chapter  Chapter One
16 Pages

Heritage of the American Accounting Profession

ByStephen A. Zeff

From the area of London known as the City, and from Edinburgh and Glasgow, came the chartered accountants who established professional accounting in the United States in the 1890’s. They were sent by British owners of American companies, ranging from manufacturing enterprises on the East Coast to orange groves in California. In January, 1870, the Incorporated Society of Liverpool Accountants was organized-the first professional body in England. This society was followed by the formation of five associations in other parts of England. The services of chartered accountants, then as now, were used in the formation of limited companies, and in their administration, reorganization, and liquidation. Financial resources of British industrialists were sufficient to meet the demands for capital to finance new enterprises. The practice followed by British banking institutions was to avoid the establishment of a purely American firm.