US public accountancy firms and the recruitment of UK immigrants: 1850‐1914

Thomas A. Lee (Culverhouse School of Accountancy, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Publication date: 1 December 2001


Reports on the role of UK emigrants to the USA in the creation and early development of its public accountancy profession. Explains findings in the context of US public accountancy firms founded by UK immigrants and focuses on the recruitment of qualified and unqualified public accountants from the UK. The study is based on searches of relevant archives in the UK and USA. The evidence reveals UK immigrants played a substantial part in the formation and early development of both public accountancy firms and institutions in the USA. However, the recruitment of immigrants by US firms appears to have been a temporary phenomenon pending the supply of US‐born accountants with suitable training and experience. The firms examined include local and national firms. Subject to data retrieval limitations, a major conclusion of the study is that unqualified immigrants played significant roles in the early histories of firms and institutions of US public accountancy.



Lee, T. (2001), "US public accountancy firms and the recruitment of UK immigrants: 1850‐1914", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 14 No. 5, pp. 537-565.

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Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited

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