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the stimulating influence of these statistics. Anything that makes railroad accounting less efficient is bound to make railroad operation more costly.

There is another aspect to the question which affects accountants in general even more directly. The movement toward publicity of all corporate, as well as railroad, accounts is going on apace in this country, and, very properly, is commended by most accountants. Its further extension will bring valuable results to the public and to investors, and will enhance the esteem which is now accorded to the profession of accountancy. But let us consider the possible evils which may also follow in its train. If all corporate accounts are to be prescribed by gove-nment officials and no others can be kept, will not further progress in accounting methods be checked? Will not the healthy rivalry of accountants, in thinking out novel and better plans, be much restricted? Will not the accounting departments of large concerns cease to be a stimulating factor and become little more

dead weight? Assuming that an inflexible form of accounts is to be established, our answer to all these questions must be affirmative.

However, it is a little early as yet to take so pessimistic a view. The Railway Age may be altogether wrong in its assumption that railroad accounts are to be established in one definite form for all lines from the Southern Pacific to the New York, New Haven and Hartford, without regard to local peculiarities or to changing conditions. All government officials are not so bureaucratically stupid as the pro-railroad people are inclined to make out; and in this case Professor Henry C. Adams, Statistician to the Interstate Commerce Commission, may be trusted, we believe, to see and to avoid the pitfalls in his path.

As a matter of fact, the law does not say that railroad accounts shall be either uniform or permanent in form, but only that they must be prescribed or approved by the Commission. It is not too much to hope that Professor Adams will be content to accept any clear and adequate system of accounts that is now in use, and to permit as many changes in the future as are thought to be desirable by railroad officials. For the purpose of the government, all that is necessary is certainty of access at all times to every book and record of the railroad companies.

This is a matter in which accountants, as a whole, are vitally various states in recognizing the professional degree of Certified Public Accountant. His remarks, which are reprinted elsewhere, are worth the careful attention of every accountant. It is gratifying to note the hearty appreciation shown of Mr. T. Cullen Roberts' years of service to the association and his unanimous reelection to the secretaryship; and the same remark applies to the efficient treasurer, Mr. Guy H. Kennedy. The association is indeed fortunate in the high character of its governing officials.

Too much praise cannot be given to the members of the Ohio State Society for the delightful social program which they arranged, and which was carried out to the last detail. From the moment of their arrival in Columbus the delegates were made to feel at home. They were formally welcomed by the Mayor and the Secretary of State and were received everywhere with generous hospitality. The enviable reputation as a host for gatherings of this character, which Columbus enjoys, was ably sustained by the Ohio Society.

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Uniformity in Railway Accounting. The Railway Age is worried over that part of the new Interstate Commerce law which makes it “ unlawful for .... carriers to keep any other accounts, records or memoranda than those prescribed or approved by the Commission." The effect, in the opinion of the railroad organ, will be to prevent an intelligent adaptation of accounts to the needs of each line and to check healthy progress in railway accounting methods.

If the Railway Age is right, the Hepburn Act has in truth struck a serious blow both at American railroads and at accountancy. We all know how effective the accounting departments of most large systems have proven themselves in locating defects and in keying up all divisions to the same high standard of efficiency. Probably no other form of business statistics is more highly developed and more useful than railroad statistics. The general manager of an up-to-date road, by means of the records of ton mileage, train mileage, engine mileage, fuel costs, and so on, which are laid before him, is able at once to put his finger on the man who is not getting things done with proper economy and despatch. It is hard to imagine how much crude guesswork would persist in present-day railroad methods were it not for

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the stimulating influence of these statistics. Anything that makes railroad accounting less efficient is bound to make railroad operation more costly.

