Frederick Whinney

Contributed a lot to the development of accounting firms

Frederick Whinney was born in England and he was the British accountant. Although people could hardly find his name in the accounting field nowadays, he contributed a lot to the development of accounting firms in the years when he was alive.

What they are famous for

Frederick Whinney was famous for being the partner of the firm called Harding & Pullein. In 1859, he became the partner and he played an important role in the firm gradually. In 1894, he renamed the business with his sons as the Whinney Smith & Whinney.

In 1924, there was a storm in the accounting field. There were more and more accounting firms in the market and there are competitions worldwide. Therefore, Frederick Whinney decided to cooperate with some other accounting firms in order to increase the market share of the firm. Therefore, it accepted the invitation from Ernst and formed some partnership with other. Ernst was an American accounting firm at that time so it helped Frederick Whinney to have an accounting firm growing in both the UK and the US. At that time, the Ernst & Whinney firm formed was the fourth largest accounting firm at that period.

How they affected the world today

In 1898, Ernst & Whinney finally merged with Arthur Young and this created the large firm called Ernst & Young. Since the name of Frederick Whinney did not appear in the name of the new firm, people could hardly recognize the efforts that Frederick Whinney had contributed to the development of the firm.

However, Frederick Whinney actually did a lot of things to make the company reputable and the solid foundation of Ernst & Whinney was contributed partly by Frederick Whinney. At the beginning of the merger of Ernst and Whinney, there were a lot of obstacles. It was difficult to manage a cross-national firm so Frederick Whinney and his partner Ernst tried their best to communicate with each other and to ensure the quality and standards of the accountancy projects. They cooperated to make sure that the brand reputation of the firm was good in both countries. In order to achieve this, Frederick Whinney devoted a lot of his time to travel to and from the regional offices and to communicate through letters. At that time, communication was not convenient compared to the current context so Frederick Whinney did paid a lot of efforts in gatekeeping the quality of work performed by the firm.

This type of insistence of audit quality affected the whole company throughout the years. After the merger with Arthur Young, the principles of Ernst & Whinney still remained instilled in the staff of the company. Being detail-oriented and professionally skeptical becomes an important motto of the company staff. This also influences other accounting firms and this is the reason why professional skepticism is an important jargon in the auditing field nowadays.

In conclusion, Frederick Whinney helped the current Ernst & Young to build a good base such that it can achieve so much nowadays.

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