Opportunities in Public Accounting
by GEORGE A. DEBON Principal, Seattle Office
Presented before the Accounting Club of the University of Washington, Seattle—April 1961
J HAVE been asked to "kick-off" tonight's meeting by talking to you regarding the opportunities in the accounting profession—specifically
in the field of public accounting. Although I am responsible for interviewing students for possible employment with the firm with which I am associated, my talk to you tonight is not going to be from the standpoint of opportunities with Haskins & Sells as such, but rather with the opportunities in the profession generally. I want to tell you something about what you might expect in the profession, what it is like, and what we do. Also, I would like to indicate briefly what we in the profession expect from those of you who are interested in becoming a part of it.
You are probably well aware that there is an increasing demand today for good accountants. Of all of the professions, public accounting
is one of the fastest growing. Just to give you some indication of the rapid growth our profession is experiencing, let me give you a few statistics. In 1900 there were approximately 250 certified public accountants in the United States. By 1940 the number had grown to 20,000. Today the total is more than 70,000. Most projections indicate
that this spectacular rise in the number of CPAs will not fail to continue. As our economy expands, the need for accountants expands.
As businesses become more complex, this, too, increases the demand for accountants. I am sure that you will agree that our economy is still expanding, despite temporary lapses, and that, certainly
today, business is becoming more and more complex.
TYPES OF SERVICE
What does a certified public accountant do? I think the services offered by the certified public accountant fall into four major categories.
First, there is the type of work that comprises the backbone of our practice and that is auditing. Secondly, there is tax work. Thirdly, management advisory services. And I would classify all other services under the fourth category and entitle it miscellaneous.