Recent Developments in Accounting
BY EVERETT J. SHIFFLETT PARTNER, EXECUTIVE OFFICE
Presented before the National Association of Cost Accountants, Detroit Chapter — January 1956
In considering the subject of our discussion, the question of scope arises immediately. What are the boundaries of time that delimit the term "recent" and what is a "development"? To broaden the choice, I suggest that we adopt a rather liberal construction of both terms. Growth in Membership of Professional Accounting Organizations Reflects Broader Field for Accounting Services
We would agree, I think, that one of the outstanding developments in the field of accounting in recent years has been the unprecedented rate of growth in the membership of professional accounting organizations.
Your own organization, the National Association of Cost Accountants,
had a membership of 38,000 at the close of last year, showing
an increase of over 103% in the last decade. The Controllers Institute
now has 4,500 members — 66% more than at the end of 1945. The current membership of the American Institute of Accountants is about 27,000 which is over 200% more than ten years earlier. All these per-centages far exceed the growth in the total population of the country since 1945, which has been about 17%.
The rolls of membership of our fellow societies in other English-
speaking countries show a similar trend. The combined Membership
in the Institutes of Chartered Accountants in England, Scotland and Wales now is about 24,000, an increase of around 24% in the past eight years whereas the population of Great Britain has increased only 7% in that time. Our neighbor, Canada, has had a population increase
of 25% since 1945 while the membership of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, now standing at about 6,000, has increased 99% in that period.
Thus it seems pretty clear that the trained accountant is finding a broader field for his talents in our society as a whole. The reason, I think, is obvious to all of us. Broadly, it lies in the ever-growing complexity of our economy and the progress we have made in better management of our commercial and industrial enterprises. Whether,