Chapter one: 1945-1954.
In the past 100 years, public accounting has won for itself public esteem and the privilege of being taught in colleges and universities. It has contributed to public trust in American business; has attracted men and women of talent and intellect; has fought and won harrowing legislative battles; has shown a phenomenal growth; has contributed a flood of literature about and to the accounting profession; and has, in turn, become an antecedent of the newer fields of management consulting and financial planning.
ACCOUNTING AS A PROFESSION
Five major events may be considered as causes of the fantastic rise of public accounting to its present professional status: ratification of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, the stock market crash of 1929, the Securities Act of 1933 and 1934, the Social Security Act of 1935 and the growth of professional accounting organizations.
THE SEED IS PLANTED
One of the famous accountants in American history is John Adams, who discounted the tax on English tea for George Washington. Adams later studied law, went into politics, and followed Washington to become the second President of the United States.
We are indebted to English and Scottish accountants who came to the U.S. in the 19th century to audit foreign investments. Their unofficial on-the-job training awakened wholesale ambition in Americans to become professional public accountants. At first they worked only part time in the new career. Then as the nation's commercial enterprises expanded and became American owned, accounting began to develop into full-time work. The formation of partnerships occurred during the latter half of the century.
The first accounting society in the nation was incorporated in July 1882 in New York City as the Institute of Accountants and Bookkeepers, then shortened its name in June 1886 to the Institute of Accountants. It heralded the advent of over half a dozen such organizations which came into being, merged, dropped from sight or reorganized in the next five decades. In 1902 an organization called the Federation of Societies of Public Accountants in the U.S. held its first convention. The Federation was short-lived, but it set firmly in place the principle that accountants in public practice wanted and would support a national organization.
The United States was the first nation to give accounting a place in university curricula. Although Robert E. Lee, as president of the institution later known as Washington and Lee University, suggested the idea in 1869, the first American college to establish a school of business was the University of Pennsylvania. Its Wharton School of Finance and Economy, now the Wharton School, was formed in Philadelphia in 1881. By the end of the century, British textbooks had been discarded, American accounting literature was burgeoning, and educational facilities were offering accounting courses to their students.
Credit for the first steps in seeking legislation to obtain legal recognition and licensing of public accountants goes to New York practitioners who introduced a bill in their legislature in 1895. It did not pass until the restrictive position - which would have allowed only certified public accountants to practice - was removed. Like Pandora's box, this initial regulatory law opened the way for a host of subsequent state and national laws and attendant problems, some of which still remain unresolved.
In 1909, the new franchise tax (1% of net corporate income) received almost no public attention. This first income tax paved the way for the 16th (and shortest) Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The 31 words in that Amendment gave to the Congress in 1913 power to impose the federal income tax as a conspicuous element of business. The law was also important because it allowed firms to choose a fiscal year for reporting. The excess profits tax of 1917 added a new dimension.
The year 1935 saw passage of the Social Security Act, which was to have a profound effect on the rise of public accounting as a force in the American professional and business community. This Act, and the subsequent pay-as-you-go plan (1943), made it necessary for small and medium-sized businesses to find competent people to perform their financial reporting. CPAs were expensive and so were full-time bookkeepers. Thus independent public accountants became a vital part of the business scene as they were retained to serve a number of clients at the same time.
Other threads in the tax fabric were woven by the sales tax, first adopted by New York City in 1934, New Orleans in 1936 and Philadelphia in 1938. With the close of World War II, the pressure for new revenues made itself felt. The lead was taken by burgeoning communities in southern California which used the sales tax toward this end. In 1947 the states of New York, Colorado and Illinois adopted the sales tax. It became widespread in succeeding years. The complexity and accelerated increase in rates and types of taxes continue to cause multiple changes in the law and an ever-widening scope in accounting practice.
STATE REGULATORY LEGISLATION
By 1924, some type of law recognizing CPAs had been passed by all states and territories, although the absence of uniformity was appalling. In that year, also, came the first decision by a state supreme court (Oklahoma) to keep the profession open by not restricting the practice of accounting to CPAs only. Yet in the same year the Revenue Act of Congress established the Board of Tax Appeals. Its first ruling included the proviso that practice before the Board would be limited to attorneys and to CPAs.
After the early enactment of permissive laws, there followed from about 1920 to 1940 what has been designated as the regulatory period of accounting legislation. During this period, a number of states changed the laws they had enacted in the years from 1900 to 1920 by passing statutes to regulate the practice of accountancy. For example, by 1930, 32 states and Puerto Rico had passed laws barring the practice of public accounting from any but those in possession of a license or certificate issued by state authorities. Accountants adversely affected, however, went to court for redress. Decisions in Oklahoma (1924), Illinois (1926) and Tennessee (1932) held that restriction of practice to CPAs was "an unwarranted regulation of private business and the right of the citizen to pursue the ordinary occupation of life."
Although a 1936 Wisconsin case held that state's regulatory law to be constitutional, the Wisconsin Supreme Court stated the law expressly permitted accounting work by others than those certified under the Act, as long as their work was not held out as that of a public accountant. This case is cited as the first of the two-class regulatory laws to be held constitutional by a state supreme court. Other events, again on a national level, caused consternation among accountants, both registered and nonregistered.
Many lawyers felt that preparation of tax returns by an accountant, and the activities relevant to such preparation, amounted to the practice of law. This stand by attorneys resulted in a number of court cases, the most spectacular of which were the Bercu case in New Jersey (1943-47), the Minnesota Conway case and the Agran case in California. A result of the latter case was the U.S. Treasury Department's issuance of Circular 230 as an attempt to regulate practice before it on federal tax situations.
Before May 15, 1939, accountants who wanted to enroll with the Treasury Department were required to show they were of good reputation, possessed necessary qualifications, and had passed a prescribed examination. Attorneys and CPAs were exempt from the special examination. After that date, however, regulations provided that only lawyers and CPAs could be enrolled and thus be able to represent clients before the Internal Revenue Service.
Bills seeking to revise Circular 230 were introduced in the Congress, and other bills - such as H.R. 3214 regarding the Tax Court of Appeals - would concern the public accountant in the practice of his profession. State legislatures were also the recipients of numerous bills affecting regulatory accounting laws and the lives of public accountants.
The day had come for public accountants to organize and to secure public and legal recognition for themselves. The stage was set, events were moving fast, and it was time for the curtain to rise and spotlight a new and vital element on the public accounting scene. This was the National Society of Public Accountants, born in 1945, and ever since a champion of the rights of all accountants in public practice.
