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The Accounting Hall of Fame

Perry Empey Mason

Perry MasonThe son of Albert Eugene and Nettie Viola Empey Mason was born on June 25, 1899, in Chicago, Illinois. He received a bachelor's (1921), a master's (1924), and a doctor's (1938) degree from the University of Michigan. He was certified as a CPA.

In 1922 he accepted an instructorship on the faculty at the University of Michigan. He left the university in 1924 to serve as an assistant professor at the University of Kansas. He then returned to the University of Michigan in 1925 and stayed until 1930, at which time he left to accept a position on the faculty of Antioch College. In 1938 he left Antioch to join the University of California at Berkeley as an associate professor. In 1942 he was made a professor and later he was associate dean of the School of Business Administration (1946-49). After retiring from the University of California in 1954, he accepted the position of associate director of research for the AICPA. Later he served as acting director of research (1959-60) and then as assistant director of research (1960-63) until he retired for a second time. During World War II (1942-45) he served in the Office of Price Administration as regional accountant and later as regional economist. While at the University of Michigan, he had worked with the accounting firms of Kapok, Hurst and Dalton (1921-22), and Paton and Ross (1925-30).

He was active in professional organizations, in particular the AAA, serving as president (1950) after having been vice president (1939). He was also a member of many major AAA committees, including the Committees on National Income Accounting and Statement of Cost Principles. He was instrumental in the preparation of three indexes to The Accounting Review covering the periods 1926-50 (including the Paper and Proceedings series,(1917-25), 1951-55, and 1956-62. For the AICPA, he was a member of its Editorial Board, Committee on Accounting Procedure (1951-54), and chairman of its Committee on Terminology (1954). Other professional affiliations included the FEI and the California Society of CPAs.

He wrote numerous articles for professional journals and among his authored works are AAA monographs entitled Principles of Public-Utility Depreciation (1937) and Price-Level Changes and Financial Statements: Basic Concepts and Methods (1956). He also authored Fundamentals of Accounting (1942) and Elementary Accounting with George B. Stenberg and William Niven (1951). In 1961 the AICPA published his 'Cash Flow' Analysis and the Funds Statement. In 1960 he received the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation Accounting Award.

He married Norma Altha Fuller on December 17, 1921; they had two children. Possessed of extraordinary musical talent, he was considered to be a pianist of concert quality. He died on January 9, 1964 at the age of 64.