By Derek Matthews, Malcolm Anderson, John Richard Edwards
The leading professional accounting bodies in Britain today boast more than a quarter of a million qualified members and accountants are moving into top management positions in increasing numbers. Accountants have become the foremost professional grouping in British business management. The Priesthood of Industry documents the rise of the accountancy profession, from the handful of accountants listed in the trade directories of the major cities in the late-eighteenth century to the huge commercially-oriented firms of the late-twentieth century. The authors focus on the individual: the professional accountant, and adopt an economic determinist analysis to explain the rise of public practice and the transfer of staff to industry in increasing numbers. They also consider the routes through which this transfer of skills took place, and identify demand and supply side factors to explain the professional accountant's present hegemony in business management.