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C.P.A. AUDITING QUESTIONS. BY H. C. BENTLEY. The Ronald
Press Co., New York, 1914. $2.00, cloth, prepaid.
The book contains, arranged by states, seven hundred and five original questions selected by the author out of a total of 1,353 available questions given by eighteen states in one hundred and twelve examinations on the subject of auditing only. The questions omitted comprise duplications. There are no answers to the questions. These the author intends to give in a volume to be published later.
There is, therefore, nothing to be said about the book except to call attention to some of the conclusions mentioned by the author in his preface. He shows that 48% of the questions are duplications and comes to the conclusion that, from his knowledge, these questions thoroughly cover the entire field of auditing, and shows the fairness of the average examination to the candidates in the following words:
“It would seem that any man who can answer 70 per cent of the questions included in this volume deserves a C.P.A. degree, in so far as his knowledge of auditing is concerned, and examiners who include in their sets of questions 50 per cent or more of those that have been asked heretofore are giving the candidates a fair chance to profit by studying precedents."
It should, however, be considered that this statement is beside the practical result, because any student, by using Mr. Bentley's work, can cram and thus be sure of getting a very high mark on 50% of the questions set by any C.P.A. board of examiners and, as the passing mark is 70, needs but 20% more, or need answer only two out of every five questions not covered by this book. In other words, this cramming has resulted in the gaining of a knowledge by the candidate where he runs a chance of five to one in his favor to pass an examination in auditing. It certainly does show how easy it is nowadays to cram for a C.P.A. examination.
The author points out that the questions which he reproduces cover thirty specific lines of business and that C.P.A. questions should not deal with any but those which will test a knowledge of fundamental principles, ability to reason logically and a knowledge to carry out intelligently the sort of work which a man with practical experience is required to do. Yet in his preface he forgets to support the examiner who, with the possibility of cramming, as set forth above, needs an additional safeguard in the propounding of questions in the auditing of specific lines of business, in order to find out whether the candidate's proficiency is the product of cramming or of general study and experience. The candidate may not be able to set forth the correct answer to these specialized questions, but the examiner will be able to judge properly from the replies the candidate's ability even if the result be inaccurate. Of course Mr. Bentley, having been a teacher for so many years, naturally sponsors the cause of the candidate.
John B. GEIJSBEEK.
THE SCIENCE AND PRACTICE OF MANAGEMENT. By A.
HAMILTON CHURCH. The Engineering Magazine Company, New
York, 1914. It is safe to say that business men-particularly manufacturers-have become very weary of the overproduction of literature on so-called Effciency and Scientific Management. Dozens of other titles have been given to the expression of the ideas of many men whose most outstanding claim to notice is found, upon examination, to rest upon their own failure ever to have accomplished efficiently anything worth while, or to have "managed" anything in such a way as to warrant them in expounding a "science” worthy of consideration if based on their own experience.
The work of Mr. Frederick W. Taylor on Shop Management issued in 1903, and the later expressions of Mr. Harrington Emerson in emphasizing the human element in the efficiency problem led to an avalanche of volumes and essays by amateurs, which actually converted a portion of the business world for a time to the idea that some wonderful, new and potent instrument for reaching absolute perfection had been discovered. As a matter of fact, no absolutely new developments worthy of note have been produced in the past ten years. In the enthusiasm of the patent medicine consumer, the manufacturer's rush to apply the nostrum of amateurs' disconnected ideas has caused him to overlook the necessity of constructing the conditions insuring successful application.
Nevertheless, the literature on scientific management offers some noteworthy and excellent works, in spite of this criticism-works which have led to at least some modification of ideals in men whose point of view is of vast importance in making possible a greater human productive efficiency in thousands who may be subject to their management.
Secretary Redfield, in his New Industrial Day (The Century Company, New York, 1913) devotes a chapter to “Scientific spirit in management.” He says: “There has not yet been established a science of management. And yet, if a science were ever needed, meaning definite principles based on exact knowledge of facts, it is in this very matter of management.”
The author of the work under review, Mr. A. Hamilton Church, is well known as a writer on subjects of great interest to public accountants. His Production Factors in Works Management and Cost Accounting and The Proper Distribution of Expense Burden have been read and appreciated by every public accountant who tries to keep up with the progress, development and expansion of the profession. Mr. Church by training and experience is eminently well fitted to contribute to the establishment of that science of management, i.e., definite principles based on exact knowledge of facts—the lack of which Mr. Redfield deplores.
Mr. Church was born near London, England, of American parentage. He entered the service of the National Telephone Company after a liberal education, and later became technical expert and works manager in an electrical manufacturing business. For seven years he was Euro
pean manager of the Engineering Magazine Company, and was sociated with the pioneer work of the late J. Slater Lewis, author of The Commercial Organization of Factories. Mr. Church has made a special and applied practical study of factory organization and manufacturing efficiency for the past fifteen years.
