DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROFESSION
T H E origin and progress of the profession of Accountant, where it exists, having now been traced, and the situation in matters of accounting of other civilised countries examined, a chapter may be devoted to the recent remarkable development of the profession and its causes. It has been seen that the name and the business of the accountant are at least of respectable antiquity, but it must be admitted that the profession, as now understood, is to a very large extent the creation of the last fifty years. It is unnecessary to do more than refer to the enormous advance which has taken place during that period in every department of human thought and energy. Every one is familiar with the great strides in the domain of scientific invention and discovery. These have been accompanied by a steady and rapid growth of commerce, both in regard to its volume and the complexity of business affairs; and the course of legislation, called for by the changing conditions of life, if it has sometimes lagged behind the requirements of the day, has upon the whole followed the general advance. No business or profession has remained untouched by these changes, and we are fairly entitled to claim that the development of this profession
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has not been incommensurate with the progress in other departments.