Sometime during the closing days of the first semester of 1959, September 22 to be exact, a group of 15 young senior BA Accounting majors decided to organize an association dedicated to the enhancement of their chosen field of expertise. Despite the lack of support from their classmates at that time, they formed the Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants (JPIA) with Antonio Lim as its first president. With the endorsement of Dean Jovina Lorenzo, the small organization immediately gained University recognition at the beginning of the year's second semester.
At that time, membership was open to all junior and senior students, non-accounting majors included. The application process was relatively simple: one has to pay a fee of P5.00 and fill up an application form—a far cry from our present screening procedures. Despite the leniency of the application process, the quality of its members never waned; it managed to outclass the other BA-based organization in terms of projects and the value of the association it bestowed to the college as a whole.
The organization never faltered to its pursuance of academic excellence. In 1963, UP JPIA initiated its first tutorial session to students as well as the distribution of sample exams. It catered socially to accounting majors where seminars in PICPA Activities and education films features were conducted twice a month, with the enthusiastic endorsement of the college administration under the helm of Dean Cesar Virata.
In 1965, the Junior Audit, the official news organ of the UP JPIA then, came off the press to cater to its members on relevant issues concerning the accounting field, as well as organization news tidbits and tsismis. In 1985, under the UP JPIA president Joseph Lim the news organ was given a facelift. The Current Account now covered not only the news on UP JPIA activities, but also of the different business sectors, highlighting the accounting profession. The news organ of UP JPIA was renamed "NetWORKS” by Emil Librea in 1955, then editor-in-chief. Eventually it was informally dubbed “Networx” as it is known today.
In 1966, UP JPIA, in cooperation with De La Salte University, launched the first National Federation of Certified Public Accountants in the country. With the endorsement of PICPA the Federation's membership grew from 4 in 1967 to 15 in the latter part of the 1970s. In 1983, UP JPIA was one of the six spokes (founding members) of the wheel that eventually became the National Federation of Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants (NF JPIA).
During the early part of the 70s, the period when radical ideas and concepts seeped into the consciousness of the University, UP JPIA, under the presidency of Melito Salazar, Jr. (who at that time, was also the treasurer of the USC), inculcated national awareness to the UP CBA studentry, traditionally known for its bourgeois image and indifference. Under his administration, UP JPIA toned down its activities that were sosyal in nature. It was also during his term that the Junior Audit was used to exhaustively discuss relevant political and economic issues.
In 1972, under the helm of Dean Jaime Laya, the five-year Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accountancy was launched, and with it the dawn of major changes in UP JPIA's membership qualifications. Entrance into the organization was limited to BAA students, and batch range participation included a new level of membership: the terminals.
Martial Law temporarily dissolved the organization with all student campus associations. However, it was granted recognition after less than a year by the college administration. With the reemergence of UP JPIA, a new and more fervent spirit was brought into the minds and hearts of its members and officers, and dynamic revisions were made on its activities. A new organ for the organization, the Accountdown was launched in 1975. Application for membership was made more stimulating in 1976, and its financial projects became more monumental in scope.
Throughout the years, UP JPIA has consistently produced the cream of the crop among the students not only in BA.but also in the entire university. With the likes of Annabelle Po, Jane Ang, Edward Zsornack, Eamwell Tiu, Lizette Abelia, Eugenio Tan, Billy Soo, Ana Parco, Evelyn Kho, Maita de Guzman, Garry Ng, Evelyn Chua, Dionne Sanchez and Duke Bajenting, and most recently Grace Dumalaog, the endless stream of UP JPIA Summa cum laudes could go on and on, which proves that JPIA members are not slouches when it comes to academic excellence in the college. In the University level even, it is hardly equaled.
UP JPIA has also consistently exposed its members to worthwhile socio-civic endeavors. It conducts regular outreach activities, among which include tree planting sessions, Paralympics in Tahanang Walang Hagdan, Medical Mission, Christmas parties for street kids, visits to UP PGH and East Avenue Medical Center Pediatric Wards, and Saturday Schoo| sessions. It has also established the Task Force Street Children of UP Diliman. Its current socio-civic venture, known as the Long-term Educational Assistance Program (LEAP), involves giving scholarships to those who need it. Each year, UP JPIA, together with the Office of Counseling and Guidance, holds the University Job Fair, a task it has held since 1997. It has also been consistently in the Steering Committee of the Freshmen Orientation Program Committee, serving as Chairperson for AY 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005.
UP JPIA's tradition of excellence was recognized by the administration when it was given
the distinction of being the "Most Outstanding CBA Organization" for five years, the "Most Outstanding Organization” in 1987,1989 and 1990 (under the leadership of Pauline Cetera, Ruth Ciriaco, and Susan Lim, respectively). Again in 1995, under the presidency of Greg Yaw, UP JPIA became the "Most Outstanding Organization” in UP. In 1993 and 1994, with Dowa Romero and Ronnie Traballo at the helm, UP JPIA was chosen as one of the Outstanding Local Chapters” by the National Federation. In 1995 (with Jasmin Viculado as president), the National Federation recognized UP JPIA as the Most Outstanding Local Chapter. In 1998, UP JPIA was the sole recipient of the most coveted "Gawad Chancellor Award for the Most Outstanding Organization” in UP. Since then, it has been awarded "Most Outstanding Local Chapter” twice (Noel Hernandez-1999; Lorybeth Baldrias-2000, also Most Outstanding JPIAn), "Outstanding Local Chapter” (Jay Jay Chua-2001; Sierra Basmayor-2002), and the Guilder Magazine's Organization of the Year and Organization-Head of the Year (Sierra Basmayor-2002). In 2004, it once again received the "Gawad Chancellor Award for the Most Outstanding Organization”, and named as an "Outstanding Local Chapter". In 2005 it once again received the “Gawad Chancellor Award for the Most Outstanding Organization”, and being a three-time recipient was inducted to the Gawad Chancellor Hall of Fame – the first and only recipient of this elite honor. This proves that UP JPIA, indeed, is one of the best organizations not only in the University, but also in the whole country.
With a swift passing of the old guard, the glorious reminder of forty-five years of experience, perhaps the conduct of this organization's history of excellence could never be better concluded than the words of UP JPIA member, Billy Soo:
''Long after the togas have been discarded, and the final debits made, JPIA will continue to go on and on, living a testimony of the stature of a profession whose time has finally come.”