His present work, The Science and Practice of Management is a distinct step forward in the expression and elucidation of those definite principles based on exact knowledge of facts upon which the science must rest.
The book is divided into three main parts: 1. The science of management. 2. Practical organization of the organic functions. 3. Appendices dealing with the labor question, expense burden in re
lation to piece work, premiums and bonus plans, etc., axioms
of management, etc., etc. The problem of management is broadly stated to consist in the practical application of two great intellectual processes—analysis and synthesis. In proportion as analysis is keen and correct and synthesis is sure and unerring, so will be the resulting efficiency. In a manufacturing industry the objective, production, is realized by the syntheses of five organic functions—design, equipment, control, comparison and operation.
The regulative principles of the organic functions are exhaustively treated and summarized in the "Laws of effort,” thus: 1. Experience must be systematically accumulated, standardized and
applied. 2. Effort must be economically regulated :
2a. It must be divided.
2d. It must be remunerated. 3. Personal effectiveness must be promoted : 3a. Good physical conditions and environment must be main
tained. 36. The vocation, task or duty should be analyzed to determine
the special human faculty concerned. 3c. Tests should be applied to determine in what degree candi
dates possess special faculty. 3d. Habit should be formed on standarized bases, old or new. 3e. Esprit de corps must be fostered.
3f. Incentive must be proportioned to effort expected. Efficiency in production is said to be dependent on successful synthesis of functional activity. “Laws of effort” point out what has to be done as regards each function, but these laws do not apply themselves. They are only successfully applied by the "synthetic influence of a strong personality.” In these days of machine-made rules and systems advocated and expounded by hungry amateurs, it is refreshing to find a man with Mr. Church's knowledge and experience seeking his final reliance for efficiency in the "influence of a strong personality." "Above all, leader
ship is necessary to efficiency," he says. The "science of management" cannot produce managers any more than military science can produce generals. The great leader is, after all, born, not made.
In part II of the book an illustration is given in considerable detail of the practical organizing of the organic functions in machine manufacture, as an example, representing what is probably one of the most complex of industries.
Executive success is said to depend on three elements:
Executive success is therefore largely dependent on the function of comparison.
The appendices on the labor question deal with the present tendencies in the determination of what is a fair share of profits by capital and labor and the various methods adopted to adjudicate this by sliding scales of wages, profit-sharing schemes, etc.
The axioms of administration are briefly summarized thus: 1. Skill can be transferred to, and embodied or stored in appliances. 2. Interchangeability of parts is frequently desirable. 3. Lower unit cost normally implies increased capacity for output. 4. The amount of direct labor and of burden in unit cost, and not
the ratio or percentage, is alone the test of efficiency. 5. Capital is a factor in cost.
Each of these is dealt with in a manner which will be found instructive to the reader who is interested in the development of the science of management and particularly in its relation to the science of accounting. The book is a pronounced step forward along the trail blazed by Taylor and Emerson, and the work is one which will be widely read and approved.
F. G. COLLEY, C. P. A.
Should Accountants Advertise?
Editor, The Journal of Accountancy:
Sir: Having read the articles of Messrs. John A. Cooper, Edward E. Gore and E. G. Shorrock in the August issue and having listened to a lengthy debate upon the subject at the convention held in Boston last year, I desire to make the following remarks:
There seems to be some confusion between "advertise" and "solicit":
I believe it is permissible, although not advisable, to advertise; however do not encourage advertising because accountants are liable to use the commercial spirit when they advertise, which is nothing short of soliciting. Issuing educational pamphlets is permissible because they enlighten the public and at the same time prove to be of benefit to the public accountants.
The practising accountants, if they desire to have the respect of the public at large, must execute their work feeling that they are protectors and benefactors.
My personal experience assures me that accountants who will make the preceding paragraph their golden rule need not advertise, solicit nor worry about their financial success.
John A. WILL, C. P. A.
One Reason Why the West Complains
Editor, The Journal of Accountancy:
Sir: The following letter, addressed to a number of local concerns, was recently called to my attention:
Co., "Kansas City, Mo. "Gentlemen:
“Our Mr. A-— will be in your city for a few weeks beginning October 20th, making his headquarters at the B- Hotel. He will be pleased to confer with you as to the nature and scope of the services rendered by our firm; and, as Mr. A- is a recognized expert of high standing in his profession, we believe that you will wish to avail yourself of this opportunity of obtaining reliable advice regarding your business problems.
"Yours very truly,
This letter was sent out, not by the representative of an office appliance manufacturer or a fly-by-night audit company, but by a well known New York firm of accountants. If I am not mistaken, a member of this firm