Eric L. Kohler, CPA CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
IN ALL MY YEARS
It was in the early twenties that the ferment for reform in the accounting profession began to manifest itself. The chief instigator was Durand W. Springer, an outspoken AIA charter member. I had known him from the days he had served as the principal of Ann Arbor High School which I had attended. Still earlier he had been a member of the staff of the Detroit Trust Company—a small group whose function was to investigate and report on the affairs of both prospective seekers of loans and those to whom loans had been extended. He had pioneered for many years as the secretary and moving spirit of the Michigan State Board of CPA Examiners.
Durand Springer was a cool, forward, blunt individual who could not stomach the leisurely ways of the elite who in those days domi-nated the Institute's activities—such as they were. Heading that elite group was A, P. Richardson, a nonaccountant and an import who has often been referred to as the epitome of a perfect English gentleman, and with whom Springer never ceased to be at issue. Noting the rising flood of certified financial statements containing conjured-up valuations of assets, overstated profits, understated liabilities, and the beginnings of inflated income statements free from unfavorable operating losses "charged to surplus," Springer had urged as early as the reorganization of the Institute in 1916 that links be established with state societies, that uniform principles and standards be agreed to and even that centrally devised CPA exami-nations be promoted. His adjurations had fallen on deaf ears. And so, in 1922, backed by a loyal and enthusiastic band of Institute sup-porters, he established the American Society of CPAs and inaugu-rated a monthly journal, The Certified Public Accountant. He served as the Society's one and only secretary until its absorption by the Institute thirteen years later—after Richardson had disappeared from the scene, the stock market had crashed, the Great Depression had begun, and signs of contrition were being displayed by the In-stitute's management. During its existence the ASCPA had made serious inroads on the AIA membership; and, among other things, uniform examinations had been initiated (I was their begetter) and