the Library of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales is of earlier date than that of the Charter: the Library of the then existing Institute of Accountants, founded in 1870, having been transferred when the Charter was granted on the 11th May 1880'.

    The Institute was originally based at 3 Copthall Buildings. Its present headquarters building is Chartered Accountants' Hall, Moorgate Place, which was built in the early 1890s to the design of the leading Victorian architect, John Belcher, R. A. A second building was opened in Milton Keynes in 1984.

    For further information see: Howitt's 'The history of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales 1880-1965 and of its founder accountancy bodies 1870-1880'
Creator: ICAEW | Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales x Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Copyright: Depositor
Source of Acquisition:
  • The records of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library by the Institute on 12 November 1992; there were additional deposits on 12 May 2004 (Ms 35338), on 30 November 2004 (Ms 35860-6), 29 November 2005 (Ms 38403-9), 1 February 2012, 8 October 2014, 10 March 2015, 21 August 2019 and 11 December 2019. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.
  • B12/012
  • B14/155
  • B15/030
  • 1992/054
  • B19/097
  • B19/151
  • B20/017
Access Restrictions: These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998
Arrangement: The collection has been arranged in five sub-fonds as follows:
CLC/B/124-1: Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales;
CLC/B/124-2: Institute of Accountants;
CLC/B/124-3: Society of Incorporated Accountants and Auditors;
CLC/B/124-4: Chartered Accountants' Trustees Limited and associated funds and companies
CLC/B/124-5: Chartered Accountants' Charities Limited
CLC/B/124-6: CAIFS Limited
CLC/B/124-7: Chartered Accountants Property Leasing Limited
CLC/B/124-8: ETC Projects Limited
CLC/B/124-9: Joint Monitoring Unit Limited
CLC/B/124-10: Society of Incorporated Accountants Limited
CLC/B/124-11: Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies Limited
CLC/B/124-12: Joint Insolvency Examination Board
CLC/B/124-13: Foundation for Accountancy and Financial Managers
Related Material: See CLC/118 for the Chartered Accountants' Benevolent Association ICAEW have also collected archives of accountancy organisations which are deposited at London Metropolitan Archives. Catalogued collections consist of:
Hogg, Bullimore and Company (CLC/B/225/MS38409)