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INDUSTRIES: Business History of Accountancy
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1849 - Frederick Whinney joined Harding & Pullein in England; 1859 - made a partner; 1894 - renamed Whinney, Smith & Whinney; 1903 - Alwin and Theodore Ernst founded Ernst & Ernst in Cleveland; 1906 - Scotsman Arthur Young founded Arthur Young & Company in Chicago; 1979 - Ernst & Whinney formed, fourth largest accountancy firm in world; 1989 - Arthur Young merged with Ernst Ernst, formeed Ernst & Young.

1849 - Samuel Lowell Price entered business; 1854 -  William Cooper started firm; 1865  - Price, Holyland and Edwin Waterhouse formed partnership; 1874 - name changed to Price, Waterhouse & Co.

1870 - William Barclay Peat founded accounting firm William Barclay Peat & Co. in London; 1897 - James Marwick and Roger Mitchell founded Marwick, Mitchell & Co. in New York; 1911 - firms merged.

1898 - Robert H. Montgomery, William M. Lybrand, Adam A. Ross Jr. and his brother T. Edward Ross form Lybrand, Ross Brothers and Montgomery; 1957 - Cooper Brothers & Co (UK), McDonald, Currie and Co (Canada) and Lybrand, Ross Bros & Montgomery (US) merge to form Coopers & Lybrand; 1982 - formed PriceWaterhouse World Firm.

1903 - Alwin C Ernst, Theodore ernst (brother) started Ernst & Ernst, small public accounting firm; pioneered idea that accounting information could be used to make business decisions, make difference to clients’ organisations; 1924 - allied with with Whinney Smith & Whinney; 1989 - merged with Arthur Young & Company; created Ernst & Young.

1906 - Arthur Young, Stanley Young (brother) formed Arthur Young & Company, accounting firm; positioned as business advisor (as much as an accountant); 1924 - allied with Broads Paterson & Co.; 1989 - merged with Ernst & Whinney; formed Ernst & Young. 

1937 - Mary T. Washington, student at Chicago School of Business at Northwestern University ,  established accounting firm in her basement; recruited black businesses as clients; 1943 - first female African-American CPA in U. S. (13th black CPA in U. S.; source: National Association of Black Accountants); 1968 - founded Washington, Pittman & McKeever (with Hiram Pittman, Lester McKeever); still one of largest black CPA firms.

Mary T. Washington  (

September 18, 1997 - Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse agreed to merge to create the world's biggest accounting firm.

March 26, 2002 - Arthur Andersen chief executive Joseph Berardino resigned, bowing to mounting pressure as a result of the accounting firm's role in the Enron scandal.

June 15, 2003 - A jury in Houston convicted accounting firm Arthur Andersen of obstruction of justice.

2006 - Glass Lewis & Co., investment research and proxy advisory firm, conducted study of changes in company auditors; found that 1,430 public companies in U.S. changed auditors in 2005, turnover rate of 11.3% - vs. 1,451 companies in 2004; turnover biggest at small companies (60% of departures characterized as firings, rest as resignations); SEC does not require explanations for departures, none was given in 72% of cases in 2005 up from 58% 2004; 82% of companies audited by Big Four accounting firms gave no explanation; should SEC require all companies to explain departures in all cases, for investor protection? 

(Akintola Williams & Co.), Eno L. Inanga (1992). History of Akintola Williams & Co., 1952-1992: [A Case Study of the Growth and Development of the First Indigenous Firm of \Chartered Accountants in Nigeria]. (Lagos, Nigeria: West African Book Publishers, 156 p.). Akintola Williams & Co.--History; Accounting firms--Nigeria--History.

(American Accounting Association), Stephen A. Zeff (1991). American Accounting Association: Its First 50 Years, 1916-1966. (Sarasota, FL: The Association, 90 p. [orig. pub. 1966]). American Accounting Association--History. 

