11 Pages

The Meaning of “Public Accountant”

WithNorman E. Webster

For some uses a simple and concise dictionary definition of “public accountant” will serve: “An accountant whose services are available to the public.” These descriptions of the services performed tell much more about public accountants than definitions could possibly do. It will help to complete the picture to note also some of the early statements about the personal qualifications of the public accountant. The quotation was the following description of a public accountant. A Doctor of Accounts must be a man of good mentality, of keen perception, of sound judgment, and practical business qualifications. The extracts are all dated prior to the first Certified Public Accountants law. They reflect current opinion of that period regarding the scope of the public accountant’s work and his personal qualifications as a professional man. The Public Accountant, publication of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Philadelphia, carried the following editorial in its issue of January 15,1900.