This letter is in response to the letter to the editor in the July 2012 issue of Accounting Today ("A charge of willful ignorance," page 11). I believe that Mr. Strait's criticisms are unworthy of any thinking accountant. He belittles Miller and Bahnson's suggestions that aim to furnish financial information to readers of financial statements that is more relevant to the search for economic truth.
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My comments are made as a CPA since 1956. I have been in the practice of public accounting since 1953, except for a three-year hiatus obtaining a Ph.D. My experience has been as a staff accountant, a partner in one large and two small local firms, and as a partner in a national firm, all specializing in accounting, auditing and reporting.
I have been a regular reader of Miller and Bahnson's column, and have agreed with their comments on current accounting practice. Certainly, their comments on accounting theory are well-thought-out, and while implementing any one of their proposals would require effort, retraining, and abandoning practices developed by the CPAs and their users, the result would be more accurate financial statements. The professors' proposals were aimed at having financial statements present a more accurate picture of the reporting company, including the influence of various markets on values. In my view, current accounting practices evolved largely from the debates concerning the income tax code.
Finally, concerning Strait's comments on Miller and Bahnson's conclusions concerning the American Institute of CPAs: As a member of the AICPA since 1956, I have no argument with their comments.
Arthur G. Hendricks, Ph.D, CPA
Boynton Beach, Fla.