The purpose of this paper is to address the lack of knowledge of the accounting occupational group in England prior to the formation of professional accounting bodies. It…
The purpose of this paper is to address the lack of knowledge of the accounting occupational group in England prior to the formation of professional accounting bodies. It aims to do so by focusing on attempts made by writing masters and accountants to establish a recognisable persona in the public domain, in England, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and to enhance that identity by behaving in a manner designed to persuade the public of the professionalism associated with themselves and their work.
The study is based principally on the contents of early accounting treatises and secondary sources drawn from beyond the accounting literature. Notions of identity, credentialism and jurisdiction are employed to help understand and evaluate the occupational history of the writing master and accountant occupational group.
Writing masters and accountants emerged as specialist pedagogues providing the expert business knowledge required in the counting houses of entities that flourished as the result of rapid commercial expansion during the early modern period. Their demise as an occupational group may be attributed to a range of factors, amongst which an emphasis on personal identity, the neglect of group identity and derogation of the writing craft were most important.
The paper highlights Early English Books Online (available at: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (available at: www.gale.cengage.com/DigitalCollections/products/ecco/index.htm) and the seventeenth and eighteenth century Burney Collection Newspapers as first class electronic resources now available for studying accounting history from the sixteenth century through to the eighteenth century.
The paper advances knowledge of accounting history by: profiling commercial educators active in England in the early modern period; studying the devices they employed to achieve upward social and economic trajectory; explaining the failure of an embryonic professionalisation initiative; and demonstrating the contingent nature of the professionalisation process.
Accounting history has a long tradition, but in recent years it has expanded its interests and approaches. Early literature of accounting history that sought to glorify…
Accounting history has a long tradition, but in recent years it has expanded its interests and approaches. Early literature of accounting history that sought to glorify the practice of accounting and the status of accountants has been supplemented first by a more utilitarian approach viewing the past as a “database” for enhancing understanding of contemporary practice and for identifying past accounting solutions that might be relevant to current problems, and then by a more critical approach, which seeks to understand accounting’s past through the perspective of a range of social and political theories. A tension has developed between those historians whose first loyalty is to the archive and those who look primarily to theory to inform their historical investigations. As accounting history matures, open debate between practitioners of different modes of history making can only be beneficial, not only to the development of the discipline, but also towards our own self‐understandings as accountants, including the impact we have on organizational and social functioning. Suggests that accounting history without a firm archival base is likely to lose direction, but that our notion of what constitutes the archive, and our ways of communicating, explicating and interpreting the archive, should not be taken as fixed. To illustrate this, examines a number of approaches to the writing of accounting history where recent research has begun to demonstrate a critical and interpretive tendency, and suggests directions in which this research might develop as accounting and its history enters the twenty‐first century.
AS more countries become members of the EEC they discover many curtailments of their former freedom. Of these few seem quite so irksome as the curb on what are called ‘regional policies’ which are fostered in a spirit of national self‐interest by those who have not yet grasped the fact that they are now part of a far larger organization seeking a similar sense of unity and cohesion.
IT is a salutary experience for an editor to turn to some earlier issues for which he was responsible. A wry smile is likely to spring to life as he reads the brave words that now seem so confounded by experience. How, he asks himself, could he write with such pontifical assurance, forgetful of his native modesty?
THE centenary of the birth of Edward Edwards is an event of great interest to all persons interested in the public library movement. Elsewhere in our columns we print a brief sketch of the life and work of “the chief pioneer of municipal public libraries.” The date generally accepted as that of his birth, December 14th, is regarded by some as doubtful, but is probably near enough for practical purposes. His retiring disposition resulted in the record of his life being doubtful or broken in places. The late Thomas Greenwood—another great library pioneer who has gone—collected all that could be collected in his valuable biography of Edward Edwards. It was his main regret that he could not obtain an authentic portrait of Edwards, and this regret we must all share, for a portrait brings reality to a verbal description. By the time these words appear in print, the Manchester Libraries Committee and the Library Assistants' Association will each have paid public tribute to the memory of Edward Edwards, and their example will have been followed in private by all other library workers having any regard for the history of their calling.
In the last four years, since Volume I of this Bibliography first appeared, there has been an explosion of literature in all the main functional areas of business. This…
In the last four years, since Volume I of this Bibliography first appeared, there has been an explosion of literature in all the main functional areas of business. This wealth of material poses problems for the researcher in management studies — and, of course, for the librarian: uncovering what has been written in any one area is not an easy task. This volume aims to help the librarian and the researcher overcome some of the immediate problems of identification of material. It is an annotated bibliography of management, drawing on the wide variety of literature produced by MCB University Press. Over the last four years, MCB University Press has produced an extensive range of books and serial publications covering most of the established and many of the developing areas of management. This volume, in conjunction with Volume I, provides a guide to all the material published so far.
