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It's the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the first CPA law in the U.S.

Birth of a Profession

By Paul J. Miranti

April 17, 1996, is the one hundredth anniversary of the passage of the first law establishing the CPA designation in the U.S. It took place in New York and led to the establishment of the first state society of certified public accountants. Getting there was not easy and the establishment of a national organization was no piece of cake either. This very important segment of history also tells of debates and conflict over advertising, non-CPA ownership, and whether accounting is a trade or a profession.

The certified public accounting (CPA) profession was a child of a broad pattern of social and economic change that began to radically transform America during the last quarter of the 19th century. During this transition, Americans began abandoning agriculture and life in small towns for new opportunities in rising urban-industrial centers. At the same time, the nation's population was becoming more diverse as millions of new peoples from Eastern and Southern Europe flocked to its shores in search of a better life. This flux motivated many who believed in progress to search for innovative ways of applying pragmatic knowledge to better order America's increasingly complex and interdependent social scene.

Public accountants began to flourish during this era because of the important roles they played in the communication of reliable financial information that was useful in corporate monitoring and management. Both large and small businesses depended on professional accountants to reduce risk perceptions of prospective investors by certifying financial statements. Leading underwriting firms, for example, began including statements audited by well-known accounting firms in the prospectuses used to market new securities of giant railroad and industrial enterprises both here and abroad. In addition, credit officers in commercial banks began to look to the financial statements of local businesses for information helpful in making their lending decisions. Besides attestations, both large and small businesses often turned to professional accountants to enhance the managerial effectiveness by developing cost measurement systems. And the passage of a Federal corporate excise tax in 1909 and the Federal income tax in 1913 provided more opportunities for these experts to apply their special knowledge in helping clients to resolve their tax planning and compliance problems.

Initiatives at State Level

Although public accountants by the 1890s had begun to organize their profession by forming representative organizations at many locations in the United States, it was in New York City, the nation's business capital, that the first successful effort was made to place this activity on a firmer footing through state licensing, as was already the case in law and medicine. But the pursuit of licensing was initially delayed by the unsuccessful drives of competing professional associations to establish alternative models for governing their common avocation. The first organization, the New York Institute of Accounts (NYIA), was a chapter in a loosely knit national organization founded in 1882 that brought together public accountants, bookkeepers, and businessmen interested in accounting. The second was the American Association of Public Accountants (AAPA) that had been formed in 1886 in New York City by an elite circle of chartered accountants and American practitioners who admired the professional traditions of their British colleagues.

Conflict. These two organizations first came into conflict early in the 1890s over the question of how best to certify practitioner competency. The controversy began when the NYIA organized qualifying examinations to differentiate three classes of its membership: associates, certified accountants, and fellows. Members of the AAPA, however, objected when some NYIA members began using distinguishing initials "C.A." to signify certified accountant and "FIA" to signify a fellow in the Institute of Accountants. The problem, from the perspective of the AAPA, lay in the similarity of these initials to ones often used to denote membership in the prestigious Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. Moreover, public confusion about the significance of the NYIA's credentials versus those of British chartered accountants was heightened by the vituperative recriminations made by representatives of both groups through advertisements for staff accountants and in letters to the editor appearing in the New York Tribune. This eventually compelled two American leaders of the AAPA, Frank Broaker and his partner, Richard Chapman, to register their concerns about the NYIA's certification activities with Melvil Dewey, the secretary to the New York State Board of Regents, the agency that regulated higher education. The plaintiffs contended the NYIA's granting of certificates was both misleading and an ultra vires act not permitted under its state charter.

An Alternative Plan. The NYIA's actions motivated the AAPA's leadership to develop a counter plan they hoped would eventually receive the sanction of the Regents. They wanted to form a "college of accounts" to grant degrees that would eventually serve as a prerequisite to control entry into the new profession. The college was launched in New York City in 1892 and required candidates to complete a 1,000 hour course of training provided under the auspices of the AAPA. Unlike the pattern that prevailed in British chartered accountancy, the primary focus for training for professional life was a specialized college rather than the practice unit. But like the British model, control over this key aspect of professional governance was to remain with the practitioner association rather than a state licensing bureau as was the case in other regulated professions.

