James A. Tinsley

TEXAS SOCIETY OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS. The Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants had its origins when, at the call of pioneer Texas public accountants Marion Douglas of Galveston and William Preston Peter of Dallas, seventeen public accountants and six junior staff accountants organized the Texas State Society of Public Accountants in Galveston on May 22, 1911. The new society embraced the aristocratic principles of proficiency and self-regulation embodied in the British guilds of chartered accountants and the American Institute of Accountants (1916), but members also supported the attainment of professional standing and recognition by state certification patterned after the New York CPA law of 1896. That goal was achieved in March 1915, when Governor James E. Ferguson signed the Public Accountancy Act and appointed the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy to examine and issue CPA certificates to qualified applicants. The board issued twenty-six CPA certificates in July 1915, whereupon society president Daniel Kernaghan and fifteen other members newly certified by the state met in Fort Worth on October 27, 1915. They amended the society constitution to require CPA certificates for membership and changed the name accordingly. The constitution of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants was formally approved by twenty-seven members of record on August 14, 1916. The subtle distinctions between guild membership and state certification as the hallmark of the nation's public accounting profession were essentially eliminated in favor of the latter with the merger of the American Institute of Accountants and the American Society of Certified Public Accountants into the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 1935. Correspondingly, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants became increasingly dependent on the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy to determine professional entrance standards and to enforce ethical standards through the police power of the state. This dependency was made complete with the Public Accountancy Act of 1945, which required CPA certificates of all persons entering the public accounting field in the future. Operating from its headquarters office in Dallas and from more than twenty chapters in different regions of the state, the Texas Society enlists the membership and support of roughly 80 percent of the CPAs in the state. It plays an important role in continuing professional education, in administering to the needs of CPAs in government and industry as well as in public practice, and in public relations for the profession.

James A. Tinsley, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants: A History, 1915–1981 (Houston, 1962; rev. ed., College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, James A. Tinsley, "TEXAS SOCIETY OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS," accessed October 14, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/cnt02.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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