This study considers the final examinations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, from 1882–1981. Discussion of the likely purposes of the examinations, and of possible ways of assessing their efficiency, is followed by a review of the final examination structures from 1882 onwards. Finally, material on the achieved pass rates is presented. The structural changes illustrate some shift in emphasis from bookkeeping and law towards managerial accounting and economics, taxation, and systems and data processing. Pass rates have declined from around 60 percent to around 40 percent over the period, though not evenly.

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