The question remains: what legacy did the IA leave for posterity? Until recently, accounting historians for several reasons have largely overlooked the significance of the IA. First, its associational records have long been lost (Webster, 1954, p. 12). Second, a number of the articles of its leading thinkers, such as Hardcastle, Sprague, and Kittredge, were not included in the inaugural edition of the Accountants’ Index (1921). In fact, this latter problem was not really overcome until Garland Publishing, Inc. reprinted the journals (cf., Loeb, 2002b, p. 9) that had conveyed the ideas of IA luminaries (e.g., Sprague, 1880b, 1901; Hardcastle, 1883a, 1883b, 1884; Kittredge, 1880, 1897, 1900). And lastly some standard references on professional history such as the works of Webster (1954), Edwards (1960), and Carey (1969), which emphasized the AAPA, tended to treat the IA as a transitional entity and did not seek to evaluate what lasting impact it may have had on professional accounting (see McMillan, 1998b, pp. 7-8, 137).
As we have seen, however, the IA was a pioneer in the development of many of the activities and characteristics that we today associate with accounting professionalism (see Romeo and Kyj, 1998, pp. 45-47). For example, as noted earlier, the IA had lobbied government as early as the 1880s to seek revisions of state banking law. The IA also began the process of admission based on examination and of formally denoting different categories of membership based on successful completion
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Publication information: Book title: The Institute of Accounts: Nineteenth Century Origins of Accounting Professionalism in the United States. Contributors: Stephen E. Loeb - Author, Paul J. Miranti Jr. - Author. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 2004. Page number: 60.
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