The CPA system was introduced in 1948 under a new set of policies seeking to dissolve the nation's industrial and financial cliques (zaibatsu), to popularize securities trading with citizens, and to increase the number of individual shareholders. The JICPA started as a voluntary organization in 1949 and later became a corporation under the CPA Act in 1966. Since then, the JICPA has enjoyed over sixty years of professional excellence. Meanwhile, financial statement audits by CPAs have started under the Securities and Exchange Act in 1951, and auditing and accounting standards have developed and subsequently revised over time. The JICPA has always been committed to remain transparent and independent as a self-regulatory organization for the accountancy profession. In serving the public interest and strengthening the accountancy profession, the JICPA has also been committed to maintaining the quality of services provided by members and upholding the professional ethics, values, and standards. Registration with the JICPA is mandatory for all professionals wishing to work as CPAs in Japan and, as of January 31, 2017, over 29,000 CPAs and 220 audit firms are registered.