chapter  1
19 Pages

Professional Formation: The Case of Scottish Accountants

WithKeith M Macdonald

A number of authors criticized the 'myth' of Scottish egalitarianism, which many historians have taken as established fact. They do, however, conclude that various aspects of the pre-modern Scottish life did contribute to a genuine gemeinschaft which formed the basis for the modern myth. Although the Scottish accountants of 1850 were on average respectable, well-educated and well-trained in comparison with most occupations of that time, they lagged behind the law, medicine and the clergy. This was particularly true of the education of Glasgow accountants of whom only 6 percent had been to University. In Scotland, between January 1853 and January 1855 two local Societies of Accountants were formed and obtained the grant of Royal Charters; Aberdeen followed a similar pattern twelve years later. The speed with which the Charters were obtained and the fact that they were granted to local bodies are both exceptional.