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A Brief History of Kaplan

Kaplan can trace its roots back to the very beginning of accountancy training in the UK. Explore the timeline to learn more about the history of accountancy training and Kaplan.

1854

The Accountancy Revolution

In the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution caused a sharp surge in trade, in turn increasing demand for better and more accurate financial information. This led to the creation of the world's first professional body of accountants, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), which received its Royal Charter in 1854.

Also around this time:

  • 1854: start of the Crimean War
  • 1859: publication of Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species'
 
1880

The growth of Professional Bodies

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) was established by royal charter. It brought together five professional accountancy bodies: Incorporated Society of Liverpool Accountants, Institute of Accountants in London, Manchester Institute of Accountants, Sheffield Institute of Accountants and Society of Accountants in England. The ICAEW now develops and supports more than 147,000 members worldwide.

1884

The start of Accountancy Tuition in the UK – H Foulks Lynch Established

The creation of professional accountancy bodies provided the perfect environment for the establishment of a business that could help students prepare for and pass their professional examinations. H Foulks Lynch ( the forerunner of AT Foulks Lynch and AT Emile Wolf, both later to become part of Kaplan) was founded in 1884 in response to the need for a more formal and structured approach to accountancy training. In a move away from traditional text books, H Foulks Lynch pioneered the accountancy manual.

 
1904

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) formed

ACCA traces its origin to 1904, when eight people formed the London Association of Accountants, the forerunner of ACCA, to allow more open access to the profession. In 1909, Ethel Ayres Purdie becomes a member, the first woman to belong to a professional accountancy body.

Also around this time:

  • 1901: Victoria dies and is succeeded by Edward VII
  • 1903: The Women's Social and Political Union is formed to campaign for women's suffrage
  • 1908: Olympic Games open at White City in London
1919

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) formed

CIMA was founded in 1919 as "The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants" (ICWA). It became the "Chartered Institute of Management Accountants" (CIMA) in 1986, after it was granted a Royal Charter. Today, CIMA support 150,000 Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMAs) across the globe.

Also around this time:

  • 1914: Britain declares war on Germany in response to the invasion of Belgium
  • 1918: Limited numbers of women are given the vote for the first time
  • 1918: World War One ends when Germany signs an armistice
 
1929-1933

The hard life of a Trainee Accountant

During this time, Charles Kohler chronicled his time as a London chartered accountant's articled clerk. Typical of this era, he received no pay for his five years' of hard work, and studied mostly using a correspondence programme with H Foulks Lynch. He found this "Thorough but narrow, practical rather than theoretical". The salary-less position required one to study in one's own time, and gave limited support when attempting to pass a set of demanding examinations. There were no exemptions and failing one paper at a sitting meant that you had to retake them all (a practice that continued well into the 1980s). Pass rates were, therefore, relatively low, compared with modern expectations, despite it weighing down on the student's personal finances.

1938

Stanley Kaplan starts tutoring students in the United States

On the other side of the Atlantic, Stanley Kaplan starts tutoring students in the basement of his parents' Brooklyn home, New York. Many of his students were from immigrant families, eager to pursue higher education and achieve success in America.

 
1953

Residential courses begin with the purchase of Caer Rhun Hall

Face-to-face accountancy tuition is born when V.R. 'Ronnie' Anderson starts the first residential courses at Caer Rhun Hall in North Wales, a late Victorian pile of some 20 bedrooms in the Conwy Valley. In the 1950s, trainee accountants had to pay for their own training and even pay to work. This led to an exclusive profession, usually restricted to those who had wealthy families.

Anderson also introduced a unique personalised method of training. The whole process was based on an in-depth understanding of the concept of learning, backed up by tailored feedback. These are still the guiding principles that training providers, such as Kaplan, apply today.

1958

ATF: The early roots of The Financial Training Company

Two bright ex-students of Caer Rhun, Gerry Thomas and Mervyn Frankel, set up a London office and formed Anderson, Thomas, Frankel (ATF) - the forerunner of the Financial Training Company, the core of what is now Kaplan in the UK. ATF soon developed into a major force in the tuition business and in the late 1960s, Caer Rhun/ATF expanded to other cities including Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.

