The Accounting Historians Journal
Vol. 14, No. 1
James Don Edwards UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
The American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants: A Century of Progress and Commitment to the Accountancy Profession
THE AICPA: A PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTION IN A DYNAMIC SOCIETY
The American Association of Public Accountants was formed in 1887 as a new era in American history was dawning. In this new society, science, technology and business often merged in developing new techniques to tap the nation's resources more efficiently. The new urban-industrial setting required new forms of expertise and specialized knowledge. With the help of the American Institute of CPAs and its predecessors, public ac-counting came to fill a unique and essential role in American society.
The AICPA's contributions in developing public accountancy are enormous. Raising the quality of accounting practice has always been essential to the AICPA's purpose. To achieve this goal the Institute has had to maintain a delicate balance between flexiblility and standardization — flexibility to allow improve-ments in accounting methods, and standardization to create stability and public confidence in the accounting profession. Through the three standard-setting boards and its encourage-ment of research, the Institute has created a body of technical knowledge; by its educational and experience requirements and its Code of Ethics, the AICPA has worked to meet the accounting profession's social responsibilities.
LEADERS OF THE ACCOUNTING PROFESSION FOURTEEN WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE
In the article the author commemorates the contributions of 14 leaders who have bettered the profession over the first century of American accounting. Of these 14, four men are highlighted: Robert H. Montgomery, George O. May, William A. Paton and Carman G. Blough.