Opportunities in Public Accounting
BY ROBERT F. DICKEY Principal, Chicago Office
Presented at 14th Annual Career Conference of the Collegiate Chamber of Commerce, State University of Iowa, Iowa City — February 1959
IF I were given but a few seconds to describe opportunities in public accounting,
I would say that they are excellent and unusual. If given five minutes, I would explain briefly what is excellent and what is unusual about opportunities in public accounting.
The opportunities are excellent in the sense that the demand for services of CPAs is constantly increasing, owing not only to the growth of the American economy and the increased accounting incident
thereto, but also to forces within that economy that cause accounting to become more complex with each passing year. Twenty-five years ago financial officers of industrial companies found it possible
to keep themselves reasonably well informed concerning matters such as taxes (federal, state, and local), SEC regulations, and accounting
methods and procedures. In 1934, income taxes were not a major factor in business affairs, the SEC was in its infancy, and mechanical
accounting equipment was considered a luxury. Year by year all of these matters have become more complicated. In fact, the work day is not long enough for any single person to stay abreast of changes in the fields of accounting and taxation. By necessity, financial
officers of industrial and financial concerns have turned to the public accounting profession for assistance in these matters.
The opportunities are unusual in the sense that, in public accounting,
the individual has a chance to satisfy each of what the psychologists
consider man's four basic drives more completely than in almost any other activity. These four drives, or motivations, are recognition, new adventure, response, and security.
• Recognition. The profession's long-established code of ethics has elevated the CPA to a respected place in the business world and more recently the profession has gained respect for contributions to governmental and other civic affairs.