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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 73705 Find in a Library
Title: Accounting Instructor and Local Government Accounting
Journal: Accounting Review  Volume:9  Dated:(March 1934)  Pages:44-52
Author(s): H T Scovill
Date Published: 1934
Page Count: 9
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This 1934 article details the growth of accounting as an aid to business management and control during the previous 25 years. The roles of the Federal government and private industry are highlighted and inferior accounting systems in local government are examined.
Abstract: Certified public accountants, educators, bankers, capitalists, business executives, and governmental agencies have contributed to the movement towards better business administration. Trade associations have adopted uniform systems of accounting with the cooperation of the Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Reserve Board sponsored the pamphlet 'Uniform Accounting' in 1917 and its successor, 'Verification of Financial Statements' in 1929, and several stock exchanges have required audits of corporations applying for the listing of securities. Both Federal and State income tax laws have produced probably the biggest incentive for large businesses to keep reasonably complete records of their transactions. In addition, the National Recovery Act created a profound interest in costs and other accounting concepts and gave trade associations an incentive to foster interest in uniform accounting systems. The Federal accounting and auditing. However, the lack of adequate Securities Act and recent State corporation laws include provision for accounting systems in local governments is lamentable. Such lack is caused by a general ignorance of accounting principles and procedures on the part of both elected public officials and those in charge of records or financial affairs. Numerous cases of unsatisfactory public record keeping are cited. There can be no assurance of the proper administration of funds unless the comptroller, the city clerk, and the commissioner of accounts and finance have a thorough knowledge of how accounting principles apply to municipal funds. Unfortunately, the voters have little knowledge of the training required to qualify candidates for preparing budgets and properly accounting for funds. Moreover, they do not realize that a properly trained municipal financial officer must command the legal aspects of municipal financial affairs. Therefore, not only the voters, but State officials, the press, and educators must work toward improved conditions. Accounting instructors should foster public sentiment and legislative action for selection of officials on a merit basis; payment of adequate salaries to attract well qualified candidates; establishment of reasonable tenure of office; adoption of a system of accounts commensurate with volume and complexity of modern municipal and county transactions; and compulsory annual audits of accounts including all funds, police records and special assessment accounts of municipalities and counties.
Index Term(s): Accounting methods; Auditing standards; Financial management; Laws and Statutes; Local government
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