chapter  IV
23 Pages


THE profession of accountant did not attain a position of importance in England or in Ireland at so early a period as in Scotland, which was probably due in great measure to the laws of Scotland affecting the estates of bankrupts, pupils, and other incapacitated persons, and the practice of the Courts of Justice, being so different in character. In England questions of accounting, which in Scotland would have been remitted to professional accountants, were dealt with by the Masters in Chancery; and estates in bankruptcy or belonging to persons under some legal disability were entrusted to the care of officials of the court. The Scottish system fostered the growth of a body of men relying on their merits for success, the English system maintained a number of court officials and commissioners-many of them ill-qualified to perform accounting work-and left little business for the independent practitioner.