However, several factors caused the college of accounts experiment to fail after only one year of operation. The onset of a serious economic recession curtailed the demand for such specialized training. More importantly, its program was deemed insufficient by the State Regents to warrant the granting of a degree and would be compelled to operate in the future as a school rather than a college. This fell far short of the AAPA's expectations and persuaded its leaders to abandon the collegiate approach entirely.

A Close Relationship. This latter setback had been partially engineered by Regent's Secretary Melvil Dewey whose judgment about these matters was biased because of his close personal relationship with two leaders of the rival NYIA, Charles E. Sprague, president of the Union Dime Savings Bank, and Charles Waldo Haskins, founder of the firm of Haskins and Sells. Dewey and Sprague had both been active in the affairs of the Modern Language Association. Besides inventing the library cataloging system that bears his name, Dewey was also an early proponent of the phonetic or simplified spelling movement for English. Sprague, a Civil War hero who had been seriously wounded at Gettysburg, had also won notoriety for his promotion of Volapuk, a universal world language like Esperanto. Dewey's connection with Haskins, on the other hand, stemmed from their mutual association with the liberal wing of the state's Democratic Party. Haskins, a nephew of Ralph Waldo Emerson, had married into the Havemeyer family that, in addition to controlling the American Sugar Company, had been leaders in the party. His wife's uncle William F. Havemeyer, for example, had established the Committee of Seventy that had forced Tammany boss William Marcy Tweed from office in 1870. Their growing closeness was further evidenced by Haskins's willingness to give lectures on accounting to students in the home economics course Dewey had established at the State University in Albany. Moreover, the Regents's Secretary also hoped to induce Haskins and Sprague to purchase summer lodgings at the Placid Club, a resort he was building for leaders in business and public affairs at Lake Placid, New York.

New Efforts. The failure of the college of accounts and the public confusion generated by the NYIA's certification program, induced the two rival associations in 1895 to refocus their efforts on securing legislation for state licensing, the
traditional means for demonstrating
professional competency. But again, disagreement about the details of regulation divided practitioners and initially frustrated their drive for recognition. The AAPA's bill called for a restriction of practice of public accountancy to those individuals who had passed the state licensing examination and had five years experience in public accounting. A special waiver provision allowed the automatic licensing of all public accountants who had been in practice in New York for five years prior to the time of the passage of the legislation. In addition, the AAPA believed the authority for appointing the examining board should rest with the local professional associations.

In contrast, the NYIA's bill did not restrict practice to licensees but, rather, established an examination for certifying competency and for identifying those practitioners who had a legal right to hold themselves out as "certified public accountants." But the NYIA's bill also indirectly discriminated against chartered accountants by imposing a citizenship requirement for all prospective licensees. Moreover, the proponents of this bill also wanted the Regents to be vested with the power to appoint the examining board, which was understandable given the connections between Sprague, Haskins and Dewey.

State Unity. Leaders of both professional factions, however, soon discovered their rivalry undermined the prospects of acquiring any professional legislation. The competition between two associations each sponsoring dissimilar bills could only confuse legislators about which set of proposals best served the public interest. Moreover, unity was important because it provided greater political leverage in dealing with the legislature. Belatedly, a public meeting was organized on March 13, 1895, in New York City to unify all factions and elect a committee of Fourteen so that the profession could speak with one voice. The committee decided to support the NYIA's bill and instructed its attorney to work with Secretary Dewey to try to achieve its passage.

