Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Looking Back: The Journal in 1917

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Looking Back: The Journal in 1917

Article excerpt

How did the profession first begin to regulate who could become a CPA? An article from the July 1917 issue of the JofA describes the first steps in the efforts toward uniformity of examination. In the age of the computerized CPA exam, it's clear that testing has come a long way. This excerpt is part of our ongoing series of articles from past JofAs leading up to our centennial issue in October.

"The June examinations of the American Institute of Accountants [a predecessor of the AICPA] marked the beginning of an important era in the history of accounting in the United States.... The profession, for the first time in its career, set up its own standards, and insisted that applicants for membership in the national organization should demonstrate their ability by measurement with those standards....

"The rapid spread of CPA legislation has been little short of amazing. The statute books of every state in the union, except Alabama, Mississippi, Arizona and New Mexico, now contain legislation relative to the certification of public accountants, and among the forty-four laws now existing there is the widest diversity of language, intent, effect and administration.

"Therefore, it becomes necessary for the national organization, which is charged with the maintenance of high standards in all parts of the country, to do all it can to bring about a uniformity of standard among the so-called CPA states....

"With this aim in view, the American Institute's board of examiners approached the examining board of all CPA states. …

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