The Accounting Historians Journal Vol. 9, No. 2 Fall 1982
William D. Cooper UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT GREENSBORO
CARMAN G. BLOUGH'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO ACCOUNTING: AN OVERVIEW
Abstract: A focus on the years of Carman G. Blough's life in which he made sig-nificant contributions to the accounting profession.
Carman G. Blough came on the national scene (1935) at a point in time when accountants were held in low regard by the public. Accountants were forced by environmental factors to accept a greater responsibility for the financial statements and to clarify ac-counting and auditing practices and procedures. As Chief Account-ant for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and later as Director of Research for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Blough became a stabilizing influence that helped the profession develop greater consistency and uniformity.
The Years with the SEC
Blough joined the staff of the SEC in 1934 as a financial analyst and was appointed the Chief Accountant of the Commission one year later.1 As the first Chief Accountant of the Commission, Blough had the task of establishing the duties and responsibilities of that position. Blough felt that the office of Chief Accountant should not have administrative responsibility over public accountants but the profession might look to the Chief Accountant for assistance in policy and principle decisions. Moreover, questions concerning ac-counting methods followed by registrants should be forwarded to the Chief Accountant for final decision.2 The Commission agreed with Blough's concepts and took steps to clarify the duties and functions of the new position. Under the direction of SEC Commis-sioners, Blough was able to gain control over accounting problems facing the Commission.3 A measure of the soundness of Blough's organizational concept is to note that the office of Chief Accountant is today still organized along the functional system advanced by him.