Politics at Work. However, this initial drive ended in failure because of the lack of support of Senator Thomas C. Platt, leader of the conservative wing of the state's Republican Party that had won control of the legislature in a landslide victory in 1894. "Boss" Platt's power depended on his ability to extend patronage to his loyal supporters and this drew him into opposition to some of the profession's leaders and their political allies. To increase the range of such opportunities the senator tried to broaden the scope of state governmental activities within New York City, long a bastion of his opponents, both in the Democratic Party and in the liberal wing of the Republican Party. Haskins, for example, served as an advisor to the fusion administration of Mayor William L. Strong in studying the economic feasibility of merging Manhattan with what then was the City of Brooklyn; and John R. Loomis, a prominent accountant who later served as president of the AAPA, was also closely associated with Platt's old rival Senator Joseph H. Choate, a leader in the liberal wing of the Republican Party. In addition, the Republican controlled legislature began an investigation of Melvil Dewey for alleged graft and malfeasance in office. If successful, this latter attack would have opened additional patronage opportunities for the Platt machine at the state library and on the Regents' staff.

Success at Last. The political impasse ended the next year and with it the opposition to the accountants' drive for licensing legislation. Both city liberals and upstate conservatives in the Republican Party were eager in a Presidential election year to reach compromise over the issues that divided them. They both wanted to build support for the candidacy at the Republican convention for New York's nominee, banker Levi P. Morton. After the convention the maintenance of party unity was imperative in supporting the ticket of William B. McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt against Democrat William Jennings Bryan. Moreover, Melvil Dewey's status in office had become more secure with the eventual failure of the legislative inquiry to prove its allegations of the previous year. The fruits of the new spirit of cooperation were partially reflected in the passage of the NYIA's bill on April 17, 1896 with only one minor modification. The licensing law was made less discriminatory against the foreign-born by allowing practitioners who announced their intention of taking out United States citizenship to sit for the examination. A new three-man examining board was soon appointed that recruited Haskins and Sprague from the NYIA and Frank Broaker from the AAPA.

New State Organizations. Soon after the passage of the licensing legislation, professionalism was further enriched by the formation of two new organizations. First, in 1897 Haskins and Sprague founded another representative association, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), which was dedicated to representing the interests of the state's growing numbers of certified public accountants. Although the NYIA remained active until 1940, a loss of interest in its affairs among its practitioner members was a major factor in its subsequent decline in influence over professional development. Second, the NYIA's representatives on the examining board were also key players in the founding of the College of Commerce Accounts and Finance at New York University where, beginning in 1899, Haskins served as the first dean and Sprague served as a professor of accounting theory.

What had been established in New York by the new legislation was a viable model for certifying professional accounting knowledge on the state level. Encouraged by the experience in the Empire State, accountants in other parts of the country began to push for licensing legislation. Within five years of New York's legislation, similar laws were on the books in four other states: Pennsylvania (1899); Maryland (1900); California (1901); and Washington (1901).

Need for National Organization

However, some thoughtful practitioners came gradually to the realization that the interests of their professional movement required the assistance of an organizational structure capable of coordinating professional affairs on a national level. During the period 1900-1916, one such body, the Federation of State Societies of Public Accountants, served this role.

After the passage of the first CPA laws, practitioners had to confront the problem of developing an institutional framework that was effective for governing professional accountancy as it became more national in scope. Central to this process was the need to address core issues that were critical in developing greater cohesiveness within the practitioner community. First, new organizational structures had to be planned that facilitated the smooth coordination of professional affairs both on the state and national levels. Second, disparities in educational and practice prerequisites imposed by various state licensing boards had to be ironed out to project an image that certified public accountancy was a learned calling with uniformly high standards for admission. Moreover, a question remained as to the ethical constraints that should be placed on CPAs to assure they used their knowledge in the public interest. In addition, at a time when there were no formal standards setting bodies, CPAs eagerly sought reliable sources of guidance as to what constituted "generally accepted" practice. Lastly, a national forum was also necessary where the diverse perspectives about professionalism that were associated with differences in the nature of practice or in social and regional backgrounds could be reconciled.