Also around this time:

  • 1952: Elizabeth II succeeds her father George XI
  • 1953: Watson and Crick publish their discovery of the structure of DNA
  • 1957: The Casio Computer Company, in Japan, released the world's first all-electric compact calculator
 
1967

A key decision that would change the face of accountancy

On 27th July 1967, HM Queen Elizabeth put quill to vellum and enacted the Companies Act 1967. Before 1967, no firm could have more than 20 partners. The Act of 1967 repealed this, resulting in a merger spree and allowing the growth of national and global accountancy firms. Also around this time, the ICAEW made firms responsible for their trainees’ contracts and also made a university degree an entry requirement

Also around this time:

  • 1963: New universities open and students get state support
  • 1965: Comprehensive education system is initiated
  • 1966: England wins the Football World Cup
1971

Formation of The Financial Training Company – National classroom delivery

Due to the growth of national accountancy firms, national training companies also began to develop. One of the first training providers to grow in the wake of these shifts was the Financial Training Company (FTC), which opened offices across the country starting with Manchester and Leeds. FTC quickly became a very successful public company and in 1973 it was floated on the London Stock Exchange.

 
1971-1993

The expansion of Accountancy Training in the UK

Between the 70s and early 90s, accountancy tuition flourished with many new providers, mergers and acquisitions. Accountancy Tuition Centres (ATC) developed separately from the other major players out of publisher H Foulkes Lynch. In 1983, ATC and Caer Rhun Hall formed an alliance as a separate entity with tuition run under the ATC banner and in 1985 ATC was incorporated as a private limited company.

Also around this time:

  • 1971: Decimalised currency replaces 'pounds, shillings and pence'
  • 1973: Britain joins the European Economic Community
  • 1989: Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web
  • 1992: Channel Tunnel opens, linking London and Paris by rail
2001

Apprenticeship: the new pathway to accountancy qualification

Kaplan offers apprenticeships to school leavers as an alternative route to accountancy qualification. Nowadays, Kaplan is a leading apprenticeship training provider in both Accountancy and Financial Services, training over 3,000 apprentices each year across the country.

 
2003

Kaplan Inc acquires FTC – Consolidation of the Accountancy Training market

By 2003 the tuition market had grown considerably, with many students choosing to study accountancy across a variety of professional bodies. Tuition providers had become global institutions, offering a whole range of courses both across the UK and overseas.

Meanwhile, the US based Kaplan Inc, started in Stanley Kaplan's basement back in 1938, had grown into one of the world's largest education providers. Kaplan saw FTC as the perfect fit to expand into the UK and purchased the company in February 2003. Later that year, Kaplan further consolidated the training market in the UK by acquiring several others: AT Foulks Lynch(ATFL), the Accountancy Tuition Centres (ATC) and AT Emile Wolf (ATEW).

2008

Kaplan expands into Leadership and Professional Development

Kaplan widened its course offerings into leadership and professional development by purchasing Hawksmere Limited, a London-based management training provider. Now known as Kaplan Leadership & Professional Development, the division trains over 12,000 people a year, in the UK and globally. The training solutions offered by Kaplan Leadership & Professional Development help enhance the technical competence and behavioural confidence of employees from a wide array of companies.

Also around this time:

  • 2003: Skype transforming communication
  • 2007: Apple introduces the iPhone
  • 2008: Beginning of the Global Financial Crisis
 
2010

Kaplan creates a Virtual Classroom

Kaplan further invested in learning technologies and explored new ways in which tuition could be delivered outside the traditional classroom. 2010 saw the launch of Live Online - a revolutionary interactive product that allows tutors to teach anywhere in the world, with students able to interact live via the use of a chat panel.

2013

Kaplan launches a new type of classroom

The traditional classroom was under pressure with many predicting online as the only way forward. Kaplan took a different view and built ”the 21st Century Classroom”. This enhanced teaching environment provides the tutors with the latest technology, enabling them to facilitate creative and compelling learning, showing content using multi-board displays and interactive content.

 
2014

Flexible learning for Malaysian accountancy students

Kaplan began to offer tailored Live Online and Distance Learning courses to accountancy students in Malaysia for CIMA, ACCA and ICAEW. This has helped hundreds of students get access to the quality of accountancy tuition they require without having to make a potentially arduous journey to a distant classroom.

2016

Kaplan launches its OnDemand study method

Recent years have seen a shift towards both online and on demand learning, with companies, professional accountancy bodies and students requesting more and more flexibility. Kaplan adapted to this changing environment by launching OnDemand, a tutor-led online course with the flexibility to start studying anytime. Initially launched for CIMA, Kaplan plans to expand this new of new way of learning to other qualifications in the near future.

 
2017

In 2017, Kaplan announced significant improvements to MyKaplan, the online learning environment for students.

With the Apprenticeship Levy coming into effect in April 2017, Kaplan, as a leading provider of financial apprenticeships, launched its "Fully Managed Levy Service", supporting companies in managing the changes and making the most of their available training fund.

Kaplan expands its reach into the Middle East with the acquisition of Dubai-based Genesis Institute.

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