The individual segments of the FSAA grew through a market need of professionals within each market to maintain and enhance their knowledge of changes effecting their role in their own organisation. It allowed extended networking between fellow colleagues, the opportunity to exchange ideas, learn together and keep abreast of current developments in both industry segments. The FSAA was formed when the AAIA and the LIDG merged in April 2000.
During 1966 a small group of insurance accountants started meeting over informal monthly luncheons to talk over common problems within the general insurance industry. Under the motivating force of Mr F D Neal, who was the first Secretary of the "Balance Club", as it was then called, the members started meeting regularly. These opportunities enabled the exchange of ideas which could improve the efficiency of insurance accounting. The initial strong growth of participants led to the need to draw up a Constitution which was received and adopted at the inaugural meeting held on 8th May, 1967 in NSW.
After the first year where membership grew to 51, quarterly luncheon meetings were held at the Pfahlert's Hotel (now demolished) and were well attended. Even in the first year there was quick interest shown by fellow accountants in Victoria. Although expansion into that state was planned, it was felt that the position in NSW should be consolidated first. The inaugural meeting of the Victorian division took place in April 1971 , and later in 1975 a small group of South Australian accountants held their own meetings. Throughout the 1970's there was a need for the association to provide educational material to its members and a series of booklets were published by the Association. Credit Control in 1968, Reporting to Management in 1970, Accounting for Profitability in 1971 and Internal Audit and Control in 1974. With the arrival of the Insurance Act 1973 and the Insurance Council of Australia in 1975, the association decreased its level of involvement in publications and refocused its activity by building a strong relationship with the ICA and the ISC.
After a lull of Association activities in the 1980's particularly with the NSW division which struggled to hold even a half yearly luncheon, the introduction of the new accounting standard AASB1023 and at the same time introduction of income tax ruling IT2663 as well as the complete revision to the Insurance Act Returns, saw the urgent need for a significant resurgence in the Association, and in particular the need for a new and energetic committee. Since then the association has grown rapidly with its first truly national conference held in 1992 and an annual conference held ever since, the implementation of a general insurance introductory accounting education course in 1996, followed by a series of Advanced/Specialist accounting programs 1998. In addition there was the introduction of a regular newsletter, internet web site, and the strict practice of having regular quarterly lunches, technical workshops and an annual Christmas party. This has seen membership steadily grow throughout the 1990s to over 600 members by the turn of the century including representation from all states and territories. By 1994 it was necessary to structure the committees with a federal body (as always existed) and eight specific sub-committees in each division looking after the various activities of the association with each sub-committee having a Chairperson and support members. With the volume of activities and increased workload of the committee by 1998, the AAIA decided to outsource its administration activities to a specialist company.
After the commencement of the Sydney group, a like group was commenced in Melbourne about a year later by Greg Hyde and was known as the Melbourne LADG having similar goals to that of the Sydney based group but run independently.
In September 1992, the first of the LADG conferences were held in Alice Springs with the theme of 'Working Together'. This not only brought accountants from around Australia and New Zealand together, but also actuaries, regulators and standard setters in which become a very interesting time for the industry. A new life insurance act was being developed as well as a life insurance accounting standard for the industry.
This forum and future forums were used to air opinions and discuss the technicalities in developing these significant changes to the way the industry was to be run in the future. A close liaison between the group and the regulators developed through mutual co-operation. Conferences were subsequently held 18 months apart thereafter, with the most recent being held at the Hyatt Coolum resort on the Sunshine Coast in May 2000. In all, six conferences were held.
The group became a formal association in November 1993 as the LADG Inc. It later changed it's name to the FSAA Inc. in June 1999, which was later adopted by the newly merged group in April 2000.
During the years that the association ran as a independent body, the luncheon meeting continued to provide a wide range of topics which became accompanied by technical updates provided by the Ernst & Young accounting firm at each meeting. This enabled members to be fully briefed by the changing issues from meeting to meeting, with a written summary being provided to members.
Membership varied from time to time but rose to approximately 140 in Sydney and up to 80 in Melbourne. Members were primarily accountants but also included a number of actuaries and other interested industry members