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Accounting history links

The history of the accounting profession may be of interest to academics, family historians and practitioners alike. On this page you can access a range of journals, books and online resources providing quick links to useful overviews, guides and organisations.

Useful links


Accounting History Review
Scholarly journal published three times a year focusing on changes in accounting theories, practices and institutions.

Accounting History
Journal of the Accounting History Special Interest Group of the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand. Includes abstracts of articles from their first issue in 1996 to date.

History (AABA)
A selection of full text articles and papers on aspects of accounting history from the Association for Accountancy and Business Affairs as part of their education section. The selection includes a number of working papers on audit failure and accounting practices in the early railway companies.


Accounting and Business History Research Group (Cardiff Business School)
Described as a ‘forum for collaboration between accounting, business and economic historians’ the Business History Research Unit conducts research into accounting history, produces the journal Accounting, Business And Financial History and hosts the annual Accounting Business and Financial History Conference. The website provides contact details for the unit, a useful listing of its publications and information on recent project developments.

Accounting Historians' Guide to London
An illustrated guide by Professor R H Parker, originally published on the SUMMA site in 1995 and now available on the ICAEW website from August 2002. The map and explanations form a useful guide to the key historical locations of institutes, cases and buildings.

Accounting Standards Committee Archives
Information on the special collection of Accounting Standards Committee (ASC) and Accounting Standards Steering Committee (ASSC) papers from 1952 to 1990 held by John Rylands University Library.

Auditing Practices Committee Archives
Information on the special collection of Auditing Practices Committee (APC( papers from 1971 to 1991 held by John Rylands University Library.

Business Archives Council
Organisation dedicated to promoting the preservation of business records and encouraging interest in Britain's business history. It also advises on the professional management of business archives and records.

Records of the ICAEW at Guildhall Library
Guide produced by the Institute of Historial Research to assist users in locating the records of the ICAEW and its predecessor bodies at the Guildhall Library. The guide provides a brief history, details of the records held by the Guildhall (as well as those retained by the ICAEW), and information on access requirements.

Research Publications Directory (ICAS)
A full listing of research publications from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, which includes a range of accounting history titles. The executive summary of publications can be viewed online alongside full order details.


Academy of Accounting Historians
Body formed in 1973 to promote the study and teaching of accounting history. The site includes a membership directory, with information on specialist areas of research.

Accounting Hall of Fame
Biographical information maintained by the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University on accountants who have made ‘have made or are making significant contributions to the advancement of accounting.

AICPA Library Service
Includes the archival holdings of AICPA, ranging from medieval texts to modern accounting.

American Accounting's British Father (Business Week)
Article published in the online edition of Business Week on 22 April 2003 looking at the role of George May who arrived in the United States in 1897 and helped establish audit standards, a move that gave him his title of the father of American accounting.

Columbia University, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
One of the key archives for accounting materials in the US. Since October 2000, Columbia University has held the archives of PricewaterhouseCoopers US including the archives of its two predecessor firms, Price Waterhouse (founded in 1890) and Coopers and Lybrand (founded in 1898 as Lybrand, Ross Bros. and Montgomery).

Emanuel Saxe Distinguished Lectures in Accounting
Collection of mostly American accounting lecture notes covering the period 1973 to 1998. The lecture notes cover a range of topics, including many on the development of accounting and auditing standards.

SEC Historical Society
A virtual museum and archive of primary materials relating to the history of financial regulation, the SEC and US securities industry.

History of accounting firms

Deloitte UK
Information on the founding fathers of Deloitte.

Deloitte US
Guide to the history of Deloitte in the US, illustrated with archival photographs and biographies of key figures in the history of the company.

Ernst and Young
Overview of the history of the firm.

Brief history of the firm's principal founding members.

Timeline showing the development of the firm along with facts and figures.

Counting house: The History of PricewaterhouseCoopers on the China Coast [Link to ICAEW Libray catalogue]
Timeline showing the history of the firm in Hong Kong and Shanghai, prepared as part of PwC celebrations of 100 years on the China coast.

Journals and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports through our document supply service.

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