The Priesthood of Industry

The Priesthood of Industry : The Rise of the Professional Accountant in British Management

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The leading professional accounting bodies in Britain today boast more than a quarter of a million qualified members and accountants are moving into top management positions in increasing numbers. Accountants have become the foremost professional grouping in British business management.

The Priesthood of Industry documents the rise of the accountancy profession, from the handful of accountants listed in the trade directories of the major cities in the late-eighteenth century to the huge commercially-oriented firms of the late-twentieth century. The authors focus on the individual: the professional accountant, and adopt an economic determinist analysis to explain the rise of public practice and the transfer of staff to industry in increasing numbers. They also
consider the routes through which this transfer of skills took place, and identify demand and supply side factors to explain the professional accountant's present hegemony in business management.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 376 pages
  • 163 x 242 x 25mm | 712g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • line figures, tables
  • 019828960X
  • 9780198289609

Table of contents

Preface ; 1. Introduction ; 2. Roots of the Profession ; 3. The Rise of the Accounting Function ; 4. Accountants and Business Management in Victorian and Edwardian Britain ; 5. Accountants in the Economic Maelstrom: The First World War and the Inter-War Years ; 6. Rise of the 'Priesthood' in the Post-Second World War Era ; 7. Some Explanations and Conclusions ; Appendices ; References
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Review quote

This book shows above all the enviable ability of British accountants to re-invent themselves. It deserves to be read by all accountants who are interested in where their profession has come from, where it stands today, and where it may go tomorrow. - Bob Parker. Accountancy. September 1998
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About Derek Matthews

Professor Edwards is editor of the leading international journal Accounting, Business and Financial History
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