ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Accountancy Ancestors: Balance

The Corps of Military Accountants was established in 1919 after the decision to institute a new system of cost accounting across the army. The corps survived until late 1925 when the decision was taken to return to the previous system.

Accountancy Ancestors

The Accountancy Ancestors database provides an index to obituaries, portraits and other resources held in the collection of the ICAEW Library & Information Service.

To request a copy of an entry from the index, please contact the enquiry desk:

E  library@icaew.com
T  +44 (0)20 7920 8620

The Accountants' Magazine reported on the creation of the corps in the January 1920 issue, stating that: "In each of the commands an officer will be appointed as Command Accountant, and will be responsible for the cost accounts of the units under the Command. He will be assisted by group and station accountant officers."

The journal

The Balance was first published in December 1923 as the regimental journal of the Corps of Military Accountants. As such, it was frequently stated by the editors that it did not enjoy that "freedom of the press" which was the privilege of the ordinary newspaper. The magazine was produced on a quarterly basis with issues appearing in March, June, September and December.

The content in this journal varied considerably, including reports from cricket/football matches, station reports, articles and poems. Unusually this journal also included the details of births, marriages and deaths within the corp.

The last issue of 'The Balance' was scheduled for publication in December 1925 and the advertisements stated that the usual restrictions would not apply to this issue as it would 'not be published as a regimental journal and for the publication of which no serving officer or soldier will be responsible.' It was intended that the final issue (or an associated supplement) would provide a complete record of the disposal of every members of the Corps. The ICAEW Library & Information Service does not hold a copy of this issue.

Corps roll

The Balance published a Corps Roll in parts recording army number, name, present engagement, date of present rank or appointment and their station. The roll was published as follows:

Accountant Sergeant Majors - Christmas 1923
Accountant Quartermaster-Sergeants - Christmas 1923 and Spring 1924
Accountant Staff-Sergeants - Spring 1924
Accountant-Sergeants and Sergeants - Summer 1924
Writer Corporals and Corporals - Autumn 1924
Writer Lance Corporals and Lance Corporals - Autumn 1924
Writer Privates and Privates - Christmas 1924
Boy Writers - Christmas 1924

Alterations to the lists were also published in each issue from Summer 1924 through to Summer 1925 reflecting any changes that had taken place since the lists for each rank were first published.


The ICAEW Library & Information Service holds issues for Christmas 1923 to Autumn 1925 (Volume 1, Issue 1 to Volume 2, Issue 8) but does not hold the December 1925 issue (Volume 2, Issue 9).

Accountancy Ancestors


December 1923 - September 1925

Obituaries or biographical notes/profiles

12 obituaries or biographical profiles are listed in the obituaries index from this journal.


127 portraits are listed in the portraits index from this journal.

The portraits index includes details of cartoons/photographs of individual members and named individuals in group photographs.


29 assorted illustrations are listed in the illustrations index from this journal.