Mutual Self Interest - A Unifying Force; The Dominance of Societal Closure Over Social Background in the Early Professional Accounting Bodies
This chapter examines the range of activities which were regarded as accounting in the mid-1850s and to explain the factors which brought about the narrowing of that definition in respect of the new professional bodies. It highlights the continuing concern of the two bodies with professional closure, a further preoccupation which has characterized the activities of the numerous accounting bodies which can trace their existence back to the Scottish societal formation of the 1850s. Only sixteen canals were completed in Scotland and only eight were still operating when the first accounting society was formed, In addition, no canal accountants appear to have been of sufficient status to be listed in any of the professional or trade directories of that period. The professionalization of Glasgow accountants began from an initiative in September 1853 by 27 accountants already established in practice in the city contacting a further 14 accountants of similar experience.