Our mission today and in the future is to provide our readers with meaningful insight, unique perspective, critical analysis, expert advice, and actionable guidance. This is especially true as we navigate today’s uncertain climate, with the unanticipated and tragic impact of COVID-19 on our families and society. Our core values remain true to our heritage: independent, unbiased, unafraid to be controversial. Our commitment is steadfast: to serve society and to protect the public interest. Our ethical obligation is clear: to be socially responsible and to ensure trust in our institutions.
Nine decades ago, The CPA Journal chronicled the fallout from the Great Depression. The parallels are unfortunately self-evident. As reported in the 1934 Yearbook, there were “considerable financial problems … educational and professional organizations most seriously affected.” In the 1930s, our members witnessed breadlines, managed bankruptcies, and business insolvencies. Our articles today chronicle the same issues; CECL and credit loss projections, goodwill impairments, write-offs, cash flow challenges, and going-concern issues.
In September 1935, Walter Staub, then president of the NYSSCPA, adamantly stated: “We may confidently look forward for service to the world of business and finance and the ever-increasing recognition of the fact that our profession meets the needs of modern business which cannot as effectively be met in any other way” (Staub, Yearbook, p. 117). Almost nine decades later, John Coffee, corporate law governance professor at Columbia Law School, similarly agreed that “no amount of regulation or legislation, absent an effective gatekeeping profession, can protect the public” (Gatekeepers, Oxford University Press, 2019 revision). This gatekeeping function is the accounting profession’s raison d’etre.
Another significant issue of the 1930s, expanding government intervention in the economy, parallels what may be happening today. In the United Kingdom, legislation has been introduced in Parliament to break up the largest accounting firms and separate their audit function from their other core businesses. Diary back almost 90 years to the April 1936 banquet celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first CPA law; William Ransom argued that the “future of the professions in America seems to be fraught with uncertainties and danger. There are those … who urge the professions to be socialized … subservient to government, be placed under political control” (The New York Public Accountant, April 1936, p. 18). How would Ransom have responded to the current regulatory environment in the United States, to agencies like the PCAOB under jurisdiction of the SEC or the political pressure applied to standards setters like FASB, GASB, and FASAB? Might the separation of the independent audit function from the rest of a CPA firm spread across the Atlantic? And what would this mean for professional self-regulation?
On behalf of the editors, our graphic designers, copy editors, marketing professionals, and everyone else at the NYSSCPA who makes the Journal possible—as well as the unwavering support of our members and readers—happy anniversary to The CPA Journal, the Voice of the Profession.
Congratulations to The CPA Journal on its 90th Anniversary
For the past 90 years, The CPA Journal has provided practitioners, educators, and students with expertise and critical analysis on issues they all face. Be it day-to-day practice issues, ethical considerations, or how to better the profession, CPAs can look to the Journal for counsel and advice. I hope it will continue its past excellence in serving the profession and public for the next 90 years.
-Lynn E. Turner, CPA
Independent Accounting Professional and Consultant, Denver, Colo. Former SEC Chief Accountant
Congratulations to The CPA Journal on a remarkable 90 years of uninterrupted publication! The challenges facing CPAs have changed dramatically since 1930, but the need to stay informed on the continuously evolving world of accounting and auditing is a constant. The Journal has helped generations of practitioners meet that need. It is an invaluable resource.
-Daniel L. Goelzer, JD, LLM, CPA
SASB Board Member
Former PCAOB Board Member
Congratulations to The CPA Journal for 90 years of providing the accounting profession with accurate, informative, and necessary information relevant to the profession. Over the past 50 years, I have had the privilege of being a reviewer, author, and reader of the Journal. I regard it as the premier journal for knowledgeable and fulsome coverage of technical subjects.
-Doug Carmichael, PhD, CPA, CFE
Claire and Eli Mason Professor of Accountancy at Baruch College, New York, N.Y.
Former PCAOB Chief Auditor, Former AICPA Vice President of Auditing