(Arthur Andersen), Arthur Andersen & Co. (1984). The First Fifty Years, 1913-1963. (New York, NY: Garland Pub., 201 p. [orig. pub. 1974]). Arthur Andersen & Co.--History. Series: Accounting history and the development of a profession.

Arthur Andersen (

(Arthur Andersen), Arthur Andersen & Co. (1974). The First Sixty Years, 1913-1973. (Chicago, IL: A. Andersen, 189 p.). Arthur Andersen & Co.--History.

(Arthur Andersen), Barbara Ley Toffler with Jennifer Reingold (2003). Final Accounting: Ambition, Greed, and the Fall of Arthur Andersen. (New York, NY: Broadway Books, p.). Founder, Arthur Andersen's Ethics Consulting Group (former teacher of ethics at HBS). Arthur Andersen & Co.; Accounting firms--Corrupt practices--United States.

(Arthur Andersen), Susan E. Squires, Cynthia Smith, Lorna McDougall, William R. Yeack (2003). Inside Arthur Andersen: Shifting Values, Unexpected Consequences. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Prentice Hall, 185 p.). Ex-Andersen employees. Arthur Andersen & Co; Corporate culture. 

(Clarkson Gordon), Clarkson, Gordon & Co. (1964). The Story of the Firm, 1864-1964: Clarkson, Gordon & Co. (Toronto, ON: Clarkson, Gordon & Co., 148 p.). Clarkson, Gordon & Co. -- History; Accountants -- Canada.

(Clarkson Gordon), David MacKenzie (1989). The Clarkson Gordon Story: In Celebration of 125 Years. (Toronto, ON: Clarkson Gordon, 171 p.). Clarkson, Gordon (Firm) -- History.

(Cooper Brothers & Co.), The Company (1986). A History of Cooper Brothers & Co., 1854-1954. (New York, NY: Garland, 116 p. [orig. privately pub. 1954). Cooper Brothers & Co.--History; Accounting firms--Great Britain--History; Accounting--Great Britain--History.

Robert H. Montgomery (seated, 2nd from left) - co-founder, Coopers & Lybrand (at  First International Congress of Accountants in St. Louis, 1904;

(Coopers & Lybrand), Robert H. Montgomery, C. P. A. (1939). Fifty Years of Accountancy. (New York, NY: Ronald Press Company - privately printed, 679 p.). Co-Founder Lybrand, Ross Bros. & Montgomery. Accounting.

(Coopers & Lybrand), The Firm (1984). The Early History of Coopers & Lybrand. (New York, NY: Garland Pub., 168 p.). Coopers & Lybrand--History.

(Coopers & Lybrand), Lord Henry Alexander Benson (1989). Accounting for Life: An Autobiography. (London, UK: Kogan Page, 241 p.). Benson, Sire Henry; Coopers & Lybrand (Great Britain)--History; Great Britain Accountancy.

(Coopers & Lybrand), Raymond Flower (1991). Lords of the Abacus: 100 Years of Coopers & Lybrand in Singapore, 1890-1990. (Singapore: Times Editions, 160 p.). Coopers & Lybrand (Singapore)--History; Coopers & Lybrand--History; Accounting firms--Singapore--History; Business consultants--Singapore--History.

(Coopers & Lybrand), Malcolm Falkus (1993). Called to Account: A History of Coopers & Lybrand in Australia. (St. Leonards, NSW, Australia: Allen & Unwin, 255 p.). Coopers & Lybrand (Australia)--History; Accounting firms--Australia--History.

(Cork Gully), Sir Kenneth Cork with Hugh Barty-King (1988). Cork on Cork: Sir Kenneth Cork Takes Stock. (London, UK: Macmillan, 265 p.). Cork, Sir Kenneth Biographies; Great Britain Accountancy.

(Craig Gardner & Co.), Tony Farmar (1988). A History of Craig Gardner & Co.: The First 100 Years. (Dublin, IR: Gill and Macmillan, 239 p.). Craig Gardner (Firm).

