Identifying the Founding Fathers of Public Accountancy: The Formation of The Society of Accountants in Edinburgh
This chapter examines the 1853 formation of the Institute of Accountants in Edinburgh (IAE), and its 1854 incorporation under royal charter as the Society of Accountants in Edinburgh (SAE). It explores pre-formation events of a Victorian middle class and discusses four meetings to plan and form the IAE. The chapter examines several IAE Council and general meetings are examined to observe the process of petitioning for a royal charter for the SAE. It describes post-formation SAE Council decisions to create significant committees and finally reviews the individual participants in each of the foregoing stages to identify key players and roles in the institutionalization process. The difficulty over ordinary and honorary memberships in the signing of the petition for a royal charter suggests a change in the IAE/SAE institutionalization process, whereby public accountancy became the single focus. The formation of the IAE/SAE was effectively the organization of a very special type of club.