IN THE BEGINNING
There would not have been a National Society of Public Accountants formed in 1945 if inspiration had not come much earlier. Lawrence E. Milhouse and Fred K. Trautman of St. Louis, Missouri, worked as a team to encourage interest and to foster establishment of a national organization. William J. Franz of Cleveland, Ohio, worked independently.
Franz began corresponding in the 1930s with accountants in public practice in distant cities. One of the men from whom he received a favorable response was Joseph B. Bryson, Birmingham, Alabama, who was later to become NSPA's fifth president. When other members of the Public Accountants Society of Ohio became interested in the early 1940s, Franz transferred his correspondence to Carl Boehm of Columbus for further pursuit of his dream of unified public accountants.
The two St. Louis men received their idea over the luncheon table. At that time there was no register of public accountants by states, so they resorted to telephone directories of other cities which the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company placed at their disposal. The two public accountants planned to effect a trial run by writing letters to several hundred names and addresses from these books. They began the laborious process of compiling names and addresses. Then a letter from Boehm arrived, asking Fred Trautman his opinion about forming a national accounting organization. Trautman was at that time secretary of the Public Accountants Association of Missouri.
FROM A HOPE TO A PROMISE
Hundreds of letters were written by the Missouri and Ohio groups. Arrangements were finally made to have an initial organizational meeting November 5, 6 and 7, 1945. Thus, 33 far-seeing men gathered in St. Louis to design, in three days, a plan that carried the National Society forward for a half century.
Milhouse and Boehm stressed the opinion that a national organization of public accountants was needed and emphasized the importance of numerical strength in working for the welfare of public accountants, collectively and individually.
"It was apparent from the beginning that every man attending the conference came there with an open mind, with no personal ambition or selfish motive, but with one dominating belief - that a national organization was vitally necessary to our future welfare. Throughout all of the discussions, the mixture of thoughts and ideas, the plans, the spirited and friendly arguments, that one idea was fixed. We...found ourselves viewing problems from a national standpoint."
The meeting, however, was not without its troublesome moments. Members of a recently defunct group (the American Tax Association) came to the conference, attempted to control it, but were dismissed.
OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES
Carl Boehm was chosen temporary chairman and Paul Knospe, temporary secretary. Four plans of organization were presented by proponents from California, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma. To determine the type and character of the new organization, a committee headed by W. Barnaby Hill was appointed. Other committees and chairmen named were Constitution and Bylaws, L. E. Milhouse; Budget and Finance, H. E. Alford; Membership and Admissions, E. E. Weiss; Resolutions, George L. La Coste; Nominating, Jess C. Bowden.
Everyone was given something to do, whether as a state organization delegate, an alternate or an observer. Intensive effort was the rule, with committee sessions continuing until early morning hours.
The Constitution and Bylaws of the Ohio organization were used as a model. In brief, the new Society was to be composed of active and associate members in nine regional districts and would be administered during the first year by eight officers and a Board of Governors. The Council of Delegates at the first all-member Convention in 1946 would elect all future officers and governors. The general purposes and aims of the Society, as contained in the Constitution, would serve as a cornerstone for enforcement of the organization's high standards and objectives. The Bylaws, under which the Society would operate, set forth the means through which the Society would function for the benefit of its members. The three cardinal points on which NSPA was founded were named as equality, perpetuity and reciprocity.
One vital question resolved in this meeting was that delegates to the Convention should be selected on a representational plan. Only certified delegates would cast ballots, rather than each person at the Annual Convention having a vote. Application fees and dues from members of state organizations affiliated with NSPA were to be less than for members in states without an affiliated group. In this way formation of state associations would be encouraged.
The first elected officers of the National Society of Public Accountants were:
President: W. Barnaby Hill
First Vice President: Carl H. Boehm
Second Vice President: Alfred E. Fredericks
Third Vice President: Ted I. Sullivan
Fourth Vice President: Jess C. Bowden
Executive Secretary: George L. La Coste
Financial Secretary: Fred K. Trautman
Treasurer: Lawrence E. Milhouse
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
A vociferous discussion ensued when the question of a name for the new national organization was brought before the floor. When the fire and smoke had died down, six titles had been nominated:
Society of American Accountants
American Fellowship of Public Accountants
American Association of Public Accountants
Society of American Public Accountants
National Public Accountants Society
National Society of Public Accountants
The title of National Society of Public Accountants was chosen - by a one-vote majority - and the name has never been changed.
The new organization had no money, no office and no mailing list. Its only possessions were a name and the will of the members to do the job. Joseph B. Bryson, NSPA's fifth president, observed, "Toward the end, when everything we could think of had been signed, sealed and delivered, temporary officers appointed, etc., we awoke to the fact that while we had a treasurer, there was not a penny to give him. At that point the spirit shown by that handful of men was magnificent; each man paid $25, the premium for being a Founder and one of the original charter members."
The primary objective of the Founders, according the NSPA's fourth President A. Rulon Jackson, was to "unite the accounting profession which had been experiencing fraternal difficulties in accounting legislation that had caused disunity within the profession. The accomplishment of this primary objective was deemed necessary to advance the interests of the profession and enhance its usefulness to the Society as a whole."
"The men who met in St. Louis in November 1945 organized themselves into a national society, drafted and adopted a constitution and bylaws, elected officers, agreed upon certain projects which they deemed for the benefit of the public accounting profession and went back to their respective states to interest all public accountants in their objectives."
Before they left, however, William Franz was host at dinner to the group, to celebrate the founding of NSPA.
OKLAHOMA CITY - 1945-1949
Administrative affairs of the new National Society were conducted by the executive secretary George La Coste, from his own office in the Majestic Building, Oklahoma City.
The first official act of the new organization was a meeting of the Board of Governors called by President Hill for December 1 in Memphis, Tennessee. Named to serve in their districts until the first Annual Convention in 1946 were:
Pacific: H.E. Alford
Northwest: Walter C. Ehlers Harry Ballard
Southwest: William B. Peirce Leland H. Stinson
Midwest North: William J. Franz Durward B. Wildman
Midwest South: Joseph B. Bryson Harry H. Lloyd
Central Atlantic: William A. Long
New England: John J. Currans Max Raskin
The National Society was incorporated December 11, 1945, under the laws of the State of Delaware as a nonprofit corporation. According to Article V of the NSPA Constitution, the names of the incorporators were C. S. Peabbles, L. H. Hermann and S. M. Brown of Wilmington, Delaware.