(Curtis Jenkins Cornwell), S.V.P. Cornwell (1991). Curtis Jenkins Cornwell & Co.: A Study in Professional Origins, 1816-1966. (New York, NY: Garland, 161 p.). Curtis Jenkins Cornwell & Co.--History; Accounting firms--England--History.

(Deloitte & Co.), Compiled by Sir Russell Kettle (1982). Deloitte & Co., 1845-1956. (New York, NY: Garland, 171 p. [orig. pub. 1958]). Deloitte & Co.; Accounting firms--England--London--Case studies--History.

William Welch Deloitte (

(Ernst & Whinney - Founded in 1894 by Arthur Young, 1903 by Alvin A. C. Ernst and Theodore Ernst), Edgar Jones; introduction by Peter Mathias (1981). Accountancy and the British Economy, 1840-1980: The Evolution of Ernst & Whinney. (London, UK: B.T. Batsford, 288 p.). Ernst & Whinney; Accounting--Great Britain--History; Accounting firms--Great Britain. 

A.C. Alvin C. Ernst ($FILE/alwin_ernst.jpg)

Arthur Young ($FILE/arthur_young.jpg)

(Hancock), William Threipland Baxter (1965). The House of Hancock. (New York, NY: Russell & Russell, 321 p. [orig. pub. 1945]). South African Professor of Accounting. Hancock, Thomas, 1703-1764. [from old catalog]; Hancock, John, 1737-1793. [from old catalog]; Boston--History--Colonial period. [from old catalog]; Boston--Commerce. [from old catalog]. Study of House of Hancock's accounting methods offers great insight into business practices in Colonial Boston.

(Haskins & Sells), The Firm (1984). Haskins & Sells: Our First Seventy-Five Years. (New York, NY: Garland Pub., 192 p. [orig. pub. 1970]). Haskins & Sells--History.

(Institute of Internal Auditors), Victor Z. Brink (1977). Foundations for Unlimited Horizons: The Institute of Internal Auditors, 1941-1976. (Altamonte Springs, FL: The Institute, 177 p.). Institute of Internal Auditors.

(International Accounting Standards Board), Kees Camfferman and Stephen A. Zeff (2006). Financial Reporting and Global Capital Markets: A History of the International Accounting Standards Committee, 1973-2000. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press. International Accounting Standards Board; International Accounting Standards Committee; Accounting--Standards; Financial statements--Standards.

(KPMG), Audrey Armitage (1995). 100 Years: Smith Johnson & Co. to KPMG: 1895 to 1995. (Paddington, NSW: KMPG, 220 p.). Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler--History; Accounting firms--Australia--History.

(KMPG), Eugene O'Kelly (2005). Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life. (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 160 p.). Former CEO, KMPG (April 2002-June 2005). O'Kelly, Eugene Desmond; death and dying; cancer. Thoughts on living and dying: confront your own mortality, sooner rather than later; learn true value of present.

(Kenneth Leventhal), Mara Purl (1988). Kenneth Leventhal & Company: A History of the Firm. (Los Angeles, CA: K. Leventhal, 128 p.). Kenneth Leventhal & Company; Accounting firms--United States--History.

(Thomas McLintock Company), Rex Winsbury (1977). Thomas McLintock and Company: The First Hundred Years 1877-1977. (Glasgow, Scotland: Seeley, Service & Co., 164 p.). Thomas McLintock and Company; Accountants -- Scotland. The story of a Glasgow based accounting firm.

(Peat Marwick), Samuel A. Cypert (1991). Following the Money: The Inside Story of Accounting's First Mega-Merger. (New York, NY: AMACOM, 279 p.). Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler--History; Peat Marwick International--History; Klynveld, Main, Goerdeler (Firm)--History; Accounting firms--Reorganization--History; Consolidation and merger of corporations--History.

