Edward Peragallo HOLY CROSS COLLEGE
CHALLENGES FACING TEACHERS OF ACCOUNTING HISTORY
All accounting historians are certainly in accord with Professor S. Paul Garner's "Reflections on the Uses of Accounting History," which appeared in the initial issue of The Accounting Historian.
One of Professor Garner's goals, however, does present some serious initial difficulties in its realization. He mentions, and rightly so, that "the cultivation of accounting history may be very useful in advancing the understanding of accounting by beginning accounting students," and he calls this "an almost overwhelming opportunity for accounting historians...." One must heartily agree with this, but the implementing of this "opportunity" presents formidable prob-lems to both the accounting historian and the accounting teacher.
This article represents observations on a problem that has been bothering me for years. Given the subject matter to be covered, the many curriculum constraints we face, and at times the outright hostility to any accounting program, how does one go about intro-ducing accounting history, particularly in a beginning course? I find it almost an impossible task. I do make token attempts to intro-duce some history whenever the subject matter lends itself, but the impact on the class is minimal and not very satisfactory. Perhaps the fellows of The Academy would benefit by considering these challenges facing the teachers of accounting history:
1. The structure of present introductory courses is dictated, to a large extent, by available accounting textbooks and these do not feature accounting history.
2. Many teachers of introductory accounting either lack an his-torical background or lack an interest in the historical development of accounting. Most are concerned solely with the present state of their discipline and its applications and uses in profit and non-profit enterprises.
3. A serious problem is the subject matter to be covered in a beginning course. At present this subject matter is extensive. It begins with the accounting cycle and continues with principles of valuation, partnerships, corporations, manufacturing, statement