The ICPA were formed in recognition of the fact that little was being done to help the thousands of small accountancy practices throughout the UK known as local, or high street or GP accountants.
No one Institute or organisation was dedicated solely to these practices with the result that Accountants everywhere regardless of their Institute felt at best marginalised and at worst frankly abandoned.
The founders of the ICPA were all accountants in practice in varying institutes and they got together as friends to vent their mutual dissatisfaction and frankly have a good old moan about how they were being treated.
It soon dawned on them that moaning was getting them nowhere and out of this anger and frustration was borne the ICPA.
It was decided to be practice specific and to recognise and concentrate solely on the needs and wants of the small practitioner and to try to bring innovation and recognition to bear.
The ICPA set out to put together a range of benefits and support that would make accountants everywhere feel welcome and appreciated and understood.
We started with a quality magazine and moved on through professional indemnity insurance, free commercial software and CPE. The CPE was originally delivered on disc but we upgraded to online lectures. We included free technical telephone helplines on Tax, VAT and HR followed by specialist Tax and Insolvency helplines, the list of benefits just started to grow and continues to grow even now.
The ICPA sought to establish relationships with commercial businesses that were providing services to the small practice sector and gradually we have grown a list of ICPA supporters that includes :
Accountingweb, Mark McLaughlin CIOT, Qtax Payroll, Qdos Consulting, Taxwise, PQ Magazine, Bankstream, Prelude Accounts, Diamond Discovery, My Firms App, In-sight Marketing, the AMLCC. DCA Business Recovery, FA Simms, Kohn Cougar, Sennett Insurance, Bloomsbury Professional Publishers, Qdos Contractor, 2020, Taxcalc, Taxationweb, BTC Software.....
All of whom recognise what we are trying to do and are happy to be associated with us.
We sought to influence the lawmakers and as a result ICPA members are on HMRC Working together groups throughout the UK and are represented on the Tax Strategy Group and respond to Consultations that affect their work, which is yet more recognition of our work and standing.
In a short space of time it became apparent that there were many many more Accountants who felt like they did and membership numbers grew and grew and most pleasing was the fact that members were joining who were ICAEW, ACCA, CIOT, AAT, ATT, qualified and for those who were qualified by experience the ICPA became their first chance of genuine recognition and they have joined also.
As of December 2016 ICPA have 950+ practices that have joined and if you count the individual partners/directors of these 950+ practices we have 1,200+ individuals who have stopped moaning and joined.