(Pogson, Peloubet & Co.),,Maurice E. Peloubet (2000). The Story of a Fortunate Man: Reminiscences and Recollections of Fifty-Three Years of Professional Accounting. (New York, NY: JAI, 132 p.). Peloubet, Maurice E., 1892-1976; Accountants--United States--Biography; Accounting--United States--History.

(PriceWaterhouse), George O. May, ed. Bishop C. Hunt, (1936). Twenty-Five Years of Accounting Responsibility, 1911-1936. (New York, NY: Price Waterhouse, 2 vols.). Price Waterhouse. Hunt's 25th anniversary as senior partner of Price, Waterhouse.

File:Samuelprice.pngSamuel Lowell Price - Price Waterhouse (

(PriceWaterhouse), ed. Edgar Jones (1988). The Memoirs of Edwin Waterhouse. (London, UK: Batsford, 248 p.). Waterhouse, Edwin, 1841-1917; Accountants--Great Britain--Biography

(PriceWaterhouse), David Grayson Allen and Kathleen McDermott (1993). Accounting for Success: A History of Price Waterhouse in America, 1890-1990. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 373 p.). Price Waterhouse (Firm)--History; Accounting--United States--History. Fisrt 100 years of one of the Big 8 accounting firms.

(PriceWaterhouse), Edgar Jones (1995). True and Fair: A History of Price Waterhouse. (New York, NY: Hamish Hamilton, 443 p.). Price Waterhouse.

(Touche Ross & Co.), Theodor Swanson (1990). Touche Ross, a Biography. (New York, NY: Garland Pub., 96 p.). Touche Ross & Co.--History; Accounting firms--United States--History; Accountants--United States--Biography.

George A. Touche (

James Aho (2005). Confession and Bookkeeping: The Religious, Moral, and Rhetorical Roots of Modern Accounting. (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 131 p.). Bookkeeping--History; Accounting--Moral and ethical aspects; Capitalism--Moral and ethical aspects; Economics--Religious aspects--Catholic Church--History; Christian sociology--Catholic Church--History. 

Eds. Peter Boys and John Freear (1992). Accounting History, 1976-1986: An Anthology. (New York, NY: Garland Publishing, 402 p.). Accounting History.

Mike Brewster (2003). Unaccountable: How the Accounting Profession Forfeited a Public Trust. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 328 p.). Former Communications Director, KPMG. Accounting--Moral and ethical aspects; Public interest; Responsibility. 

Stuart W. Bruchey (1976). Robert Oliver and Mercantile Bookkeeping in the Early Nineteenth Century. (New York, NY: Arno Press, 120 p.). Oliver, Robert, 1757?-1834; Bookkeeping--History.

Eds. Michael Chatfield and Richard Vangermeersch (1996). The History of Accounting: An International Encyclopedia. (New York, NY: Garland Publishing, 670 p.). Academics. Accounting, History. On the 500th anniversary of the first printed publication in accounting, this encyclopedia is a prime reference source on the history of accounting practice and thought. 400 entries, 153 contributors.

Ed J.R. Edwards (1994). Twentieth Century Accounting Thinkers. (New York, NY: Routledge, 374 p.). Accounting--History--20th century.

Theresa A. Hammond (2002). A White-Collar Profession: African American Certified Public Accountants Since 1921. (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 216 p.). Associate Professor of Accounting, Ernst & Young Research Fellow in Diversity Studies (Boston College). Accounting--United States--History--20th century; African American accountants--Biography. 

C.L. Knight, Gary J. Previts and T.A. Ratcliffe (1976). A Reference Chronology of Events Significant to the Development of Accountancy in the United States. (University, AL: Academy of Accounting Historians (James Madison University ?), 102 p.). Accounting History

eds. Thomas A. Lee and Stephen P. Walker (1999). Studies in Early Professionalism: Scottish Chartered Accountants: 1853-1918. (New York, NY: Garland Publishing. Accounting-History. Part of Series: "New Works in Accounting History".

ed. Thomas A. Lee (1996). Shaping the Accounting Profession: The Story of Three Scottish Pioneers. (New York, NY: Garland Publishing, 240 p.). Accounting-History. Part of Series: "New Works in Accounting History". George A. Jamieson (1828-1900), Alexander Sloan (1843-1927) and Richard Brown (1856-1918).

