TROBAS office occupies fourth
floor of this new building.
by Pedro E. Purcell
Up TO 1926 NO LICENSE, CERTIFICATE OR FORMALITY of any kind
was required to practice public accounting in Puerto Rico. Public
accounting practice was mainly carried on by two firms from the U.S.
—W. T. Woodbridge & Co. and Stagg, Mather & Co.—and two or three
local practitioners who had established independent accounting offices
to deal primarily with tax matters.
The Puerto Rico Institute of Accountants, which was incorporated
as a professional organization in 1922, had as one of its primary
objectives the public recognition of the accounting profession. To
obtain this, it fostered the establishment of the college of business
administration at the University of Puerto Rico, which took place in
1926, and the passing of a law regulating the profession, approved
on May 23, 1927.
The 1927 law remained unchanged until 1945, except for a waiver
clause included in the law in 1935 whereby graduates of the University
of Puerto Rico who had both a major in accounting and practice as
head accountant with a firm of recognized importance, were exempted
from taking the examination. Following recommendations of the
AICPA, the local institute was successful in getting a new law passed
in the year 1945; but not on the same lines as it was originally
The salient features of the 1945 statute (now in effect) may be
summarized as follows: (1) membership of the Board was increased
from three to five members and the Board was empowered to promulgate
rules of ethics; (2) requirements for the CPA were more
specific but still ranged from college degree to graduation from high
school plus added practice with a CPA; (3) a new title was created—
JUNE 1961 33