In 1967, a regional economic community referred to as the East African Community (EAC) was founded by the Governments of three countries Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. The idea of setting up Accountancy Institutes was conceived by the Governments of the three East African countries and each government was to pass an enabling law.
An Accountants Act was enacted in 1970 but unfortunately, due to the political upheavals of the 1970s, the Act never got the required Presidential assent to effectively become an enabling law. It remained on the shelves of the Parliament of Uganda until it was repealed in 1992 to pave way for the new Act.
At ICPAU's inception, the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Finance under the IDA project, provided a seed grant of USD 1 million to start the profession. Part of the grant was used on a twinning arrangement with an experienced accountancy body; the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), the oldest professional accountancy institute in the world, to assist ICPAU in its formative years. This enabled the Institute to start on a firm foundation.
At the establishment of ICPAU, only 79 professional accountants were registered and these are counted as the only professional accountants the country had at the time. All of them held foreign professional accountancy qualifications. A number of World Bank Reports, of past years, indicate that indicated that cost of training professional accountants in the country was high, mainly, due to reliance on foreign professional courses and materials. The development of ICPAU has helped to reduce that cost of such training.
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) was established in 1992 by an Act of Parliament, now the Accountants Act, 2013