KCA University history dates back to 1989, with the establishment of the institution as Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA)by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) to improve the quality of accountancy and financial management training in the country. The college was founded after a study conducted by Chart Foulks Lynch (CIPFA) services of the UK in 1987/88. The study revealed that the Kenyan economy required an additional four hundred qualified Accountants every year. The output of qualified accountants from the training institutions then was less than one hundred.
On commencement of its services in 1989, it enrolled 170 students but this number tremendously increased over the years and today, enrolment stands at over 12,000 students annually. To maintain a national outlook, the institution opened campuses in Kitengela, CBD and Kisumu, and Satellite College in Amagoro
The dream of converting the College into a university began in 1997. In 2000 the enrolment figures especially in foreign courses indicated an upward growth. KCA entered into collaboration with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and University of South Africa (UNISA) and successfully launched diploma and degree programmes.
In 2007, KCA received Letter of Interim Authority from the Commission for Higher Education to become KCA University and the 1st Vice Chancellor is installed. In 2012, KCA University was approved to receive a Charter from the Commission of Higher Education (CHE).
On 1st March 2013 the university was awarded a charter positioning it on the pedestal of full-fledged universities in Kenya. KCAU is accredited and will continue to offer high quality programmes. The university currently has a portfolio of programmes up to postgraduate studies.
In 2016, KCA received first cohort of publicly funded students from government who chose to study at the university. KCA was also ranked top private university in Employability by British Council Report 2016.
KCAU boasts an ultra-modern library which seats 1,500 and provides access to an extensive collection of books, periodicals (magazines and journals), audio-visual material and electronic databases and journals. The Martin Oduor-Otieno Library has an in-built network link and reliable wireless internet that facilitates research and academic discourse on a global platform.
Lectures in the main campus are held in the contemporary-design tuition complex which accommodates more than 3,000 students. The complex has integrated digital equipment in the 50 classrooms, 9 state-of-the art computer labs, and 5 lecture theatres incorporating modern ICT in the learning process and resulting in a versatile graduate.
At KCAU the holistic well-being of students is the first priority. The student support facilities include a professionally run counselling unit and clinic as well as a well- equipped gym. Students are encouraged to grow their leadership skills and personal strengths by joining any one of the 30 vibrant clubs and interest groups. With a strong sporting heritage, KCAU teams represent the University in various inter-varsity sporting activities and professional leagues.