The Move West. The plan of national organization that was followed to confront these myriad problems of professional identification incorporated the same federal principle that was inherent in America's political order. Its chief architect was a British chartered accountant, George Wilkinson, who, during his long career in America, practiced in New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Like many of his chartered accounting colleagues, Wilkinson became acutely aware of how local professional regulation could be detrimental to the interests of accountants whose practice took them across state boundaries. For example, Wilkinson and many of his British colleagues operating in New York had been denied certificates under a grandfather waiver provision of the new licensing law that would have exempted them from sitting for the examination because most had not been resident in the United States for five years prior to the law's effective date. Although such a denial did not exclude them from the market, it was feared the fact they were not CPAs would set them off as alien and un-American. Additionally, many of the foreign accountants who remembered the old controversy over the NYIA's certificates were reluctant to sit for the examination, doubtless, fearing they might be humiliated by a failure at the hands of a hostile examining board bent on proving the superiority of the American credential over the one developed in Britain. There was also the possibility the law might be strengthened in the future to restrict practice to licensees. Consequently, many of the chartered accountants relocated their principal offices to Chicago and began to play leading roles in promoting professional legislation in Illinois and other states partly to head off any recurrence of the types of problems encountered in New York.

The New Organization. The organization that Wilkinson helped to form for promoting accounting professionalism was initially chartered as the Federation of State Societies of Public Accountants in the United States of America in Washington, D.C. on October 21, 1902. Its plan involved the incorporation of a professional society for each state as subsidiaries whose representation in the national body was in direct proportion to the size of their membership. Representative of state organizations in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania elected Charles W. Haskins as president, Robert H. Montgomery of the Philadelphia-based practice of Lybrand, Ross Bros. & Montgomery as treasurer, and Wilkinson as secretary. However, a dispute that arose between the two biggest, the
NYSSCPA and the AAPA, over which organization would represent New York's professional community, slowed the implementation of the federation's program. This problem had emerged after the untimely demise of the charismatic Charles Haskins in January 1903 and the failure to find a successor of equal stature who could bring together the quarreling factions in the Empire State. This controversy was not resolved until 1905 when the federation absorbed the AAPA and adopted its name while agreeing to recognize the NYSSCPA as New York's representative body.

Public Relations Success. In spite of these distractions, the new federative association soon achieved a public relations triumph through its sponsorship of the Congress of Accountants which was organized as a part of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 held in St. Louis, Missouri. A general objective of the exposition was the promotion of public awareness of how many types of new and useful knowledge had contributed to modern progress. The task of creating an agenda of presentations and discussions that explained accountancy's role as an agent of social uplift was left to Arthur Lowes Dickinson, a chartered accountant and graduate of Cambridge University, who had come to America to head Price Waterhouse & Co.'s practice. Dickinson, who had played a prominent role in organizing the profession in Illinois, coordinated the arrangements for the Congress through one of his most trusted associates, George O. May, who headed their firm's St. Louis office and was active in promoting the organization of the profession in Missouri. The accountants' participation in this conclave was a great success. It reinforced a growing sense of professional identity among the practitioner leaders drawn from all parts of the country. It also projected a positive image of accountancy as a useful form of specialized knowledge in achieving social and economic progress.

National Policies. The federated AAPA also initiated policies designed to assure greater uniformity both in the qualifications of practitioners and also in the organizational structures for coordinating professional affairs. Besides providing direct financial aid, the national body assisted local practitioners interested in extending the profession to new states with a model CPA law to support their licensing advocacy. Additionally, the national body defined a model set of state society bylaws to facilitate professional organization building. Although there were substantial modifications (particularly of the model licensing law because of differences in local conditions) some measure of the success of these efforts was reflected by the fact that 34 additional states adopted CPA licensing between 1903 and 1916.

