Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

The Bookkeepers' Beneficial Association of Philadelphia - an early signal in the US for a professional organization

The Bookkeepers' Beneficial Association of Philadelphia (BBAP), the first bookkeeping organisation in the United States, was established in 1874. In its early years this organisation was the envy of many accountants and bookkeepers without organisations of thier own. It was to serve as a model for New York accountants when the Institute of Accountants and Bookkeepers of the City of New York (IA) was organised later in 1882. Its dissolution was probably the result of various reasons, one of which is its inability to obtain closure for its members. Thus it never reached the professional status of its competitors. However, the BBAP outlasted all of the societies formed before the passage of the New York CPA law in 1896 that were its contemporaries, with the exception of the American Association of Public Accountants. It dissolved in 1924 shorty after its fiftieth anniversary. The greatest contribution of the BBAP was the signalling of the need for an organisation of bookkeepers, and recognition of that need helped create an environment for the emergence of professional accounting and bookkeeping organisations in the US.