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Opportunity lost? Chances for cost accountants' professionalization under the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933

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Abstract:

The passage in June 1933 of the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) heralded an opportunity for the cost-accounting branch of the profession in the US to play a prominent role in the endeavour to revitalize the national economy. This early New Deal legislation sought to end unfair and destructive competition by authorizing industry-based codes which typically contained uniform methods of cost accounting and cost-based floors for pricing. For the first time on a broad scale, unregulated companies were required to maintain and utilize cost accounts. Many thought that a golden age of cost accountancy had arrived. However, the demise of the NIRA by 1935 left these expectations totally unfulfilled. Any opportunity for cost accountants to achieve a professional status commensurate with that of their financial accounting brethren had quickly dissipated.

Keywords: COST ACCOUNTING; NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL RECOVERY ACT; NEW DEAL; PROFESSIONALIZATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/095852099330368

Publication date: 1999-03-01

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