The federated AAPA was also a source of guidance about practice ethics. Although its formal code was limited because of the difficulty to persuade the members of a large, federated body to adopt strict rules, ethical questions were addressed in articles appearing in The Journal of Accountancy, a periodical taken over by the AAPA from the Illinois Society of Public Accountants in 1905.

Controversies. Practitioners were often divided over the merits of proposed ethical rules that constrained market competition that practitioners familiar with British professional forms believed were critical in strengthening accountant independence because they were thought to be effective in placing practice on a sounder economic footing. Those who adhered to this view argued there should be rules against unrealistically low bidding because this made it economically impossible to devote sufficient time to engagements to assure competent performance. Many also wanted to curb advertising and direct client solicitation because it made accountancy seem more a trade than a profession and also threatened to undermine practice economics. Also disdained was the operation of a practice through an incorporated or "audit company" form, whose shareholders included wealthy nonpractitioners who might introduce new business. This latter arrangement was disliked because of the danger the CPA's professional judgment might be overridden by a profit-seeking board. But disagreements about these proposed rules prevented most from ever being adopted until after World War I when they became a major source of disruption within the profession.

The End of AAPA. Although the AAPA was eventually dissolved in 1916, it had during the course of its fourteen year existence made a major contribution to the promotion of the CPA profession. It had functioned as a vehicle for promoting the establishment of state societies and licensing legislation. Through its auspices new channels of communication were developed for forming consensus and coordinating the activities of CPAs nationwide. In addition, its representatives were able to demonstrate within some of the highest councils of government the importance of the CPA's specialized skills in auditing, taxation, and management advisory services.

New National Organizations

The decision to abandon the federative governance structure embodied in the AAPA was influenced by several factors that divided the members of the profession on the eve of America's entry into World War I. Some members, for example, anticipating the nation's entry into war wanted a more centrally controlled national organization that could respond more quickly to the demands of a general mobilization. Others were disappointed that the drive to secure uniformly high standards nationwide had not been completely successful. However, differences in local political structures and also in accessibility to high quality education remained key factors explaining the unevenness of state licensing requirements. In addition, conflicts arose because of a growing polarization between local and national firms over the broad purposes of the national organization. The local firms generally wanted the association to promote the benefits of CPA services among potential client groups; the larger firms wanted the organization's resources committed to improving the overall quality of practice. Conflict-laden differences in perspective also arose because of the increasing diversity in social backgrounds of the members of the profession. Its membership, which previously had been dominated by men of Eastern, native middle-class backgrounds, now experienced a strong influx of practitioners from the South and the West and also the entry of new men of more recent immigrant origin.

The AIA. A new national body, the American Institute of Accountants (AIA), was formed whose executive committee was able to exercise greater control over its affairs because of the spin-off of the state professional societies from its organizational structure. Although the AIA initiated new programs for improving the quality of practice, its highly centralized organizational structure proved poorly suited for the development of consensus within an increasingly diverse practitioner community. The AIA strengthened the profession by establishing the basis for a uniform CPA examination beginning in 1917, and soon after by creating a well stocked professional library in 1918 and by introducing a professional bibliographic service known as The Accountant's Index in 1919.

The ASCPA. Offsetting these solid achievements was the heightened internal tensions that derived from the desire of representatives of some of the profession's leading firms to impose stricter ethical rules against advertising and client solicitation. The elite wanted to follow this course because such rules, which already had been embraced by law and medicine, would seemingly make accountancy seem more professional. Moreover, many still believed these rules were necessary to place practice on a firmer economic footing and, thereby, assure higher audit quality. However, these changes in ethics rules introduced in 1921 encountered strong opposition from many local practitioners. This latter group generally did not perform many audits and a few even questioned whether public accountancy was a profession. Moreover, they believed the basic intent of this change was to strengthen the market power of the larger firms. Eventually, their ire became so intense that many joined a new rival association formed that same year by Durand Springer of Michigan known as the American Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA).

