The New York State Society of CPAs plans to posthumously honor former NYSSCPA president Eli Mason by inducting him into its Hall of Fame on May 13.

The induction will occur at the NYSSCPA’s 113th annual election meeting and dinner at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel. Mason died on Aug. 3, 2009, at the age of 88.

Mason’s work in the area of ethics led the media to nickname him “the conscience of the profession.” He joined the NYSSCPA in 1944 and served as its president from 1972-73 and president of its Foundation for Accounting Education from 1974-75.

During his terms, he assembled a task force to provide peer review for members and proposed organizing the NYSSCPA’s first annual trade show. Advocating for small- and medium-sized entities was a major objective of his presidency, and a theme that he continued to pursue. As president, he formed a committee to study the extent of discrimination and displacement of local firms. He spoke out in particular against “low-balling” by the largest firms, or underbidding a smaller audit firm in order to attract clients for more lucrative audit work.

"Eli Mason tirelessly promoted and defended the accountancy profession while championing adherence to fundamental ethical practices,” said Robert Colson, Foundation for Accounting Education treasurer and a partner at Grant Thornton, who nominated Mason. “His efforts won him recognition during his life. His memory should live in future generations of accountants.”

The NYSSCPA also plans to present Brian A. Caswell with its Arthur J. Dixon Public Service Award at the annual election meeting and dinner. Caswell is president of Caswell & Associates CPA, P.C., which started in Phoenix, NY and celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.

Caswell’s background in community service includes work with the Catholic Charities Board, the Phoenix Central School Board, the Oswego Health Services Board, St. Luke’s Health Services Board, St. Stephen’s Church, the Boy Scouts, the Oswego Health Board and the Oswego County Micro Enterprise Program.

In addition, the NYSSCPA will present Ronald J. Huefner of Buffalo with its Distinguished Service Award. Huefner will receive the award for the leadership he has shown to the NYSSCPA as a vice president, member of the board of directors and executive committee, and his commitment to CPA education through his service as chair, vice chair and current member of its Higher Education committee, chair and vice chair of its Scholarship Awards committee, and trustee of its Foundation for Accounting Education.

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