To provide a substantial general fund for the First National Office, George La Coste borrowed $900 to pay for the cost of voluminous correspondence, to order individual membership certificates and charters of affiliation for the state societies, and to pay his office help promptly for their labor. He was the only paid officer of NSPA, yet he did not receive his full salary every month - although usually a part of it was sent.
It was expected in the beginning that membership acquisition would be slow. On the other hand, to function on a national basis a considerable amount of money was required which should rightfully come from dues. The momentum and enthusiasm engendered by the Founders' meeting could nor be lessened. The National Society had to expand its membership quickly or perish.
The initial leaders realized their first task was to discover and gather together accountants in each state, to explain the purposes of the National Society and the benefits members could expect, and to bring these people into the fold. To attack major problems of the profession before the organization had the facilities or the funds to accomplish substantial results would be both foolhardy and disastrous.
How, then, did these persistent, undaunted, intrepid pioneers accomplish the continuity of NSPA? They went into the states to organize public accountants' organizations; they sent membership mailings urging every member to enroll another member and posted prospect letters by the bushel. Each of these was a personal letter, and so were letters sent to new members by H. E. (Gene) Alford and John (Jack) J. Currans as Area Directors.
Regardless of the state of the treasury, NSPA held annual conventions; leaders aspired to a Code of Ethics and worked on it for two years; and finally, their enthusiasm strangling their financial acumen, began publication of a magazine. For over a decade, this editorial decision provided a lifeline of communication to members at the same time that it furnished copious and never-ending unpaid bills, anxious moments concerning the life of the publication and even of the Society itself, and an abundance of heated pros and cons as to policy.
While the 33 Founders came from 12 of the United Stares, only seven of these 12 had existing state public accountants' associations Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma. Obviously it was impossible to reach prospective members all over the nation on an individual basis. The plan decided upon was that the backbone of NSPA would consist of affiliated stare organizations whose members, through the Council of Delegates, would have equal representation in the conduct of Society affairs.
An excellent and detailed California plan proposed by Gene Alford on the how-to's of local organization was followed with startling success. To carry out the plan, early NSPA leaders expended an incalculable amount of time and effort - and thousands of dollars from personal funds - to provide a solid membership base as the heart of the new group. They paid their own transportation and hotel bills. They deserted their families and their practices for weeks at a time to travel thousands of miles, provide advice and assistance, speak to hundreds of people and persuade them to organize their state groups and to join the National Society.
The biggest problem of membership acquisition was a reluctance of state society members to join National until their own state associations were thriving. To counteract this feeling, NSPA leaders presented the urgent matter of negative legislation, so that public accountants would realize they could receive National's experience and knowledge both in organizational and in legislative situations. All that National asked in return was membership dues to accomplish the work. At that time dues were $10; the application fee was also $10. To aid in membership acquisition, any person joining the Society before April 30, 1946, would be received as a charter member.
Gene Alford and Jack Currans were elected at the 1946 Convention in Cleveland as Vice Presidents. Membership and state organizational activities West of the Mississippi were assigned to Gene Alford while Jack Currans was in charge of Eastern states. The joint program was coordinated through the executive office, with George La Coste at the helm.
During the 13-month period from the founding date to January 1947, 10 state organizations were formed and affiliated under the aegis of these two men (other than those groups represented by the Founders in 1945): Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and the territory of Puerto Rico. By September 1947, 10 more affiliates included Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia. In addition, several other groups had begun to function because of the interest shown by NSPA in their affairs and the interest of other states in NSPA.
An increasing desire on the part of the state associations to participate more actively in the Society's affairs led to changes of policy at the Annual Convention in St. Louis (1947). After September 1, charters would be given only to state associations whose membership was composed of 51% or more of NSPA members. In unaffiliated states, public accountants could join NSPA individually until such time as state affiliation came about.
By eliminating single membership in affiliated states, it was felt both National and the state organizations would be strengthened. In addition, dual membership would automatically assure each affiliated state society of two delegates to the National Conventions. It was for this reason that Society delegates and delegates-at-large, as well as alternates, were recommended for the Council of Delegates.
Although the dual membership idea was sound, in practice the plan did not prove to be feasible. The failure of most state societies to adopt the plan presented difficulties to the Society's budget. Article XIV of the NSPA Constitution at that time provided that state associations could collect dues levied by NSPA and remit to the executive secretary. Names were sent in without dues; dues arrived without names; delays ensued; complaints arose; bills mounted to over $6,000 and the treasury lacked the money to pay them. Furthermore, the question of voluntary assessment vs. an enthusiastic membership drive was hotly debated on national, state and local levels.
To keep the Society solvent, many expedients were resorted to. The Board of Governors and numerous committee members donated funds upon request; all members were solicited to pay their dues in advance; special, one-time financial gifts were sought, including a collection taken from the 106 members attending the 1947 Convention in St. Louis (to help pay for Convention costs). There was even creation of the "One Hundred Roll." To be listed on this honor roll, members forwarded five years' dues in advance to tide the Society over its financial crisis. The honor roll was not a successful venture.
In 1948, the California delegation led a move to change the Bylaws so that concurrent membership was eliminated. Each state society could go ahead on its own; NSPA could secure members without relying on state groups; and no state organization could withhold support to NSPA as a lever to achieve some political end. By the beginning of 1949, despite pressures from inadequate financing, the rigors of personal sacrifice and protracted disputes over policies and procedures, the affiliated state associations numbered 40.
During the first two years, membership and finances by no means received exclusive attention. Other important problems and projects dealt with the lessening of often extreme differences and acerbity in individual states where more than one public accountants' organization existed; with the question of whether to attempt one of the popular postwar veterans' training programs (specifically adapted to accountants); the advisability of entering into collaboration with the American Institute of Accountants (now AICPA); the tangle of having three elected financial officers; development of a model accountancy bill; completion and adoption of the Code of Ethics; development of regional conferences; laying the groundwork for an orderly succession of
NSPA officers; printing of brochures for members and for prospective members; and regular communication with members.
NSPA completed its first membership survey in 1947. A total of 730 replies to the 1947 questionnaire indicated that respondents had filed 214,145 income tax returns during the year, an average of about 295 tax returns each. In 1947 these accountants had served an average of 67 clients each, exclusive of special income tax clients. The combined average gross income was over $14,000, and more than 80% of those who replied owned their own homes.
After membership, the most urgent need was formulation of a National Society legislative policy, both state and nationwide, and healthy activity at both levels.