Division ultimately proved highly detrimental to the interests of the profession. The rivalry between two national representative bodies confused the public as to the proper focus of authority in accountancy. Disunity also made the profession more vulnerable to the threat of encroachment on its prerogatives as was demonstrated during the crisis of the Great Depression of the 1930s. The collapse of the financial markets and a prolonged economic downturn caused the public to demand relief from its political representatives which led to federal regulation of the securities markets beginning in 1933.

National Unity. The threat to professional autonomy raised by the widening scope of authority of the SEC brought home to practitioners once again the need for greater cohesiveness on the national and state levels. One respected proponent of this view was Robert H. Montgomery who had served as president both of the AAPA in 1913 and of the NYSSCPA from 1922 to 1924. Hoping to overcome the dilemmas brought about by practitioner division, Montgomery successfully campaigned for the presidency of the AIA on a platform of merger with the ASCPA and the reestablishment of a closer relationship with the state CPA societies. In 1937, the AIA celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with Robert Montgomery at the head of a reunited profession. In 1956, the AIA changed its name to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). *

Paul J. Miranti, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor at Rutgers University.


Joseph Hardcastle: The First Person to Pass the CPA Exam

By Dale L. Flesher, Tonya K. Flesher, and Gary J. Previts

The first CPA law in 1896 in New York provided for a "grandfathering" provision that allowed experienced practitioners to become CPAs without taking an examination. To qualify, a practitioner had to be able to prove he had been in reputable practice as a public accountant since January 1, 1890. According to one source, during 1896 and 1897, a total of 108 certificates were granted under the grandfathering clause, while three people passed the first examination. That first CPA examination was administered on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 15 and 16, 1896. The three individuals who passed that first exam are known; they were Joseph Hardcastle (Certificate No. 104), William H. Jasper (Certificate No. 105), and Edward C. Charles (Certificate No. 119).

The First Certificates

The first group of waiver certificates awarded, consisting of 14 in number, were issued in alphabetical order. Thus, Frank Broaker, by virtue of his surname initial, became the first CPA in America. Based on the order of names, it appears that 14 certificates were granted at the first meeting of the Regents.

The Examination

Hardcastle, whose 1898 office was at 1198 Broadway, had the lowest numbered certificate for a person who passed the CPA examination. He may also have been one of the oldest persons, at the age of 69 years, eight months, to ever pass the CPA exam. One source states that Hardcastle was offered a waiver certificate, but declined so that he could attempt the exam.

The exam Hardcastle took consisted of four parts: Theory of Accounts, Practical Accounting, Auditing, and Commercial Law. Each of the four sessions was of three hours duration. The CPA law provided that all four parts of the exam be passed at one time; there was no provision for partial credit on fewer than four parts. The examination fee was $25--the same amount required to obtain a waiver (grandfather) certificate. Applicants had to be high school graduates or the equivalent. Since he was a resident of the city, it is presumed Hardcastle sat for the exam in New York City, although it was also offered in Buffalo.

To give an idea of the types of questions Hardcastle had to answer, the following examples from the first CPA exam are given. The first Theory of Accounts question was:

State the essential principles of double entry bookkeeping, and show wherein it differs from single entry bookkeeping.

The first Practical Accounting question gave a trial balance for a partnership that could not meet its obligations. The CPA candidate had to:

Prepare a statement of affairs, showing the liabilities and the assets with respect to their realization and liquidation; also a deficiency account showing such of the above stated particulars as would account for the deficiency shown by the statement of affairs.

The initial Auditing question asked for "a brief outline of the duties of an auditor, and of his responsibilities." The first question in the Commercial Law section asked the candidates to "Draw the following promissory notes and forms of indorsement:

a. Not negotiable;

b. Negotiable;

c. Negotiable, requiring no indorsement."

