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The Institute of Accounts: a community of the competent

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The professionalization of the US accounting profession during the fifteen years prior to the first CPA law in 1896 is explored through a description of the most significant professional organization of the period, the Institute of Accounts (IA). The IA followed the dominant US professionalizing model for scientific occupations. The organizational ideal of the community of the competent , first used by physical scientists and then by social scientists and engineers, was used by the IA as a means of identifying, cultivating and conferring professional competencies. The professional environment leading up to the passage of the first CPA law was dominated by this ideal of developing, within a self-regulated community, the science of accounts through essays, papers and debates among the most competent of the profession.
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Keywords: ACCOUNTING HISTORY; INSTITUTE OF ACCOUNTS; NINETEENTH CENTURY; PROFESSIONALIZATION; UNITED STATES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-03-01

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