Career Opportunities in Accounting
by RICHARD G. WILLIAMS Partner, Birmingham Office
Presented before the University of Alabama Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, Birmingham—May 1962
PERHAPS one of the best ways to evaluate the opportunities offered by a professional career in accounting is to take a look at developments
in the business world and in the accounting profession over the past ten or twelve years.
We are all aware of the increasing complexity of the modern business world. A good part of this complexity may be attributed to a number of developments during recent years:
An increasing number of corporations each year have become more diversified, with various product lines, numerous operating
divisions and subsidiaries, and world-wide operations.
Corporate mergers and acquisitions have increased. FTC figures show that the number of mergers and acquisitions in the manufacturing
and mining industries rose from 200 to 600 annually between 1950 and 1960.
Income tax laws and regulations have become increasingly complex
and the tax problems in major corporate decisions may be quite complicated.
There has been an increasing demand for capital during this period and much of this capital has been obtained through the sale of securities to the public. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with public offerings increased from about 500 annually in 1950 to over 1,600 in 1960. It is estimated that about one-half of these filings in 1960 represented companies "going public" for the first time and these companies have faced many new problems in meeting the requirements of the securities laws and regulations.
The complications resulting from these recent developments have caused many corporations to turn for assistance and guidance to their accountants—both to those on their own staff and to those in public practice; as a result accountants have grown in number and in stature.