The candidates then had to illustrate four different types of endorsement.

Hardcastle's scores on the CPA exam were: 87 in Theory, 80 in Practical Accounting, 85 in Auditing, and 95 in Law. These scores averaged out to 87 for each part, as compared to 85 and 79 for the two other individuals who passed the exam at the same sitting. Thus, were awards given, Hardcastle would have been the first "gold medalist" on the CPA examination.

Background for Success

Joseph Hardcastle was born April 22, 1827, at Skipton in Craven, Yorkshire, England. He attended a free grammar school and received a scholarship to York and Ripon Diocesan Training School. By 1858, he had moved to New York City where he passed the examination to become a New York Public School teacher. He taught from 1847 to 1864, including three years in British Honduras (now known as Belize) where he was also superintendent of schools, and six years at Grammar School No. 38 in New York.

Hardcastle quit teaching in 1864 to pursue accounting on a full-time basis. His first client may have been Peter Gilsey, for whom he acted as an accountant for 42 years (including the period as accountant for Gilsey's estate). While teaching at Grammar School No. 38, Mr. Hardcastle had charge of two of the sons of Peter Gilsey. Gilsey had an income tax problem involving sinking funds, which the boys' teacher was able to solve. His mathematical solution was accepted by the Income Tax Commissioners, much to the pleasure of Mr. Gilsey. The result was that Gilsey offered Hardcastle a job.

Hardcastle was active in early professional organizations, including the Institute of Accountants and Bookkeepers (later changed to Institute of Accounts), which he joined as a charter member in 1882. He joined the New York State Society of CPAs in 1897, shortly after that organization's founding, and the American Association of Public Accountants.

Hardcastle's Writings

Joseph Hardcastle was a prolific author. The first edition of The Accountants' Index lists 25 articles by him, with the first published in 1890. Another source lists 61 titles dating back to 1882. Some of the articles were seemingly the material for what was intended to become a book. One book published by New York University was actually an accumulation of his lectures on accounts of executors and testamentary trustees. Hardcastle states in the preface of that volume that it is "written primarily for the aid of students. It gives in substance the matter which I present in a course of lectures at the New York University School of Commerce, Accounts, and Finance. For the students who hear these lectures it will serve as a syllabus." He goes on to state:

The book, however, is more than a syllabus, and the general reader will, I trust, find it a source of independent help and guidance in his study of the subject. I have aimed to make it useful, not only to the teacher, but also to the professional accountant.

The objectives of the book included bringing "the lawyer and the accountant into accord on the subject, so that they may profitably cooperate in their mutual work," and "to give the accountant such a knowledge of both the principles and practice of the law that he may do his work intelligently, leaving, however, the legal guidance, the procedure, and the forms to be attended to by the lawyer."

His Work in Education

Despite the fact that Hardcastle left education in 1864, his educational abilities were recognized in 1882 when he was selected as the first Chief Examiner of the Institute of Accounts. He also chaired the Institute's Committee on Lectures for several years. He apparently was an excellent lecturer himself and was often invited to speak at professional meetings. He reentered education when he taught at Koehler's New York School of Accounts. Finally, in 1901, he joined the faculty of the New York University School of Commerce, Accounts, and Finance as a professor of the Principles and Practice of Accounts, a position he held until his death in 1906. His obituary called him "senior professor of the School." His skills and abilities were recognized by New York University in 1905 when he was awarded an honorary masters degree. The citation accompanying the degree read as follows:

He has taken a prominent part in the elevation of accounting to the rank of a profession. For many years a contributor to the periodicals of his profession and writer of text books recognized as authoritative in their field. Teacher, author, and leader in his profession, he is recommended for the honorary degree of Master of Letters. *

Dale L. Flesher, PhD, CPA, and Tonya K. Flesher, PhD, CPA, are professors at the University of Mississippi. Gary J. Previts, PhD, CPA, is a professor at Case Western Reserve University.



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