“Accountant” and “Accountant, Public” listings in New York and Philadelphia city directories from 1850 to 1870 were used to explore accountants' practice conditions and whether their children also became accountants. Children are likely to pursue parental occupations if economic conditions experienced during childhood are positive. Record linkage methodology connected the accountants in Littleton's (1942) compilation of 123 accountant city directory listings and the additional 21 accountants located during research with census and other records showing occupation and kinship information. While no elite accountant community existed, successful accountants remained accountants and passed their accountant occupation onto sons. Other accountants successfully changed occupations and their sons adopted those jobs. Overall, 36 percent of these accountants were immigrants, with more immigrants in New York. Professional organizations, credentialing legislation, and other professional characteristics were not in place. Accounting education institutions were established and textbooks authored in both cities.

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