Despite the wintery cold and snow this week, the spring that INCPAS has been eagerly anticipating is almost here (a week from Monday according to the groundhog). Even if you don’t believe Punxsutawney Phil, the calendar says March 20 … a mere 15 days from now.
What it is about the spring of 2015? You all probably know by now that INCPAS will officially mark the 100th anniversary of the organization on May 6, and then will celebrate it at the CPA Celebration centennial gala on May 15 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. By the way, if you haven’t bought a ticket yet, there are only a few left and the event will soon be a sell-out with over 800 attending.
But before the organization was formed by its five founders, there first had to be a CPA profession, right? In Indiana, that most significant date was March 9, 1915. One hundred years ago this month. On that date, enabling legislation was passed by the Indiana General Assembly, thus creating the CPA profession in the state of Indiana. And Indiana businesses have benefited ever since!
On Monday, to recognize the occasion, the Indiana House and Indiana Senate will read a resolution dedicated to the 100-year anniversary of the profession. One hundred years to the day. INCPAS Chair Kent Williams and Chair-elect Steve Beardsley will attend.
So, before we celebrate the historic anniversary of the organization, let’s celebrate this centennial milestone for the profession and what it has meant to the thousands of Indiana CPAs who have earned the designation “CPA” after their name.
The Indiana C.P.A. Law from 1915 was described as “An act providing for a State Board of Certified Accountants, defining their powers and duties, and providing for the examination and licensing of certified accountants.”
It began with Section 1: “Be it enacted by the general assembly of the state of Indiana that the state examiner and two deputy examiners of the state board of inspection and supervision of public offices shall constitute, ex-officio, a state board of certified accountants. They may at any time they may deem it necessary call in consultation an advisory board of three (3) persons, each of whom shall be a person skilled in the knowledge and practice of accounting and actively engaged as a professional accountant within this state.”
The law goes on for two full pages covering 10 sections. It had some interesting parts to it. Among them, aspiring CPAs had to be 21 years of age, and have good moral character, a high school diploma or equivalent education, and three years of work experience in accounting. The certification fee was $10.
The law also spelled out the process for the CPA Examination. It was to be held annually and cover the areas of the theory of accounts, practical accounting, auditing and commercial law as affecting accountancy. If more than three applicants came forward not less than five months after the annual exam, a second exam would be held. The examination fee was $25.
Some things have changed in the course of 100 years. But many things also have remained the same. Mainly that those three letters, “CPA,” stand for something very prestigious for all who have attained and maintained it. And for something very recognizable and highly regarded: Indiana’s trusted business advisors. In 1915 and in 2015, and throughout all the years in between.
So join us as we enter this two-month centennial period for the profession and the organization that serves it, by reflecting on the past and looking toward the future. It’s been a remarkable journey, but it’s not an ending point. The profession and the Society will continue to evolve as they always have to meet the needs of Indiana’s businesses and citizens, albeit at an ever-accelerating pace. One hundred years of existence is quite an accomplishment, not to mention one with a long track record of success!