The Bureau of Economics in the Federal Trade Commission has a three-part role in the Agency and the strength of its functions changed over time depending on the preferences and ideology of the FTC’s leaders, developments in the field of economics, and the tenor of the times. The over-riding current role is to provide well considered, unbiased economic advice regarding antitrust and consumer protection law enforcement cases to the legal staff and the Commission. The second role, which long ago was primary, is to provide reports on investigations of various industries to the public and public officials. This role was more recently called research or “policy R&D”. A third role is to advocate for competition and markets both domestically and internationally. As a practical matter, the provision of economic advice to the FTC and to the legal staff has required that the economists wear “two hats,” helping the legal staff investigate cases and provide evidence to support law enforcement cases while also providing advice to the legal bureaus and to the Commission on which cases to pursue (thus providing “a second set of eyes” to evaluate cases). There is sometimes a tension in those functions because building a case is not the same as evaluating a case. Economists and the Bureau of Economics have provided such services to the FTC for over 100 years proving that a sub-organization can survive while playing roles that sometimes conflict. Such a life is not, however, always easy or fun.
The interesting ceremony described in another part of our columns has once more recalled attention to one of the most remarkable characters in the annals of British librarianship. When Mr. Thomas Greenwood endeavoured, at the Plymouth meeting of the Library Association, to interest librarians in the man who had done so much for the craft, it must be confessed that his appeal, for various reasons, did not succeed in arousing so much enthusiasm as might have been expected. For one thing, a considerable proportion of the librarians who attended the Plymouth conference were young men who had not been able to obtain access to the works which Edwards left behind him as his most enduring monument. Again, the prominence given to Ewart as the sole parent of the municipal library movement, had completely overshadowed Edwards' share in the work, and only a few student‐librarians knew anything about the part which Edwards had played in securing effective library legislation. On the other hand, the publications of Mr. Greenwood, of the Library Association itself, and other modern and accessible literature, contain frequent allusions to Edwards and his works, from which information could be obtained, and it is only necessary to cite, in this connection the various writings of Messrs. Axon, Ogle, Garnett, Greenwood, Sutton, Brown, and others.
THE centenary celebration is that of the apparently prosaic public library acts ; it is not the centenary of libraries which are as old as civilization. That is a circumstance which some may have overlooked in their pride and enthusiasm for the public library. But no real librarian of any type will fail to rejoice in the progress to which the celebration is witness. For that has been immense. We are to have a centenary history of the Public Library Movement—that is not its title—from the Library Association. We do not know if it will be available in London this month; we fear it will not. We do know its author, Mr. W. A. Munford, has spent many months in research for it and that he is a writer with a lucid and individual Style. We contemplate his task with a certain nervousness. Could anyone less than a Carlyle impart into the dry bones of municipal library history that Strew these hundred years, the bones by the wayside that mark out the way, the breath of the spirit that will make them live ? For even Edward Edwards, whose name should be much in the minds and perhaps on the lips of library lovers this month, could scarcely have foreseen the contemporary position ; nor perhaps could Carlyle who asked before our genesis why there should not be in every county town a county library as well as a county gaol. How remote the days when such a question was cogent seem to be now! It behoves us, indeed it honours us, to recall the work of Edwards, of Ewart, Brotherton, Thomas Greenwood, Nicholson, Peter Cowell, Crestadoro, Francis Barrett, Thomas Lyster, J. Y. M. MacAlister, James Duff Brown and, in a later day without mentioning the living, John Ballinger, Ernest A. Baker, L. Stanley Jast, and Potter Briscoe—the list is long. All served the movement we celebrate and all faced a community which had to be convinced. It still has, of course, but our people do now allow libraries a place, more or less respected, in the life of the people. Librarians no longer face the corpse‐cold incredulity of the so‐called educated classes, the indifference of the masses and the actively vicious hostility of local legislators. Except the illuminated few that existed. These were the men who had the faith that an informed people was a happier, more efficient one and that books in widest commonalty spread were the best means of producing such a people. These, with a succession of believing, enduring librarians, persisted in their Struggle with cynic and opponent and brought about the system and the technique we use, modified of course and extended to meet a changing world, but essentially the same. Three names we may especially honour this September, Edward Edwards, who was the sower of the seed; MacAlister, who gained us our Royal Charter ; and John Ballinger, who was the person who most influenced the introduction of the liberating Libraries Act of 1919.