The Accounting Historians Journal
Vol. 14, No. 1
Edward N. Coffman
VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY
A Synopsis of Essays on Historical Accounting Topics Published in the Centennial Issue of the Journal of Accountancy
In late 1985, members of the Academy of Accounting Histo-rians were invited by Dr. James Don Edwards (University of Georgia) to participate in the centennial celebration of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 1987 by submitting essays on historical accounting topics for possible publication in a centennial issue of the Journal of Accountancy to be edited by Dr. Edwards. In response to the invitation, a memorandum was mailed in December 1985, to all individual members of the Academy asking that they submit for possible publication in the centennial issue, essays on historical account-ing events in the United States within the last 100 years that have had an impact on the accounting profession. The 600 word essays were received and anonymously reviewed by a committee com-posed of Academy members Edward N. Coffman, Gary J. Previts, and Richard G. Vangermeersch.
Due to the limited space devoted to these essays in the special issue of the Journal of Accountancy, only a small number of the many fine essays submitted were published. The following paragraphs contain a brief synopsis of each essay published in the centennial issue of the Journal.
"McKesson & Robbins" by Andrew Barr (Formerly Chief Accountant, SEC) and Irving J. Galpeer (Formerly Assistant Regional Administrator, NYRO, SEC).
The Securities and Exchange Commission case of McKesson & Robbins involving fraudulent disclosure of nonexistent assets and fictitious sales in the company's 1937 certified statements had significant impact on the public accounting profession. The adverse publicity resulting from the case shocked the accounting profession as it was the first time that the practices of the profession were subject to significant public and governmental