Haskins & Sells Foundation Scholarship Award
by GORDON C. STUBBS Partner, Atlanta Office
Remarks on presentation of the Award before the Sixteenth Accounting
Institute at the University of Georgia, Athens—October 1962
IT is my pleasure to represent the Haskins & Sells Foundation at this affair in connection with the Foundation's scholastic awards program here at the University of Georgia.
Why should we in the accounting profession be so interested in stimulating and recognizing excellence in accounting education—especially
at the college and university level? The obvious answer is that excellence in education helps to ensure the services of excellent accountants
for the profession as a whole, for clients of the profession, and ultimately, for the best interests of our whole economic way of life.
Why is this emphasis on excellence so important? To get the answer, let us look at the distinguishing characteristics of a profession —those things that set a given field of endeavor apart from all others and earn for it the title of "profession". As we do this I think you will be able to see the field of accounting in its professional perspective— and come to an answer to this question of, "Why is excellence in accounting education so important?"
Writing in a book on social work, Dr. Abraham Flexner outlines five typical characteristics that elevate any field to professional status. First, a profession must have standard qualifications governing admission
and formal recognition of its status. We meet this characteristic through the requirement of successful completion of the Uniform CPA Examination and the recognition through laws and other methods of the designation Certified Public Accountant.
Second, a profession typically has a standard of conduct governing the relationships of practitioners with clients, colleagues, and the public,
as well as an acceptance of the responsibilities inherent in an occupation
endowed with the public interest. Our profession has this characteristic through its Rules of Professional Conduct—its code of ethics.
Third, a profession usually has an organization devoted to the advancement of its obligations to society, in addition to the economic interests of the group. This our profession has in the American Institute
of Certified Public Accountants.