1987: A TOUGH ENTRANCEIt was not, perhaps, the best of times for the accounting profession: Scandals, including the implosion that summer of the brazenly fraudulent ZZZZ Best, had tarnished auditors' reputations, malpractice insurance rates were soaring, college students were staying away in droves, and the Federal Trade Commission claimed that the American Institute of CPAs' rules on professional activities violated restraint-of-trade rules.

It wasn't the worst of times, though: Accountants were kept busy dealing with the provisions of the landmark Tax Reform Act of 1986 (including many companies' rush to convert to S corporation status); the Treadway Commission offered its report on ways to prevent fraud; and the Public Oversight Board reported that less than 1 percent of audits conducted the year before were substandard. Under then-president Philip Chenok, the AICPA celebrated its 100th anniversary with a gala event, and also introduced the Personal Financial Specialist credential, just as Price Waterhouse became the first of the Big Eight to register an investment affiliate with the Securities and Exchange Commission (though some smaller firms, like Seidman & Seidman and McGladrey, Hendrickson & Pullen, had already done so).

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