Academic journal article The Government Accountants Journal

A History of Accounting in the United States

Academic journal article The Government Accountants Journal

A History of Accounting in the United States

Article excerpt

Previts and Merino have collaborated to produce a comprehensive volume on the development of the accounting profession in America. This work represents a revision and expansion of their 1979 work. An ambitious undertaking,the book covers a broad range of topics and time periods.

There are eight chapters, each focusing on a different theme and time period (see Figure lI.

The authorstake a contextual and analytic approach to accounting history, examining what they call the "cultural significance of accounts." Most of the chapters deal not just with the nature of financial accounting practice in each period considered, but also with accounting education and textbooks as well as managerial and government accounting. Excerpts from early annual and audit reports are also furnished.

The authors do an especially commendable job of analyzing the role of accounting in the Progressive Reform Movement of American business and government in the first two decades of the 20th century and the social role of accounting in historical perspective. Previts and Merino trace the evolution of financial accounting theory throughoutthe book. …

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