Want to impress all of your CPA friends with some lesser known facts about the profession? Come on, who doesn’t? But seriously, I bet the majority of Indiana CPAs don’t know that the FASB turns 40 this year, and that there is a strong Hoosier connection to the FASB and its origin.
The FASB came to be as a result of a report from the Wheat Committee, which was created by the AICPA. It was recognized by the AICPA as an authoritative standard setter under the Code of Professional Conduct, and replaced what was known as the Accounting Principles Board. The chairman of the AICPA at the time, who appointed the members to that committee, was Marshall S. Armstrong. Mr. Armstrong went on to be the first chairman of the FASB when it was established in 1973.
Mr. Armstrong was born in Indianapolis and grew up in Shelbyville, Indiana. He served as managing partner at George S. Olive & Co. He was president of the Indiana Association of Certified Public Accountants (or IACPA as we were known back then) in 1961-1962, a position we now refer to as chairman of the board. He was well regarded in the profession, and was known for his dedication, the confidence he displayed, and the professional way in which he approached the many issues he dealt with.
He later served as president of the AICPA in 1970-1971 – becoming just the second and what is today still one of only three Indiana CPAs to serve in that national position. He then became the first chairman of the FASB beginning on November 1, 1972. When he started at the FASB, he was the only employee and ran the organization from a single desk at the AICPA offices. When he left in 1977, the FASB had over 100 employees.
I think it’s pretty cool that a guy who grew up in a small town in Indiana went on hold such a prestigious position and have such a distinguished career, which included many honors. He received the Society’s Distinguished Service Award in 1971 and the AICPA Gold Medal in 1977. In his later years, Mr. Armstrong returned to Indiana, retiring to Zionsville, Indiana. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 91.
Happy Birthday, FASB! To celebrate the occasion, they unveiled a new logo. And thank you Mr. Armstrong for being a visionary for our profession!