James A. Tinsley

PHILLIPS, JAY A. (1892–1977). Jay Phillips, a leader in public accounting, was born in Holland, Texas, and graduated from high school in Moody. The son of a tenant farmer, he also farmed briefly before completing a course in bookkeeping at Draughon's Business College in Waco, this being the extent of his formal education. After five years in the state comptroller's office, he joined the Dallas office of Ernst and Ernst in 1918, sat successfully for the CPA examination in 1920, and opened an office in Houston for Ernst and Ernst. In 1925 Phillips formed his own Houston public-accounting firm and in 1963 merged Phillips, Sheffield, Hopson, Lewis, and Luther with Deloitte, Haskins, and Sells. Between 1924 and 1957 Phillips served eighteen years on the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy. He left in 1957 to sit on the new Texas State Securities Board. He was president of both the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (1932–33) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (1952). He received the TSCPA Distinguished Public Service Award in 1958 and the AICPA Gold Medal Award for service to the profession in 1961. His most notable charitable and civic activities included two decades on the board of managers of Jefferson Davis City-County Hospital in Houston, followed in 1958 by his tenure as chairman of the Scott and White Memorial Hospital board in Temple at a time of major expansion in that facility. Phillips married Edna Gilmore. In addition to their three children, they reared as part of the family her nephew and niece. Phillips died on April 9, 1977.


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).

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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, "PHILLIPS, JAY A.," accessed February 23, 2020,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 23, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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