The Institute of Accounts: Nineteenth Century Origins of Accounting Professionalism in the United States

By Stephen E. Loeb; Paul J. Miranti Jr. | Go to book overview

2

Origins, goals, membership, and professional characteristics

Associational origins

The IA was “incorporated” 28 July 1882 as the Institute of Accountants and Book-keepers of the City of New York (“Institute of Accountants and Book-keepers of the City of New York., ” 1882, p. 248). On 16 July 1886, the Institute of Accounts (“Change of Name., ” 1886, p. 30). Although the IA played a leading role in establishing CPA legislation in the 1890s, during its formative years the IA had multiple goals that are mentioned next and discussed in more detail later in our book. On one level the organization was dedicated to education and the advancement of accounting knowledge, while on another level it sought palpable economic benefits for its members (see, e.g., “Institute of Accountants and Bookkeepers., ” 1882b, pp. 189-190). Such a blending of goals proved effective in attracting a diverse membership, which included, for example, bookkeepers, business managers, and public accountants (see Webster, 1954, pp. 13-14; “Our Portraits, ” 1883, pp. 65-67).

A call to establish a representative association for bookkeepers and accountants was first registered through articles apparently written by an editor in a specialized journal, The Book-Keeper., edited by Selden R. Hopkins, a public accountant, and also, soon after that journal’s founding, by Colonel Charles Ezra Sprague, the secretary and later president of the

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The Institute of Accounts: Nineteenth Century Origins of Accounting Professionalism in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Origins, Goals, Membership, and Professional Characteristics 7
  • 3 - Functionality of the Ia and Its Role in Professionalization 22
  • 4 - The Structure of Accounting Knowledge and the Natural Order of Society 28
  • 5 - Decline of the Ia 43
  • 6 - Legacy 60
  • Notes 68
  • References 76
  • Index 103
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