Accounting for the Journal's First 100 Years: A Timeline from 1905 to 2005

Article excerpt

The century of American accounting the Journal of Accountancy has recorded so far has seen the growth of regulations, organizations and technological innovations.

In contrast, during the previous 100 years, accounting and auditing practices developed in the near absence of authoritative requirements. The federal government in particular had relatively few programs or laws requiring accountants' involvement, there were very few professional accounting organizations, and most new technology affected areas outside accounting. As the timeline on pages 44-72 demonstrates, the years from 1905 to 2005 were filled with new activity in these areas.

The AICPA has had different names over the past century. For simplicity's sake, it is here often called "the Institute."

1905

* The Journal of Accountancy's first issue appears, based on an earlier journal of the Illinois Society of CPAs, The Auditor.

* The Interstate Commerce Commission (created in 1887) seeks to set up a uniform system of accounting for the railroads.

1906

* The U.S. Census Bureau calls a conference on uniform municipal accounting that adopts a tentative schedule of standard accounts.

* A committee of the American Association of Public Accountants (the AAPA--a predecessor of the AICPA) is appointed to help the federal Keep Commission introduce business methods into government, un important Progressive Era goal. This is on early instance of the federal government's use of professional accountants as official advisers.

* The AAPA forms a committee to create ethics standards for members.

1909

* A federal excise tax is levied on corporations.

* Charles Kettering invents an accounting machine for the Notional Cash Register Co.

1913

* The 16th Amendment to the UIS, Constitution is ratified; permitting a federal income tax.

* The Federal Reserve Act passes, establishing the Federal Reserve Board.

1914

* The Clayton Antitrust Act passes, creating the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC puts increased government focus on private sector audits and reporting and promotes official standards and independent audits.

1916

* The American Association of University Instructors in Accounting is founded (and renamed the American Accounting Association in 1935).

* The AAPA changes its name to the American Institute of Accountants (AIA). In reorganizing, the group rejects the move toward federal licensing of accountants.

1917

* "Uniform Accounting," a project spearheaded by the AIA and published in the Federal Reserve Bulletin, is the first guidance promulgated by any professional accounting body.

* The AIA's governing council approves eight rules of professional conduct and a model CPA law.

* The AIA offers state accountancy boards a written examination for use in testing entrants to the profession.

1919

* The National Association of Cost Accountants, the predecessor of today's Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), is formed.

Early 1920s

* The AIA, under some pressure from the Treasury Department, bans contingent fees and most advertising.

1921

* John Cromwell, a New Hampshire accountant, becomes the first black CPA.

* With the passage of CPA legislation in New Mexico, all states in the union al that time now have such laws.

* The American Society of Certified Public Accountants is founded. The ASCPA tries to stop the sale of CPA credentials and is oriented to state-level authority und multiple accounting services, while the AIA focuses on national authority and has an East Coast and auditing orientation. The two organizations ultimately merge in 1936.

* The federal Budget and Accounting Act passes, creating the General Accounting Office (today called the Government Accountability Office) and the Office of Management and Budget. …