During December 1946, District Governor Rulon Jackson, fourth Vice President Paul Sugar, and the Utah Association of Public Accountants joined hands in producing the First Western States Conference, called to solidify opinion on legislation and membership among those states. The success of the Conference made it the forerunner of subsequent state tax seminars, NSPA Regional Legislative Conferences, Management Conferences and the Professional Practice Seminars. In January 1949, the Monthly Bulletin newsletter reported to members, "Affiliated state associations are sponsoring Tax Conferences as bonuses to their members. This is an avenue by which the chief purposes of NSPA may be accomplished. There is no better method of raising the standards of public accountants than by imparting information in the Tax Conferences."
THE NEW MEXICO EXAMINATION
On the state level, a momentous decision was in the offing. From the beginning, the National Society objected on principle to preparation of licensing examinations by anyone other than a state accountancy board. There was strong feeling that the Society should not adopt a policy which it had so severely criticized. The change in that policy occurred as a result of events in New Mexico. In December 1946, after organizing with the help of NSPA, the New Mexico Society of Public Accountants proved their outstanding enthusiasm as a state group by introducing at once into their state legislature an accountancy bill.
One night at 10 o'clock, President Hill received a telephone call from those handling the legislation in the New Mexico State Capitol. An agreement had been reached with legislative leaders that the bill would pass if the legislature could be assured that the quality of the examination would assure the competency of the accountants passing it. They would not accept examinations other than those prepared by a national accounting organization which, in this case, was the National Society.
President Hill concluded that the value of the bill was paramount. He assured the New Mexico callers that NSPA would carry out its part of the obligation. The President was roundly criticized by many persons and defended by some, but history has proved that decision was well taken. The bill was enacted into law in March 1947. It was the first state statute to provide that the National Society would prepare the examination for persons seeking registration as public accountants, (In 1968, Vermont asked NSPA to prepare their public accountancy examination. Maine followed in 1969.)
At the same time, other states were having their own problems. A special legislative bulletin from the executive office to members, dated April 12, 1947, paid tribute to NSPA District Governor Harry Ballard and William O'Toole who "stood alone in the struggle to defeat the model bill of the American Institute in the Senate of the State of Minnesota." Their opponents were the CPAs and a Minnesota group of public accountants. It was the latter which had declined to join NSPA unless they could approve all applications from their state. President Hill had refused their proposition, with full backing of his advisors.
Legislative action was not confined to the state scene by any means. H.R. 2657, introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives by the American Bar Association, was creating a furor. Delegates at the 1947 St. Louis Convention passed a resolution condemning the bill. It would restrict public accountants' activities by registering all practitioners admitted to practice before administrative agencies, would create a Credentials Committee to pass on all who desired to practice before these agencies, with the Committee issuing credentials to nonlawyers. Public accountants closed ranks at once in violent opposition to this bill. They labeled it highly discriminatory, productive of much duplication and expense, and obviously an instrument of favoritism, since of five Committee members, four would be attorneys.
Copies of the resolution were sent by NSPA to every member of the Congress of the United States and to all public accountants in the nation. State societies passed their own resolutions, and a barrage of member and state organization letters besieged Capitol Hill. The Treasury Department and other agencies also opposed the bill. H.R. 2657 was killed by the Committee in 1948 but was followed by H.R. 7100, and then by H.R. 5732.
In his President's message to the third Annual Convention (1948 in Boston), Gene Alford summed up "our mutual problems" by saying, "The year 1948 has brought a new revenue act with a distinct possibility of a second revision ... but when there is added to our daily responsibilities such extraneous and dangerous items as the Bercu case, H.R. 2657, H.R. 5732, H.R. 3214, and now the Conway case, it is time to pause - time to think in terms of the profession." To help in combatting the proposed unfavorable legislation, members were asked for voluntary contributions. The California delegates to the 1948 Convention presented $3,066.30 to NSPA, raised by their state group for legislative purposes on a national scale. Other states contributed lesser amounts.
To reduce the amount and expense of traveling, NSPA hired Robert Ash, Washington, D.C., as part-time legal counsel, to keep the Officers and Executive Committee in Oklahoma City informed on the political winds blowing around public accountants.
THE TREASURY CARD
One of these political winds had to do with the Treasury Card. In three little words, the aims recognized by NSPA Founders were equality, perpetuity and reciprocity. For many years they were the slogan of the Society. The Treasury Card, nicknamed the "green card," was a major impetus in early striving for equality.
The problem went back to May 15, 1939. Before that time accountants who wanted to enroll with the Treasury Department were required to show they were of good reputation, possessed necessary qualifications, and had passed a prescribed examination. Attorneys and CPAs were exempt from the special examination. However, after May 15, 1939, an amendment to the regulation specified that only attorneys and CPAs could be enrolled and thus be able to represent clients before the Internal Revenue Service.
At their April 1948 meeting, the NSPA Board of Governors passed a resolution that the Chairman and members of the National Legislative Committee appear before the Committee on Practice of the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. The NSPA Committee members were to protest as discriminatory that section of revised Circular 230 providing that one requirement for special enrollment to practice before the IRS was to pass an examination on questions of accounting practice and theory of accounts prepared by the American Institute of Accountants (now AICPA). The NSPA Committee was further directed to protest that this would place in the hands of a private institution a monopoly with the power to determine standards of practice before this Department of the U.S. Government. They urged instead that examination questions be prepared and graded by the Training Division of the Treasury Department. They felt the Department's Committee on Practice should assume responsibility and supervision of the examinations without delegation of any powers or duties to private agencies outside the Treasury Department.
During the years 1948 to 1953, John J. Currans, NSPA's third president, traveled many times to Washington, D.C., at his own expense to lobby for the National Society and all accountants in public practice. His reports to members at their meetings and state conventions were highly popular. Members were hungry for legislative news. Jack Currans was affectionately referred to as "Mr. Public Accountant" because of his legwork on the Treasury Card situation and his frequent testimony at Congressional hearings.
Special attention was also given to personal matters. One of these was the life membership card. In a letter of July 8, 1947, to the Board of Governors, Gene Alford suggested a gold-plated card be prepared and presented in a leather case as a surprise award to President Hill, and that a resolution be presented to the delegates at the 1947 Convention. In his reply, Governor Rulon Jackson expanded the idea by suggesting that all outgoing presidents be named for life as delegates-at-large in the Council of Delegates. As a result the Bylaws were amended and the presentation of a gold-plated, life membership card to outgoing presidents was firmly established.
In August 1946, the Society was but nine months old. Nevertheless, the first of NSPA's annual conventions was held at that time in Cleveland, with 106 members from 34 states and accredited delegates from 16 states hearing a welcome given by President Hill.
"For many years the public accountants have been without a medium, or an organization, through and by which their views could be expressed, and their rights demanded. They are a necessary and constructive segment in our society and economy. The value of their services to the public should not suffer in comparison with any other profession. It therefore behooves the public accountants to establish and maintain a strong and active National Society. Our duty and responsibility to the public demands that the standards and professional proficiencies of public accountants shall be second to none. To this end, the National Society of Public Accountants came into being."
At this time, membership dues were increased to $20 a year, the application fee was abandoned, committees were appointed to revise the Constitution and Bylaws and to study legislation needed by public accountants in the various states. A model accountancy bill, to be prepared by L. E. Milhouse, was to be ready for the next Convention's approval. A Federal Legislative Panel was set up, with Anthony J. Sabbia of Boston as chairman, to prepare tax data and information of a remedial character, to submit to the Congress for the benefit of small business.
THE NATIONAL PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT
It was realized during the first year of NSPA's life that, if the Society was to grow, it must communicate with its members and with prospective members. Early in 1946, Gene Alford suggested a monthly bulletin of interest about NSPA activities. However, the vote went to establish first a quarterly magazine. President Hill appointed a Publications Committee of Clarence Hook (chairman and managing editor), Jack Currans, Larry Benson and Fred Trautman.
The Committee had no funds, and the National Society had a minimum. Nevertheless, the Publications Committee was empowered to proceed. Editor Hook named the fledgling magazine The National Public Accountant and was responsible for the first two issues, July and November 1946.
The necessity of advertising was at once discovered, so Executive Secretary George La Coste assumed the role of editor with instructions to procure ads. Advertising rates at that time were $150 for one page, $85 for a half page, and $200 for the inside back cover. The first two ads - sold to Commerce Clearing Home, Inc., and Todd Company, Inc. - provided a small fund for operation. The Society then donated an allowance, and the Publications Committee's next issues came out in January, March, June and September 1947.
It was decided, however, to suspend the magazine until NSPA was in better financial condition and to publish in its stead a news bulletin to members. Christened the Monthly Bulletin, it was written by Gene Alford during the balance of his 1947-48 term as president and by George La Coste until the 1949 Indianapolis Convention.
In August 1949, Henry S. Koepcke of Dallas, Texas, a member of NSPA, offered to organize a corporation to publish a revitalized NPA magazine without cost to the Society, and with the proviso that subscriptions be outside member dues. The delegates at the Indianapolis Convention approved. A contract was entered into with the corporation, the Accountants Publishing Company. It was to be operated as a separate entity whose board of directors and officers were to be members and officers of NSPA. The magazine, however, was to be the official publication of the National Society.
The first issue came off the press in October. Four copies were sent to each member of NSPA to help in solicitation of new members and to begin a subscription list. In addition, 5,000 copies were mailed to nonmember public accountants throughout the United States.
In the meantime, the executive office of NSPA was moved to the Continental Building, 3615 Olive Street, St. Louis, according to plans formulated at the Indianapolis Convention. One reason was that it was felt St. Louis would be a more central location. As Bill Franz phrased it, "We traveled to Oklahoma so much we called it our second home." Lawrence Milhouse replaced George La Coste and assumed the title of executive director. The new president was Rulon Jackson of Salt Lake City.
ST. LOUIS - 1949-53
When the National Society made its move to St. Louis in 1949, there were more than 1,500 members, debts had mounted to $5,000 and income was, euphemistically speaking, erratic and less than required to keep the organization going. There was no money to pay office help, so Milhouse's staff handled the NSPA work without extra pay for several months to get matters under control.
Gradually, however, conditions improved. In three years' time, no statements were outstanding and the treasury had become fairly respectable. Organization of the National Society was streamlined to the president, two vice presidents, the secretary, the treasurer, the executive director and four district governors. There were 20 area (state) directors covering the four districts and Puerto Rico.
In September 1949, Executive Director Milhouse made plans to write the member newsletter. The first issue of Flash as a monthly bulletin was mimeographed and sent to the members in October. During the same month, President Rulon Jackson met in St. Louis with Henry Koepcke, his son Bruce and Executive Director Milhouse to establish a policy for the official NSPA publication: The monthly NPA would be a trade magazine with subscriptions at $6 a year.
Unfortunately, the Accountants Publishing Company of Dallas ran into financial problems from the very beginning. It was undercapitalized, and subscriptions and advertising could not possibly meet the magazine's expenses.
To print the first issue in October 1949, Henry Koepcke went $2,000 into debt. From a subscription list of 0, a total of 700 members had subscribed by January 1950. In July, Clarence Hook, Publications Committee Chairman, solicited a select list for $100 loans and received two donations. In September 1950, a letter from Past President Alford solicited from NSPA members the purchase of capital stock from working capital; $2,100 came in. A further effort by Koepcke in February 1951 brought in stock sales of $2,000. Stockholders at the April meeting authorized an increase in capitalization, but response was insufficient to meet the need. Over a period of time, NSPA gave the magazine some $4,200 in advertising, $2,500 in subscriptions to help out and a loan of $500. Henry Koepcke also put up additional funds of his own.
It became obvious that the magazine could only limp along financially. Past President Alford recommended in essence that the magazine be published through March 1951, that other plans for communications with members be made, and that the situation be presented to the Board of Governors for final disposition at the Spring 1951 meeting.
At their convention meeting, the Board of Governors agreed that the magazine must be retained because of advance subscriptions and advertising commitments and because of its public relations value.
Joseph Bryson was elected President for 1950-51 at the Salt Lake City Convention. His was the decision concerning life or death of the magazine and, indirectly, of the Society. Under his leadership, it was decided that the contract between the Society and the corporation be rescinded, that three trustees be appointed to design a plan of liquidation, and that Larry Milhouse edit a magazine from the national office.
The first issues of the new NPA, then in 8 1/2[inches] x 11[inches] size, was published in May 1951. It was a combination of the former monthly magazine and the Flash news bulletin to members. Milhouse continued to serve as editor through July 1953.
In October 1949, President Jackson, in an article in the National Public Accountant, first propounded the question, "Should the National Society adopt a planned public information and public relations program?" But the time for that was not yet.
Shortly after he took office as executive director, Milhouse began to advocate state-sponsored tax seminars. They were established in many states as a result of his initiative, and they were one of the many advantages which members of NSPA and the state affiliated organizations received from the National Society.
In 1950, the arm of NSPA stretched out to Fairbanks, Alaska, and reached the first member from the Far North, John E. Prouty. Only two years later Jay A. Robinson of San Pedro, California, at that time Governor of District X, and his wife flew to the Territory of Hawaii for formal presentation of the affiliation charter to the Hawaii Association of Public Accountants.
By November 1950, the executive office needed more space and a move was made from the Olive Street address to 3829 West Pine Boulevard in St. Louis.
During Bryson's administration (1950-51), the NSPA Committee for Cooperation with Other Professional Societies (Jack Currans as Chairman) met a number of times with a like committee of the American Institute of Accountants (now AICPA). It was mutually agreed that the two organizations would not publish articles detrimental to each other.
THE TREASURY CARD REVISITED
While Jackson was president (1949-50), negotiations were underway to protect NSPA members and others engaged in the field of federal income tax practice against adverse legislation or regulation, and to secure proper recognition from the Treasury Department. One of Larry Milhouse's first acts in the St. Louis office was to work on transfer of the examination of Treasury Cards from CPA supervision to that of the IRS.
He sent a telegram to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue asking for an interview. At length it was granted, and Jack Currans was appointed the official NSPA representative.
To be able to put forth the proper and needed effort, NSPA embarked on a new membership drive, so that the Society could truly be the national representative of public accountants everywhere. These plans were continued by Bryson during his term of office. In a letter to the membership dated May 7, 1951, Executive Director Milhouse admonished, "Gentlemen, this is not a money-raising campaign, it is a campaign for survival. It is for your welfare and the welfare of every public accountant in the United States."
In the administration of James Keys (1951-52), the Subcommittee on Practice, a division of the NSPA Committee on Public and Professional Relations, was active in negotiations with the U.S. Treasury Department. Again the Board of Governors drafted a resolution proposing a practical examination be prepared and supervised by the Treasury's Training Division. In the Spring of 1952, the National Public Accountant asked state-affiliated organizations to pass resolutions and NSPA members to write their Congressmen about changing the deadline for filing income tax returns from March 15 to March 31.
Upon assuming the presidency of NSPA at the August 1952 Convention in Chicago, William M. Wood began at once to sketch out the concerted NSPA campaign to battle for the right of a public accountant to represent and defend before all levels of the Internal Revenue Service the work he had done for his client.
To this end, he initiated the first official President's Advisory Committee. Members were Gene Alford, Rulon Jackson and Joseph Bryson. In addition, the Public and Professional Relations Committee planned a meeting in Chicago. State societies were invited to send representatives to the meeting to offer ideas and suggestions for the Committee's guidance in future endeavors with the Treasury Department.
Writing in 1952, Executive Director Milhouse observed:
* In November 1945, seven states had an organization of public accountants; by 1952, all but three states had organizations. NSPA had members in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska.
* The accountancy law within six states was revised to the advantage of the Society and no laws have been enacted in any states that may have been detrimental to NSPA.
* NSPA was successful in keeping among the front-rank professions in connection with revision of the Social Security Act.
* Society membership represents a powerful force for advancement of the accounting profession because of its fairly equal distribution throughout the United States. Another significant fact is that the membership within each state comprises an efficient working group representative of all public accountants within the state.
* The National Society held six annual conventions, each in a different section of the country: Cleveland, St. Louis, Boston, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City and Minneapolis. Each of these conventions has resulted in a tremendous amount of the very best kind of advertising. A Commissioner of Internal Revenue, a member of the Tax Court, a Chief Counsel of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and many others have given educational and entertaining speeches, and they in turn obtained much information about the National Society.
* The formation of NSPA brought educational programs to thousands of accountants through district meetings and Income Tax Forums sponsored by the state-affiliated organizations. Without the leadership of the National Society, many of these educational forums would never have been held.
* The National Society has accomplished much that does not meet the eye. It has created friendship and good fellowship among public accountants everywhere that never existed before; it has induced thousands to take their professional obligations more seriously; it has created a feeling of trust and good will toward our profession among businessmen and taxpayers that could not otherwise have been acquired. And it has added a little glamour to our profession.
A VIVIFYING CONVENTION
A variety of topics and as many opinions insured that the Chicago Convention in 1952 would be lively, especially since a Public Forum Hour was held where "everybody can get into the act and speak his piece."
Discussed and adopted: Concurrent membership, which meant that members of state-affiliated organizations must also be members of NSPA (this was felt to be advantageous both to state groups and to National, although later it was again rescinded); revision of the Bylaws, including the proviso that henceforth the executive director would be appointed by the Board of Governors rather than elected by the membership; the "new" policy of accepting advertising for the magazine; and a search for an NSPA emblem. Causing vehement oratory was a proposed move of the Society from St. Louis to Washington, D.C.
IR. MIMEOGRAPH No. 58
In February 1953, the NSPA magazine carried Past President Currans' full report to the membership concerning efforts of the NSPA Committee on Cooperation with the U.S. Treasury to solve a relevant problem. This was caused by issuance of a memorandum by the Treasury Department stating that every officer and employee of the Department "will call upon every person who appears before him in any matter constituting practice to produce his enrollment card."
The memorandum was grossly misunderstood and the provisions of Circular 230 were misapplied by Internal Revenue Service representatives in certain sections of the country and to such a degree "that it embarrassed and humiliated many of our members and other unenrolled public accountants." For example, as members wrote in, "I have been told that I could not represent my clients in any capacity, not even in preparing their tax returns," "I was called at my office by the deputy and told that I would not be able to speak to him unless I was the possessor of a Treasury Card or had my client with me. Since that time I have been told informally by many agents and deputies that I could not even appear before the wage and excise tax division without a Treasury Card in my possession," etc.
There followed NSPA Committee consultations with the Treasury Department. After five months' negotiation the Department clarified matters with field and regional subordinates by issuing IR. Mimeograph No. 58 dated October 28, 1952. Said Currans, "Since its issuance, we have received some very encouraging reports, quite different from the complaints prior to the memorandum ...: I strongly feel the clarifying action is a single achievement which will be hailed by our membership. The National Society is to be congratulated for this fine service rendered public accountants in the USA. It is remarkable, to say the least." These examples all added up to the same thing: issuance of IR. Mimeograph No. 58 was the best thing that had happened to public accountants in many years.
THE NSPA SEAL
In 1952, the official NSPA seal was designed for use on the Society's letterheads, documents and publications. Marcus J.C. Deal, Greensboro, North Carolina, then Governor of District IV, designed the emblem and presented it to the Annual Convention assembled in Portland, Oregon (1953).
The open book shown in the seal symbolizes the records used by the practitioner in preparing financial statements and income tax returns. The feather scroll pens signify the accountant's chief tools - pen and pencil. The Latin words, "Integritas Professionis," inscribed across the face of the book mean "Professional Integrity." This phrase embraces the strict ethical principles and moral standards that have enabled the accountant in public practice to perpetuate the excellent reputation of his profession and the Society. The U.S. Capitol building is often added as an expression of the Society's location and the organization's efforts on a national scale for the benefit of members.
THE PORTLAND CONVENTION - 1953
A bitter battle was fought at this convention over the question of moving the national office elsewhere. Proponents of the move won on a progressive platform. Since the lease on the St. Louis office expired August 31, 1953, the time was appropriate to relocate to Washington, D.C., where NSPA was so active in legislative and governmental matters. Two vans of papers were delivered after the convention to 1757 K Street, NW, the Society's first address in the District of Columbia.
SPECIAL LIFE MEMBERSHIPS
Because of his devoted service to the National Society (as a Founder, the first executive director, governor of his district, treasurer two years, vice president one year, membership organizer traveling thousands of miles to speak to state groups and editor of the magazine and the newsletter), Milhouse received one of the highest honors NSPA can give. He was awarded a life membership in March 1955 by resolution of the Board of Governors.
Until the 1969 Convention in Los Angeles, when all Founders were awarded life memberships, only two other people were given these awards for outstanding service to the Society without having first served as president. They are George La Coste, who was executive secretary from 1945 to 1949, editor of the NPA and instrumental in organizing state societies and advising on their legislative problems; and Mrs. Charles McAllister. As the widow of a greatly loved NSPA president who died in office, she was awarded the life membership card in his stead.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - THE FIFTIES
The expansion of the National Society in office space, in services, in viewpoint and in legislative activity began in September 1953 after the executive office was moved to the Nation's Capital. Finer quarters and equipment were leased, so that all work could be accomplished and dispatched promptly from the NSPA office. The change in geographical location, the new office and the new equipment made it possible for NSPA to earn prestige in the District of Columbia and throughout the country.
Through this prestige, the National Society was able to seek added respect and dignity for member practicing accountants. The move to Washington, D.C., enabled NSPA to reach the threshold of its destiny to begin to realize its great potential and to serve its members in every possible phase.
At the Board of Governors meeting following the Portland Convention, one NSPA faction wanted to hire a professional executive director who was not an accountant, while another group had in mind a specific person. After a stalemate of some 10 ballots, a compromise was effected. The latter group appointed their choice, while the first group selected Robert Dunphy as legal counsel and assistant to the executive director.
The July 1953 NPA was the last issue of the magazine to be published in St. Louis. The next issue combined August and September and emanated from the new office in the District of Columbia. In November 1953 President Gorman presented the National Public Accountant in its "new suit of clothes," a reversal to 9[inches] x 6[inches] size and a division into two departments - the professional section, and items of interest about state-affiliated organizations and NSPA members.
The year 1953 marked adoption of a policy to extend the lines of communication to the membership and to the accounting profession at large. Vice President Jay Robinson instituted meetings and discussion with CPA representatives so that past antagonisms on both sides might be mitigated. The subsequent negotiations met with eventual success, increasing open-mindedness on both sides. In the same year, new communications to members included a Member Service Bulletin, monthly financial statement and monthly membership status report.
Past President Keys, writing in the May 1954 NPA, explained, "A great many people have indicated our membership to be three or four times what it actually is: An organization which publishes a professional journal each month, retains a legal counsel and a professional Executive Director, puts out a Member Service Bulletin, prepares statements and appears before Congressional hearings, promotes the public accountant before all agencies of the Federal Government, drafts legislative and official advice for some 50-odd affiliates, conducts periodic conferences with other professional organizations, and engages in other activities too numerous to mention, simply must have income from 15,000 or 20,000 dues paying members ... Those who would like to see the public accountant relegated to the status of a second-class citizen can take a little comfort in the activities of the National Society in the past few months."
In 1929 the Federal Reserve Board issued the bulletin, "Verification of Financial Statements," as a benchmark for accountants, credit men, bankers and business in general. It was intended as an answer to needs stemming from radically expanding U.S. financial conditions following World War I. However, nothing concrete resulted as far as wholesale acceptance of auditing principles was concerned. It was the stock market crash of 1929 and its resulting disaster and debacle which effected a swift change in attitude. The incredible losses suffered nationwide brought belated realization by the public and by financiers of the premise that there is no substitute for proper accounting control and supervision.
RELATED ARTICLE: W. BARNABY HILL
An energetic and dynamic leader, NSPA's first president, W. Barnaby Hill, served two terms - 1945-46 and 1946-47.
From the very beginning days, Hill and NSPA objected to the preparation of licensing examinations by anyone other than the state accountancy boards. But sometimes circumstances change. In December 1946, the newly-formed New Mexico Society of Public Accountants demonstrated at once their outstanding enthusiasm by introducing an accountancy bill into their state legislature.
Late one night, Hill received a call from the NMSPA members handling the legislation. An agreement had been reached with the legislative leaders that the bill would pass if they could be assured that the quality of the examination would ensure the competency of the accountants passing it. They would not accept examinations other than those prepared by a national accounting organization which in this case would be NSPA. Hill concluded that the value of the bill was paramount and, without consulting his Board, assured the callers that NSPA would carry' out its part of the obligation. The bill was enacted in March 1947.
Hill was roundly criticized by many and defended by some, but history has proven that this decision was well-taken. (In 1995, NSPA still makes PA licensing examinations available to state accountancy boards upon their request.)
This is just one small example of the strong leadership role fulfilled by Barnaby Hill. In June, 1947, it was written in the National Public Accountants, "Only through W. Barnaby Hill's leadership, dynamic personality and unselfish devotion to our cause were we carried beyond the first critical period."
RELATED ARTICLE: TIME (AND INFLATION) MARCH ON
A letter sent by NSPA Treasurer Lawrence E. Milhouse in 1947 notified all members that the upcoming convention would be held in St. Louis, MO.
He also noted that registration for the event would be $15.
