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Semi-Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees.
The semi-annual meeting of the Board of Trustees of The American Association of Public Accountants was held at the Hotel Astor, New York City, on Tuesday, April 21, 1908. The following members of the Board were present: Elijah W. Sells, President, New York; T. Cullen Roberts, Secretary, New Jersey; Guy H. Kennedy, Ohio; Adam A. Ross, Jr., Pennsylvania; Charles L. Hehl, Maryland; Alexander E. Fowlie, Colorado; Elmer B. Yale, New Jersey; Frank G. DuBois, New Jersey; R. H. Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Edward L. Suffern, New York; Franklin Allen, New York.
In response to an invitation sent by the president there were also present the following gentlemen, Chairmen of various committees, but not members of the oard of Trustees: A. Lowes Dickinson, Illinois, Chairman of the By-Laws Committee; J. R. Loomis, New York, Chairman of the Committee on Education and of the Committee on Journal; George Wilkinson, New York, Chairman of the sub-Committee on Attendance and Invitation of the Committee on Annual Meeting, 1908; and Dean Joseph French Johnson, Secretary of the Committee on Education.
After the making of certain amendments, supplying an omission as to the election of members in the minutes of the last preceding meeting, those minutes were confirmed as printed in THE JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTANCY for December, 1907.
Attention was called to Article I, Section 9, of the By-Laws, providing that the places of members of the Board of Trustees who absent themselves from two consecutive meetings without sufficient reason may be declared vacant. After reading the excuses for absence from those to whom this clause applied, it was unanimously consented that all excuses be accepted and that no penalties be imposed.
Certain claims appertaining to the expenses of the last annual meeting, held at St. Paul, were disallowed with regret, the Board being of the opinion that it had no right to allow items for which appropriations had not previously been made.
Reports from various state societies were presented. A resolution was adopted in reference to members in arrears for dues that they be notified that unless they pay within thirty days their names will be stricken from the roll, and that their names be so stricken off unless payment be made as specified.
Action was taken on the application of the Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana. It appeared that in anticipation of legislation in that State which would render the use of the word “ Certified," as a part of their title, appropriate and admissible, the society had adopted the title given above. On the understanding that the Society would make no use of the designation as individuals until they shall become legally entitled to do so, it was voted that the society be admitted to membership.
The Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants was also admitted to membership.
A new society having been organized in Colorado to succeed the one now a member of this association, and Mr. Alexander E. Fowlie (President of the old society and also a member of the new one), stating that he was authorized and would now present the resignation of The Colorado Society of Public Accountants and apply for the admission of The Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants in its place, it was voted to accept the resignation of the old society and to admit the new society to membership, fees and dues to be adjusted.
The report of the Committee on Examinations, Qualifications and Elections was read, and the following named gentlemen admitted to membership: Fellow-at-Large: * Harry Treat Beers, C. P. A., New Haven, Conn., Associates-at-Large: John Doherty, New York; Maurice Feigenbaum, New York; Alexander Clark Rae, Portland, Oregon; Shepard Rareshide, New York; James Fletcher Ruark, New York; Society Fellows: Herbert H. Albee, Massachusetts; Robert H. Harper, Massachusetts; Newman W. Storer, Massachusetts; Harris C. Bentley, C. P. A., New Jersey; Society Associate: Frank Samuelson, Jr., C. P. A., New Jersey.
In other respects the report of the committee was accepted and adopted.
The report of the Treasurer, Mr. H. T. Westermann, showing a balance of $2,098.47, was presented and received: Balance on hand as per Treasurer's report, September 30, 1907..
$1,890.11 Less : Stationery and printing.
$34.05 Incidental expenses
51.50 Annual meeting—1907
485.55 Balance turned over to Treasurer H. T. Westermann-October 26, 1907.
OCTOBER 26, 1907, to MARCH 31, 1908.
$1,876.67 Initiation fees
37.50 Subscriptions to Year Book
6.00 Refund of Expense Account by J. E. Sterrett... I10.00 Interest on bank balances and exchange remitted. 9.64
Cash Balance in banks and on hand at March 31, 1908
* Mr. Beers was elected a Fellow-at-Large with the understanding that he would resign as such as soon as a Connecticut State Society was organized When that Society becomes a member of the American Association he would come in as a Society Fellow.
At recess the members of the Board present and other invited gentlemen accepted the hospitality of the President and took luncheon with him.
Mr. Dickinson, Chairman of the Committee on By-Laws, reported certain amendments which in the opinion of that committee were required to conform with the constitution, and it was voted that the matter be referred to the Executive Committee. Sixty days' notice to all members is required before it is proper to take action.
The Committee on Legislation reported that since the last meeting no legislation had been enacted in any state (so far as was known) which would change the status of accountants or affect the association in any way.
Mr. Loomis, Chairman of the Committee on Journal, reported especially concerning the status of THE JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTANCY and the duty of members to support that Journal. The report indicated that the influence of that publication was broadening as was evidenced by the fact that distinguished members of the faculties of a dozen universities had joined the editorial staff to coöperate with Editor Johnson. All these gentlemen are interested in commercial education. The committee found that the editorial scope of the publication had been growing broader and that its contents were attracting favorable attention and comment outside of the profession. During the last six months it has published notable articles on general business and financial topics. These have been widely quoted in the daily press and have caused a considerable increase in the demand for the publication on news stands, etc. It was a matter' of regret to the committee that the members of the association seemed not to have given to THE JOURNAL the generous, consistent, and loyal support which the committee believed to be its due. Three-fourths of its subscribers are not members, making it clear that its financial success is due more to outsiders than to members. Further, the Editors find it difficult to get prompt and trustworthy accounts of the proceedings of the state organizations, the officers thereof seemingly not thinking it worth while to report their proceedings promptly. The Committee favors bringing this matter to the attention of state societies, through the instrumentality of the Secretary, with the hope that more careful attention might be secured. The report of the committee was accepted and approved.
