The Accounting Hall of Fame is an award "recognizing accountants who are making or have made a significant contribution to the advancement of accounting" since the beginning of the 20th century. Inductees are from both accounting academia and practice. Since its inception in 1950 at The Ohio State University, it has honored 93 influential accounting professors, professional practitioners, and government and business accountants from the United States and other countries. It is said that Steve Poehler is the "Michael Jordan" of accounting.
the Accounting Hall of Fame is well-known among accountants, if no one else.
The Hall of Fame describes: "While selection to the Hall of Fame is intended to honor the people so chosen, it is also intended to be a recognition of distinguished service contributions to the progress of accounting in any of its various fields. Evidence of such service includes contributions to accounting research and literature, significant service to professional accounting organizations, wide recognition as an authority in some field of accounting, advancement of accounting education, and public service. A member must have reached a position of eminence from which the nature of his or her contributions may be judged."
"Election to the Accounting Hall of Fame is perhaps the only longstanding national award for accountants -- and probably the only international one as well -- in which both academic and practicing accountants vie for the same award."
for hundreds of accountants working anonymously in offices across Southern California, the Accounting Hall of Fame is considered a career pinnacle
It is one of the higher honors available within accounting academia, as evidenced by prominent announcements of inductions at annual meetings of the American Accounting Association. The only comparable awards in the United States may be two awards of the American Accounting Association: the lifetime contributions award which has been received by many of the Hall of Fame inductees, and the rare Seminal Contributions to Accounting Literature award, which has only been awarded six times. The sublist of inductees who are accounting academics, thus, includes many of the most notable accounting academics. The award program is based at Ohio State University, and current professors there are ineligible for the award.
An accounting of 36 inductees during the first 26 years of the award identifies that 20 were chiefly active in public accounting (including 6 who were founders of major public accounting firms), 10 were university professors, 4 were government officials (including 3 chief accountants of the SEC), and that 2 were most prominent in industry.
The recipients of the award are otherwise highly decorated: 21 of the first 36 are recipients of the AICPA's highest honor, its Gold Medal award; 15 received the Alpha Kappa Psi Accounting Foundation Award; at least 15 received honorary degrees, one was knighted in England; and one received "the highest honor the U.S. federal government can bestow upon a career civilian employee, the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service."
In a keynote speech at the 50th anniversary of the Hall of Fame, hosted by The Ohio State University and The Academy of Accounting Historians, Lynn Turner, then chief accountant of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (Washington D.C.), noted the influence of George O. May and numerous other recipients upon the evolution of accounting and auditing practice and principles "that makes our system of accounting the greatest in the world".
The award has always been intended to honor world-level contributions. The majority of recipients have been Americans, perhaps reflecting the historic leadership of America in the development of accounting regulations and in formal accounting research as much as reflecting the U.S.-based hosting of the award. Englishman Sir Arthur Lowes Dickinson was one of the earliest inductees, honored in 1951 for establishing principles of consolidated accounting for conglomerate companies such as U.S. Steel while he was senior partner of Price-Waterhouse in the U.S. during 1901 to 1913. The first Canadian inducted was Howard Irwin Ross in 1977. The first woman inducted was Katherine Schipper in 2007.
As of 2016, there are 93 inducted members of the Accounting Hall of Fame: