Haskins & Sells’ – a profile in leadership thought (1955–1974)
Dale L. Flesher and
Gary John Previts
Accounting History Review, 2016, vol. 26, issue 3, 333-350
From 1955 through 1974, the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firm of Haskins & Sells published a series of annual volumes, entitled Selected Papers, which highlighted the publications and speeches of the firm’s partners and staff. Over the 20 volumes, a total of 724 articles and speeches were shared with national and international audiences through this publication outlet. The publication of the volumes served to provide evidence of the thoughts of the firm’s leadership and served as a form of outreach, providing the community with information about the firm’s positions on accounting and auditing principles, as well as views on problems facing the accounting profession in the USA. Alternatively, the firm also benefited in that the volumes could be considered an indirect form of advertising in the era before advertising was permitted for CPAs. Authors included the firm’s managing partners, John Queenan (the most prolific contributor), Arthur B. Foye, and Michael Chetkovich. Practice office partners and staff at all levels also provided material. This study serves to provide, for twenty-first-century professionals, academics and historians, a review of a publication which for two decades provided coverage of the thought positions of a major firm’s leadership and other informed firm personnel. Contemporary scholars and practitioners are thus availed of the outline of the topics of practice and the treatments and options regarding multiple issues from over a half century ago. Also individuals can identify through this source how a firm documented and shared selected thoughts with its personnel, clients, and the accounting and business world at large.
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