Eds. Thomas A. Lee , Ashton C. Bishop and Robert H. Parker (1996). Accounting History from the Renaissance to the Present: A Remembrance of Luca Pacioli. (New York, NY: Garland Publishing. Accounting, History. Part of Series: "New Works in Accounting History". Pacioli died about 1514.

Thomas A. Lee (2006). Seekers of Truth: The Scottish Founders of Modern Public Accountancy. (Oxford, UK: Elsevier, 445 p.). Finance, Public--Scotland--Accounting--History; Municipal finance--Scotland--Accounting--History; Accountants--Scotland--Biography. Biographies of 138 accountants involved in creation of three professional bodies that combined, formed  Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) in 1951. 

Derek Matthews, Malcolm Anderson, and John Richard Edwards (1998). The Priesthood of Industry: The Rise of the Professional Accountant in British Management. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 357 p.). Accounting--Great Britain--History; Accounting firms--Great Britain; Accountants--Great Britain--History.

Derek Matthews, Jim Pirie (2001). The Auditors Talk: An Oral History of a Profession from the 1920s to the Present Day. (New York, NY: Garland, 494 p.). Auditors -- Interviews; Auditing -- History -- 20th century.

Paul B.W. Miller, Rodney J. Redding and Paul R. Bahnson. (1998). The FASB: The People, the Process and the Politics. (Boston, MA: Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 216 p. (4th ed.)). Financial Accounting Standards Board; Accounting--Standards--United States.

Paul J. Miranti, Jr. (1990). Accountancy Comes of Age: The Development of an American Profession, 1886-1940. (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 275 p.). Accounting Industry. The industry's formative years.

Gary J. Previts and Barbara D. Merino (1998). A History of Accountancy in the United States: The Cultural Significance of Accounting. (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 577 p.). Accounting--United States--History.

Mark Stevens (1981). The Big Eight. (New York, NY: Macmilan, 240 p.). Accounting, Competition. Big 8 was, for years, the standard designation of accounting industry structure.

--- (1985). The Accounting Wars. (New York, NY: Macmillan, 261 p.). Accounting, Competition

--- (1991). The Big Six: The Selling out of America's Top Accounting Firms. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 271 p.). Accounting, Consolidation. Mergers change face of the industry.

Richard Vangermeersch 1986). The Contributions of Alexander Hamilton Church to Accounting and Management. (New York, NY: Garland Publishing, 185 p.). Managerial Cost Accounting.

--- (1988). Alexander Hamilton Church: A Man of Ideas for All Seasons.  (New York, NY: Garland Publishing, 122 p.). Managerial Accounting.

Dorothy Whitner (2003). Life and Times. (Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing, 433 p.). Second woman in the State of Virginia to obtain her CPA. Whitner, Dorothy; Accountants -- Canada; Bookkeeping--History.

Harvey S. Wineberg (1998). Thanks for Your Trust: Memories of an Untamed Accountant. (Chicago, IL: Bonus Books, 203 p.). Wineberg, Harvey S.; Accountants--United States--Biography.


Business History Links

Accounting and Business History Research Unit                                          

Formed in 1989, World’s leading accounting history research unit. The specific aims of ABHRU are: to publish world class research publications; to encourage research in accounting and business history; to provide a focal point for inter-disciplinary and international comparative research involving accounting and business history; to arrange conferences; and to provide business and accounting history inputs to courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Academy History Links                                                  

Virtual Museum of Accounting History                                                       Http://Accounting.Rutgers.Edu/Summa/Summa/Subjects/Acchis.Html


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