Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

William Patton: In Remembrance

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

William Patton: In Remembrance

Article excerpt

Wilham Andrew Paton, a founder of the American Accounting Association who was voted Accounting Educator of the Century by the American Institute of CPAs in 1987, died in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in April at the age of 101.

Paton began teaching in 1915 in the economics department at the University of Michigan, but for most of his career he taught accounting in the university's School of Business Administration. He retired in 1959. Some of his 20,000 students later became chairmen of major U.S. corporations (including Roger Smith of General Motors), partners in public accounting firms and leaders in academia. He was a member of the Michigan Association of CPAs and the AICPA. He served on the Institute's committee on accounting procedure (forerunner of the Financial Accounting Standards Board) from 1939-1950. During these 11 years he never missed a meeting or a class and covered all of his expenses out of his own pocket.

Bill Paton will be remembered as a devoted, demanding professor who maintained a strong interest in the careers of his students. The love and respect held for him by students are shown in the William A. Paton Center for Accounting Education and Research at the University of Michigan: The building, dedicated in 1976, was funded entirely by former students.

In 1940, Paton gave a series of lectures at Harvard University. Following his "retirement" he was a visiting professor at schools in 10 states. He was widely known as a speaker at professional meetings, business organizations and academic societies.

A prolific writer, Paton was the author or coauthor of a score of books and some 160 articles and monographs. …

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