Eli Mason, whose career in public accounting spanned more than seven decades as a practitioner, and a proponent of the profession, has died after a long illness.
He was 88.
Known as the "conscience of the profession," Mason argued tirelessly for auditor independence, objectivity and integrity and often excoriated both firms and organizations in his writings whom he felt veered from those foundations.
His titles and accomplishments include serving as president of the New York State Society of CPAs, as chairman of the New York State Board for Public Accountancy, and as vice president of the American Institute of CPAs. He was also a frequent columnist for Accounting Today.
A 1940 graduate of New York¹s Baruch College, Mason got his start with the firm of Klein, Hinds & Finke before founding Mason & Co. in 1946. Several years ago, Mason and Co. merged with New York mega-firm J.H. Cohn.
In 1968, he was elected the first president of the Baruch College Fund and, in 1992, he endowed the Eli Mason Chair in Accountancy at Baruch. Four years later with his wife Claire, who was also an alumnus of the class of 1940, he funded the restoration of the auditorium now known as Mason Hall.
In 1998, he published "Random Thoughts," a collection of his columns and writings over a 70-year span. He also published "Conscience of the Profession, a Personal Journey," in 2005.
His final column for Accounting Today appeared in June.
Mason leaves behind his wife and two children.
At press time no funeral services had been planned.
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