Our Company’s Arms were granted in 1979 and then re-granted by our 2012 Royal Charter.
They feature griffins, heraldic monsters which are half-eagle and half-lion, traditionally regarded as the guardians of treasure and thus appropriate for accountants. In 1645, Sir Thomas Browne said of griffins that they “defended the mines of gold”.
Our motto, ‘True and Fair’, expresses the fundamentals of the accounting profession, repeating in words the message of the scales.
The three towers are a reference to the City of London and its walls, and also our Members role in protecting client’s assets. The blue background symbolises the River Thames, and hence London, the site of much of the Company’s activity. The red and white checkering is a reference to an ancient counting cloth or Scacarium.
Each tower has an arched entrance with a portcullis gate, one fully open, another half open and the third closed. These gates illustrate the various stages of accounts preparation from the beginning, through balancing the books, to finally closing off the books once the accounts have been completed.
The griffin atop each tower, in the watchful or “regardant” pose, is traditionally a guardian of treasure in heraldy. The combination of red, white and blue on the shield is a secondary reference to our Members’ nationwide reach.
The crest’s scale balance reflects our motto ‘True and Fair’ and also echoes the scales carried by Economia, the main charge in the Arms of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
The arm in the armour which bears the scales symbolises the protection from financial loss that chartered accountants offer their clients. The checkered wings between which the arms and scales stand are dragon wings, dragons being the supporters of the City of London’s coat of arms.
The shield’s supporters are the Lion of England and the Dragon of Wales. The Lion bears the City’s sword and the Dragon bears a key, an emblem of security signifying sage and sound methods of professional practice results.