Throughout our history, we’ve done things differently.

We put our values into practice so we’re regularly the first in the profession to introduce new products and services, and showcase new research and policies.

From being the first accountancy body to admit women to membership in 1909 to doubling the number of exam sessions we run in 2016, we’re proud to be pioneers.

Find out more from our timeline below.


2020 Integrity

UN Sustainability Development Goals

Responding to the UN’s call for ‘a decade of action’, we announce a set of commitments towards delivering the SDGs.

2020 Integrity

Call for action against climate change

We call for action against climate change as part of the Accounting for Sustainability network


2019 Inclusion

20 years in the Caribbean

We celebrate 20 years since we established our ACCA Caribbean office


2018 Innovation

Introduction of Strategic Professional

September 2018 sees ACCA introduce Strategic Professional – a new level of the ACCA Qualification

2018 Inclusion

Together we shape the future

ACCA celebrates its 30th anniversary in China


2017 Inclusion

Membership milestone

200,000 people around the world are ACCA members and celebrate at events around the world


2016 Inclusion

Expanding opportunities for our members

We form a strategic alliance with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ)

2016 Innovation

Delivering flexibility for students and employers

We've doubled the number of exam sessions we run. Now our students can choose from four exam sessions per year.


2015 Innovation

Access accountancy with ACCA-X

We make a career in accountancy even more accessible by launching ACCA-X - a combination of free and affordable digital courses leading to our professional qualification.

2015 Innovation

World first with University of London

Our ground-breaking partnership with the University of London means that we're the first accountancy body to join with a university to enable students worldwide to gain a Master's degree and a professional accountancy qualification at the same time.


2014 Inclusion

Our first MOOC launches

In partnership with the University of Exeter we developed Discovering Business in Society.

2014 Integrity

World first in integrated reporting exams

We're the first accountancy body to examine integrated reporting throughout our professional level exams.


2013 Inclusion

New strategic partnership

We form a global strategic partnership with the Institute of Management Accountants.


2012 Innovation

Online Job Board launches

In response to market demand, we launch ACCA Careers, our online Job Board.


2011 Integrity

Celebrating our services to accounting

Chief executive Helen Brand receives OBE for services to accountancy.

2011 Inclusion

Foundations in Accountancy

Our new entry-level suite of qualifications launches to give more people the chance to access the profession.


2009 Integrity

Improving transparency

We produce our first CSR report, putting our own operational performance on the area of sustainability on record.


2007 Integrity

Do the right thing

We put ethics and professionalism at the heart of a revamped ACCA Qualification.


2005 Innovation

Keeping our members up to date

Our continuing professional development scheme is introduced, which requires our members to keep their skills and experience up to date.


2004 Innovation

Celebrating 100 years of opportunity

Events around the world mark our centenary, and 100,000 people around the world are ACCA members.


2002 Innovation

Get connected

ACCA Connect opens - it's the first global contact centre for an accountancy body.


2001 Innovation

Degrees of membership

Following the success of our BSc, we launch an exclusive MBA programme with Oxford Brookes University for our members.


1999 Innovation

Maximising opportunities for students

With Oxford Brookes University, we launch a BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting. This means that our students can gain a degree and a professional qualification at the same time - it's a first in the market and now the largest undergraduate accounting programme in the world.


1997 Inclusion

Technically speaking

Technician-level qualifications are part of our range of qualifications for the first time as we introduce the Certified Accounting Technician qualification (CAT).


1996 Innovation

Growing the profession

Membership reaches 50,000 and nearly 130,000 students.

1996 Integrity

Setting the standard

Our new syllabus is launched, based on international accounting standards - a first in the profession.


1995 Innovation

Going online is launched. Now that we have a web presence, development starts on a comprehensive suite of e-business services.


1993 Innovation

A woman's place in the boardroom

Anthea Rose becomes our first female chief executive.


1991 Innovation

Going green

We introduce an environmental reporting awards scheme, and it's the first of its kind.


1988 Inclusion

Eastern opportunities

We begin market development in mainland China.


1986 Integrity

Statutory recognition

In the UK, we become recognised under the Financial Services Act.


1982 Inclusion

Growing the profession

We now have 25,000 members.


1980 Inclusion

Madam president

Vera di Palma becomes our first female president - and also the first female president of any international accountancy body - when she takes office.

1980 Inclusion

Behind the Iron Curtain

We begin to explore opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe, helping to develop the profession in former Soviet states and in the Russian Federation.


1974 Integrity

Royal recognition of excellence

We receive our UK Royal Charter.


1965 Inclusion

Growing our presence in the Caribbean

A joint examination scheme is established in Jamaica, leading to partnerships with many bodies in the Caribbean.


1950 Inclusion

International expansion

Branches spring up in Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Nigeria and Malawi.


1940 Integrity

War work

During the Second World War, with the help of the Red Cross, we enable prisoners of war to sit ACCA exams.


1936 Inclusion

Arrival in Asia

Our Malaysia-Singapore branch is set up.


1920 Innovation

Student growth

2,800 students take our exams.


1913 Innovation

Going global

Our first branch outside the UK is opened in South Africa.


1910 Inclusion

Our first thousand

We reach a milestone - the registration of 1,000 members.


1909 Innovation

Making women count

Ethel Ayres Purdie becomes a member, the first woman to belong to a professional accountancy body.


1905 Inclusion

Ready, study, go

We introduce our first examinations.

1905 Innovation

Members' journal

Our members' journal - The Circular - is launched and is still produced today as AB magazine.


1904 Innovation

Opportunities begin

On 30 November, eight accountants found the London Association of Accountants, the forerunner of ACCA.