Academic journal article Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies Journal

George Davis Bailey First Executive Partner of Touche, Niven, Bailey, and Smart (a Predecessor Firm to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu)

Academic journal article Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies Journal

George Davis Bailey First Executive Partner of Touche, Niven, Bailey, and Smart (a Predecessor Firm to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu)

Article excerpt


George D. Bailey was born in Sioux City, Iowa on June 6, 1890 to Henry Moore Bailey and Mary Louise Davis Bailey. (Accounting Hall of Fame; Burns and Coffman, 1976) His family were originally from New England, his father having attended the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale, and his mother Mt. Holyoke College. (The History Factory) He graduated from Sioux City High School in 1908. (Accounting Hall of Fame) He entered the University of Wisconsin intending to study engineering, but changed to accounting. (The History Factory)

In 1912, he graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin, and joined Ernst & Ernst in Cleveland. He became a partner in 1916 and moved to Detroit. He also married in 1916. (Accounting Hall of Fame) In 1917 he first became a CPA, in Wisconsin. (Accounting Hall of Fame) In 1922 he became the managing partner of the Detroit office of Ernst & Ernst. (The History Factory)

In 1947, while he was one of the senior partners of Ernst & Ernst and still in charge of the Detroit office (Carey 1970, p. 65), he left the firm, taking the Chrysler audit and other work with him, one Ernst partner, and eleven staff people, and started his own firm, George Bailey & Company. (Accounting Hall of Fame, Deloitte & Touche, and The History Factory) However, he did not have sufficient staff to do the work (The History Factory), so on September 1 of that same year he combined with two other firms (Touche, Niven & Co., founded in 1900, and Allen R. Smart & Co., founded in 1927) to form Touche, Niven, Bailey & Smart, serving as chairman of the first management committee of three senior partners. (The History Factory) The combined firm had ten offices in ten cities, with thirty-three partners. (The History Factory) He was an executive partner of the firm until his retirement in 1957. (Accounting Hall of Fame)

The firm forged ties with the Canadian firm of Ross, Touche and the British firm of George A. Touche. In 1960, the firm was renamed Touche, Ross, Bailey & Smart. On September 1, 1969, the name was simplified to Touche Ross & Co. (Deloitte & Touche and The History Factory) The firm is now part of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.


George Bailey was chairman for two years of the nominating committee for the Accounting Hall of Fame (Journal of Accountancy, March 1958, p. 8). He was elected posthumously to membership in 1968. According to a biographical sketch obtained from the Accounting Hall of Fame,

   He was active in numerous government, civic, and community
   organizations, particularly with the affairs of Michigan and the
   city of Detroit. He worked extensively with the federal government,
   largely as an unpaid advisor and consultant. Early in World War II,
   he participated in the formation of accounting and tax decisions in
   the War Department. He was consultant to the Office of Contract
   Settlement (1944-45), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
   System (1955-56, during its study of consumer credit regulations),
   and the Statistical Division of the United Nations Secretariat
   (1958-59). He was president, Michigan Council for Tax Research;
   trustee, citizens' Research Council of Michigan, and in Detroit he
   was president, United Community Services (1946-48); director, Board
   of Commerce (1945-58); and trustee, Grace Hospital, and Visiting
   Nurse Association. He was active in the formation of the United
   Foundation, the first organization to unite fundraising for
   national and local charities.

   He married Edna Gillen in 1916; he later married Fern Crawford in
   1962. There were no children by either marriage. An active clubman,
   he enjoyed fishing, golf, travel, and the Detroit Symphony
   Orchestra. He collected old English dictionaries and owl figurines.
   He died December 2, 1966 at the age of 76. … 
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