Charles Haskins Biography

Charles Haskins – The Famous NYC Accountant


Charles Haskins was born in 1852. He was the co-founder of Haskins and Sells, one of the famous accounting firms back then.

Haskins received education in Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute as well as the New York University. He completed his study eventually in Paris. From this, you can already imagine that he was a rich people. No doubt, Charles Haskins came from a well-off family. He got married with Henrietta Havemeyer, who came from an even wealthier famous than Haskins.

What they are famous for

Although Charles Haskins was a rich man, he did not stop his pursue of accountancy. He tried to build the good accounting principles and he tried his best to lecture the others. He tried to involve history and different methods to his lectures and tried to inspire students to think more about the basics of accounting.

Charles Haskins was famous for the description of accounting as “the physician of finance and commerce”. He thought and mentioned that accountants should “understand the physiology and anatomy of a business and also the rules for health of corporations, individual enterprises and partnership”.

Instead of working without independent thinking, Charles Haskins educated his students to think more and look into the details.

How they affected the world today

The detail-oriented belief held by Charles Haskins would be the most important thing that affected the whole world of accountancy nowadays. Charles Haskins treated the job of accountant as a very important and influential job in the world. He believed that any mistakes made by accountant could lead to disaster of a business. Therefore, he spread the message of prudence in accounting. Instead of making unrealistic assumptions, Charles Haskins proposed to use more conditions and criteria to judge on a matter. He proposed to use more specific treatments for different natures of the businesses in order to make the whole accounting work more accurate.

Since he has a strong belief in the accounting code of practice, Charles Haskins actively involved in the codification of qualifications and he started the Certified Public Accountant qualification exam in New York. Later, he heavily promoted the importance of the qualification so the whole US adopted this type of qualification when they tried to grade the accountants.

Charles Haskins was the president of Society of CPAs in the New York State. He was also the president of CPAs of the American Society. In 1900, Charles Haskins founded the professional business school in New York University, which was the pioneer among all other universities. Therefore, he is really an important man. Without his effort in pursuing the importance of accounting and businesses, business school probably would not exist in all universities in the world and there might only be science and art schools in universities.

In conclusion, Charles Haskins was an important man in the accounting history. He taught lectures and ran his own accounting firm. He led to the standardization and codification of accountants and helped build the reputation of certified public accountants in the world.

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