RELATED ARTICLE: H.E. ALFORD
H.E. Alford was elected as a vice president - west at the 1946 convention, when W. Barnaby Hill was reelected NSPA president. As vice president, Alford was responsible for membership recruitment and state organizational activities west of the Mississippi. He was known for his success in organizing groups of public accountants, establishing them into state societies and then fostering a dedication to their societies. The state organizations were grateful and showed it by granting many honorary memberships to Alford. He is believed to hold the record for these honorary memberships - he held 22. He is among the early group of visionaries who is also credited with keeping alive the infant NSPA.
During his term as president of the National Society, legislative action was not confined to states. A bill was introduced in the House by the American Bar Association that caused a furor among public accountants. This bill would restrict a PA's activities by registering all practitioners admitted before administrative agencies and creating a Credential Committee to pass on those wishing to practice before these agencies. The committee would then issue credentials to non-attorneys.
In his address to the membership at the 3rd Annual Convention (1948, Boston, MA), Alford emphasized that "now is the time to think in terms of the profession!"
It was Alford who, in a letter to his Board of Governors, suggested a gold-plated card be presented as a surprise to W. Barnaby Hill, as a token of thanks for his efforts and dedication. A governor expanded the idea and national convention. Both ideas have been around since.
RELATED ARTICLE: JOHN J. CURRANS
John J. Currans was NSPA's third president, serving his term from 1948-49. His dedication was evident by his numerous trips to Washington, D.C., at his own expense to lobby for the National Society and all accountants in public practice. His reports to members at state society conventions were immensely popular - members were hungry for legislative news and updates. Currans was affectionately known as "Mr. Public Accountant" because of his legwork on a number of issues and his frequent testimony at Congressional hearings.
Currans was also given (in jest) the nickname of "Old Simon Legree." It happened during a meeting of the NSPA President's Advisory Council. Currans had pushed his council members unabated until 3:00 a.m. and then admonished them to "get a few winks" and return to the grind by 10:00 a.m. At the coffee recess the next day, one of the participants remarked, "Jack, next time we have one of these meetings, let's cut out the sleep. We've wasted fully five hours today."
RELATED ARTICLE: A. RULON JACKSON
NSPA's fourth president (1949-50) was A. Rulon Jackson of Salt Lake City, Utah. It was during his term that NSPA began publication of The Flash, a monthly news bulletin that was mimeographed and sent to all members. Jackson also established the advertising, production and editorial policies of the National Public Accountant magazine and struggled valiantly with the financial crisis-after-crisis condition the emerging NPA experienced.
Jackson was among the first to raise and pursue the issue of planning a long-term, consistent public information and public relations program.
Although Jackson sought to expand the influence and awareness of the National Society through the creation of new programs, he nonetheless continued to fight the legislative battles on behalf of NSPA members - and others in the profession. While he was president, NSPA sought proper recognition from the Treasury Department on behalf of its members.
RELATED ARTICLE: JOSEPH B. BRYSON
Joseph B. Bryson was elected NSPA president in 1950 in Salt Lake City, UT. He had previously served as vice president - east.
It was during his term as NSPA president that NSPA's Committee for Cooperation with Other Professional Societies met a number of times with a like- committee of the American Institute of Accountants (known today as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). It was mutually agreed that the two organizations would not publish articles that were detrimental to each other.
He also continued the plans set forth by previous presidents and worked hard to expand the NSPA membership base. His goal was for NSPA to truly be the national representative of public accountants everywhere.
A witty and indefatigable speaker for state meetings and conventions, a willing contributor to the magazine and to state association newsletters and author of the NPA "Debits & Credits" column, Joseph B. Bryson was elected president at the 1950 convention in Salt Lake City, UT. His was the decision concerning the future of the NPA. Under his leadership the decision was made to rescind the contract between NSPA and the publishing corporation, that three trustees be appointed to design a plan of liquidation and that Larry Milhouse edit a magazine from the national office.
RELATED ARTICLE: JAMES E. KEYS
James E. Keys was elected president of the National Society for the 1951-52 term. He understood clearly that strong leadership was critical to the survival of NSPA and that this included stressing the goals of previous presidents. Keys worked diligently and tirelessly in membership acquisition and with the Treasury Department.
Writing in the NPA, Keys explained, "A great many people have indicated our membership to be three or four times what it actually is: An organization which publishes a professional journal each month, retains a legal counsel and a professional executive director, puts out a member services bulletin, prepares statements and appears before Congressional hearings, promotes the public accountant before all agencies of the federal government, drafts legislation and official advice for some 50-odd affiliates, conducts periodic conferences with other professional organizations, and engages in other activities too numerous to mention, simply must have income from 15,000 to 20,000 dues-paying members... Those who would like to see the public accountant relegated to the status of a second-class citizen can take little comfort in the activities of the National Society in the past few months.
RELATED ARTICLE: WILLIAM M. WOOD
Chicago, IL, was the site of the election of William M. Wood as president of the National Society in 1952. He began as soon as he was elected to battle for the rights of the public accountant to represent and defend his work before all levels of the IRS - work that he had done for his own clients? Wood also had the ability to encourage the involvement of others in various issues and in taking action. He scheduled a Public and Professional Relations Committee meeting in Chicago and invited state societies to send representatives to offer ideas and suggestions for guidance in the Society's endeavors with the Treasury Department.
His influence and strength were such that several years later, Jay Robinson (as NSPA president) wrote, "A special tribute should be made to the late William Wood, whom I appointed to appear before the Hoover Commission and who said there, with relation to representing a taxpayer before the U.S. Treasury Department, 'Every man has the right to defend his work!' This is the keystone of the present Treasury Department's relationship with the Society and the reason accountants can now defend their work before IRS."
RELATED ARTICLE: JAMES A. GORMAN
James A. Gorman was elected NSPA president at the 1953 convention in Portland, OR. It was during his term in office that the National Society headquarters moved once again from St. Louis, MO, to Washington, D.C.
Among the changes made during his presidency was the design of a "new look" for NSPA's National Public Accountant. It was 9[inches] x 6[inches] and divided into two departments - a professional section and one providing items of interest to members and state societies.
It seemed in many respects that Gorman's term could be described as one of increased communications. In addition to the above changes in the NPA, meetings and discussions took place between NSPA and CPA representatives to reduce past antagonisms and increase open-mindedness. Member communications included a monthly Member Services Bulletin, monthly financial statements and monthly membership status reports.
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|Title Annotation:||The National Society of Public Accountants: A 50-Year History; National Society of Public Accountants|
|Publication:||The National Public Accountant|
|Date:||Jul 1, 1995|
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