Daniel T. Simon

Publication Date

October 1995


This article does not attempt to provide a complete remedy for the lack of historical awareness of accounting history by either students or professors. Instead it provides a few pedagogical examples of how the history of accounting can be incorporated into conventional lectures on financial accounting and auditing in a way that will both introduce students to a historical perspective on accounting and contribute to an improved understanding of the basic subject matter. A rich source of accounting history is found in the official or semi-official histories of large accounting firms. Beginning in 1951 and continuing until the early 1980s, several of the largest U.S. accounting firms (see references) published "official" histories of their firms. In addition, a managing partner of one firm, Arthur Andersen & Co., was interviewed extensively for a "semi-official" history of his firm (Spacek, 1985).



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