There is another aspect to the question which affects accountants in general even more directly. The movement toward publicity of all corporate, as well as railroad, accounts is going on apace in this country, and, very properly, is commended by most accountants. Its further extension will bring valuable results to the public and to investors, and will enhance the esteem which is now accorded to the profession of accountancy. But let us consider the possible evils which may also follow in its train. If all corporate accounts are to be prescribed by gove-nment officials and no others can be kept, will not further progress in accounting methods be checked? Will not the healthy rivalry of accountants, in thinking out novel and better plans, be much restricted? Will not the accounting departments of large concerns cease to be a stimulating factor and become little more

dead weight? Assuming that an inflexible form of accounts is to be established, our answer to all these questions must be affirmative.

However, it is a little early as yet to take so pessimistic a view. The Railway Age may be altogether wrong in its assumption that railroad accounts are to be established in one definite form for all lines from the Southern Pacific to the New York, New Haven and Hartford, without regard to local peculiarities or to changing conditions. All government officials are not so bureaucratically stupid as the pro-railroad people are inclined to make out; and in this case Professor Henry C. Adams, Statistician to the Interstate Commerce Commission, may be trusted, we believe, to see and to avoid the pitfalls in his path.

As a matter of fact, the law does not say that railroad accounts shall be either uniform or permanent in form, but only that they must be prescribed or approved by the Commission. It is not too much to hope that Professor Adams will be content to accept any clear and adequate system of accounts that is now in use, and to permit as many changes in the future as are thought to be desirable by railroad officials. For the purpose of the government, all that is necessary is certainty of access at all times to every book and record of the railroad companies.

This is a matter in which accountants, as a whole, are vitally interested. No doubt the Committee on the Interstate Commerce Commission of the American Association of Public Accountants will endeavor to impress on the Commission the importance of dealing carefully with the situation. The readers of The JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTANCY will do well to watch their rulings with keen attention.

It is a pleasure to comment on the increase in members of the American Association of Public Accountants. The record of its growth in the last few years is strikingly summarized in the following table: Year.

Hon. Members. Fellows. Associates. Total. 1896

5 63

12

80
1897

6
75
14

95
1898

6 65

II

82
1899

7
67
13

87
1900

7
74
18

99
1901

7

25 119
1902

7
97

32 136
1903

103

37 147
1904

7
I21

27 155
1905
14 494

93

601 1906

15 540 119 675 Of course, the gain between 1904 and 1905 was due primarily to the amalgamation of the Federation with the Association. Last year's increase, however, from 601 to 675, was a normal growth, which speaks volumes for the vigor and prosperity of the enlarged American Association.

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Gentlemen of the American Association of Public Accountants:

I am deeply sensible of the honor and responsibility attached to the office of President of the American Association of Public Accountants. Although it originated in New York and although New York has a larger number of public accountants than any other State, at the time of the amalgamation last year of the American Association and the Federation of Accounting Societies, the number of public accountants comprised in the State societies outside of New York was more than three times the membership of the New York State Society. The future growth of the profession, owing to the disproportion between New York and the rest of the country, depends not so much upon Manhattan Island as upon increasing the numbers, the influence and the reputation of accountancy throughout the United States. I am in favor of the completest possible reciprocity of professional recognition between the States. The practice of many of the public accountants in other States is extended to New York and the practice of New York accountants extends to other parts of the country. It is absolutely necessary, in my opinion, if accountancy is to grow as a national profession, that properly accredited certified public accountants of one State should be allowed to use that designation under proper regulations as to registration, in every other State of the Union where there are equally high educational and professional standards. I have from the beginning of the C. P. A. movement favored this complete reciprocity of recognition. It shall be my purpose during my term of office to advance this interest by every means in my power within the bounds of the Constitution and By-laws of the American Association. Some of the States have already provided for this recognition and reciprocity, and practicing accountants are availing themselves of the opportunity to gain a definite standing in other States than those in which they have obtained their certificates. New York has not yet provided for this recognition, but it is my hope and expectation that within the near future this subject will have the earnest consideration of the New York State society. I also hope that like consideration will be given in all States that do not have such a provision.

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