Background & History

The Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA) is a regional organisation representing twenty-nine national professional accountancy organisations (PAOs) from twenty-one jurisdictions that operate in, or have an interest in, the Asia-Pacific region. The membership of these organisations comprise over 2 million professional accountants.

CAPA’s 60th anniversary commemorative book titled ‘CAPA – Sixty Years and Counting’ documents CAPA’s history from its inception in the year 1957 up to the year 2017.

CAPA is one of four regional organisations (ROs) recognised by the global accountancy profession, which is represented by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The other ROs represent PAOs in Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

CAPA has a unique role within the accountancy profession, positioned between IFAC and the national PAOs, which represent the profession in each jurisdiction. Accordingly, CAPA is better placed to undertake certain initiatives and activities than either IFAC or the PAOs.

CAPA provides the structure to enable relationship building and knowledge sharing among PAOs operating in the region and to undertake specific activities consistent with the organisation’s vision and mission.

CAPA’s mission is supported by medium to long-term strategies and short-term work plans. These embrace both the public and private sectors and all facets of the accountancy profession.


The Formation of CAPA

CAPA was the brainchild of the President of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Governor Gregorio S. Licaros, who was also the Governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines back then.

28 Nov – 1 Dec, 1957

Manila, Philippines

The First Far East Conference of Accountants was held.

The First Far East Conference of Accountants created history in the accountancy world as it became the base for various professional accounting bodies in the Far East to confer every few years to discuss and exchange information.

This event was the forerunner of CAPA as it actualised the concept of a regional conference of accountants in the Asia-Pacific region, and has since been identified as the 1st CAPA Conference.

Delegates from the following 15 jurisdictions attended the conference, and these jurisdictions were considered the founding members of CAPA.

  1. Australia                                       9. North Borneo
  2. Hong Kong                                 10. Pakistan
  3. India                                            11. Sarawak
  4. Indonesia                                   12. Taiwan
  5. Japan                                         13. Thailand
  6. Korea                                          14. The Philippines
  7. Malaya                                       15. Vietnam
  8. New Zealand

Delegates from England and the Netherlands attended the conference as observers.

This first conference resulted in several important issues:

  • A proposal for the establishment of a “federation of accountants” in the Far East region.
  • To hold similar conferences in the future at regular interval; primarily to discuss and to exchange ideas and information among member countries.
31 Mar – 2 Apr, 1960

Canberra & Melbourne, Australia

The Asian and Pacific Accounting Convention was held.

Apart from the 15 jurisdictions that attended the first conference, delegates from these new jurisdictions joined the second conference:

  1. Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)
  2. Singapore
  3. United States of America

As more jurisdictions became involved, the conference was renamed the ‘Asian and Pacific Accounting Convention’, and has since been identified as the 2nd CAPA Conference.

15-19 Oct, 1962

Tokyo & Kyoto, Japan

The Conference of the Asian and Pacific Accountants was held.

This conference was named the ‘Conference of the Asian and Pacific Accountants’, the first time the acronym “CAPA” was used. With this, subsequent conferences were named as “CAPA Conference”. This has since been identified as the 3rd CAPA Conference, and delegates from the following new jurisdictions joined.

  1. Burma
  2. Canada
 20-24 Sep, 1976

Hong Kong

 The 8th CAPA Conference was held.

At the conclusion of this conference, CAPA adopted a formal charter, established an Executive Committee (now the Board) and elected its first President.

With this, the organisation was formally renamed the ‘Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants’.