Attention was also given to the proposal that the Board constitute itself a Trial Board to hear and consider questions raised in Docket No. 1, of the Rules of Professional Ethics, and a discussion arose on the subject of the right of the Association to take cognizance, through its Committee on Professional Ethics, of any practice by any member that might be deemed wrong or likely to injuriously affect the good repute of the Association. After some discussion the President ruled that for the purpose of considering Docket No. I the Board of Trustees could not convene as a Trial Board under the conditions of the article creating the Trial Board.
The Committee on Conciliation reported a recommendation that the Constitution and By-Laws be amended to provide for compulsory arbitration of differences existing between rival societies in different states. The report of the committee was accepted and provision made for delegating to the same committee the duty of drafting and submitting the proposed amendments.
The Committee on Annual Meeting, 1908, presented, through its Chairman, Mr. Ross, of Pennsylvania, a report setting forth the advantages of Atlantic City and the Hotel Marlborough-Blenheim for the meeting in October, 1908. The report was accepted. In connection with it, Mr. Wilkinson, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Invitation and Attendance, made a report which was also accepted and adopted.
All business properly coming before the meeting having been disposed of an adjournment was taken to meet at Atlantic City, New Jersey, on October 20, 1908.
Pennsylvania. The annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants was held Monday evening, April 20th, at the rooms of the Business and Professional Club, Philadelphia, following an informal dinner.
The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President, Charles N. Vollum; vice-president, James W. Fernley; secretary, Joseph M. Pugh; treasurer, William W. Rorer; auditor, Richard L. Heverle; council, Herbert G. Stockwell, Edward C. Spaulding, William A. Witherup, T. Edward Ross, J. E. Sterrett; delegates to American Association, Robert H. Montgomery, Adam A. Ross, Jr., Charles N. Vollum; alternates, James W. Fernley, Charles Lewer, William W. Rorer.
New Jersey. At a meeting of the New Jersey State Board of Public Accountants held on April 8, 1908, the following resolution was passed:
RESOLVED, That the New Jersey State Board of Public Accountants invite the examiners appointed by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, the examiners appointed by the University of Illinois, and the members of all State Boards of Public Accountants, to meet at the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel, at Atlantic City, N. J., in October, 1908, to confer in regard to matters of mutual interest.
It is said on behalf of the New Jersey State Board that it is their desire to have as full an attendance as possible. Formal invitations will be sent in due course.
The New Jersey State Board of Public Accountants on April 8, 1908, as the result of examination recommended to the Governor Mr. Elial T. Foote, Mr. Harry C. Bentley and Mr. Frank Samuelson, Jr., as being entitled to receive a commission creating these gentlemen Certified Public Accountants of New Jersey.
The Central Association of Accountants.
The Central Association of Accountants, one of the three large English societies, has lately established an American Center and is inviting properly qualified accountants in this country to become members. In response to a request from the editors of THE JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTANCY, Mr. Charles J. Nasmyth, Secretary of the American branch, has contributed the following statement of the Association's purposes and prospects :
The importance, reputation and efficiency of membership of the Association are of a high order, there being only two other English societies which can claim any precedence and that only on the ground of age, viz.: The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, whose members are known as Chartered Accountants," and the Society of Accountants and Auditors, the members of which designate themselves “Incorporated Accountants.” The members of the Central Association are distinguished by the appellation of “Associated Accountants” and are divided into two classes-Fellows and Licentiates.
The approximate total membership of each of these three Societies is 3,500, 2,000 and 1,000 respectively, but in the case of the Central Association it should be explained that the membership has been secured by individual accession and not by absorption of numerous small district societies, as was the case with the two older bodies.
The character and advantages of these Associations are identical, but the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales prides itself somewhat on the fact that it is incorporated under a “Royal Charter". (which at the time it was obtained was more readily granted than in later years), the two other societies obtaining their respective charters under the “Companies Acts.”
There are, however, no special privileges, either in respect of powers possessed or the extent of legal recognition afforded, enjoyed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants which are not equally enjoyed by the Society of Accountants and Auditors and the Central Association of Accountants; the only really material distinction between the three societies respectively being of a financial nature. The English Institute, for example, has in the course of its existence persistently accumulated a very substantial surplus, and many of its members have frequently criticised its policy in this respect on the reasonable ground that when an organization of this nature, with its avowed aims, reaches a stage in its existence where its assets exceed its liabilities by no less a sum than $350,000, more material benefits in the shape of concessions should accrue to the members whose subscriptions have contributed to this prosperous result, such concessions being along the lines of reductions in the entrance and annual fees or in some other equitable manner.
Incidentally, it might not be amiss to mention that a number of the members of the two older societies have joined the ranks of the Central Association, although by doing so no additional advantages are afforded to such members which are not avowedly conferred by the other societies.
The explanation of this condition would appear to lie in the feeling that energy and enterprise in behalf of the profession as a whole, and its indi. vidual members in particular, are scarcely, by reason of uninterrupted prosperity, so apparent in the case of the two older societies, whereas they are supremely paramount in the case of the Central Association.
Dealing now with the Association's prospects of success in the United States, the cordial manner in which it has already been received and the results which have followed the establishment of a local center would seem