NJCPA History

The History of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA)

The NJCPA is the largest professional organization serving the needs of Garden State CPAs and aspiring CPAs. ;xNLx;;xNLx;What started with four great minds in a basement in Newark has grown into one of the leading communities in the state for accounting professionals. ;xNLx;;xNLx;Today, the NJCPA celebrates its 125th anniversary, acknowledging the tireless work, drive and enthusiasm of so many notable leaders, members and staff. ;xNLx;;xNLx;This timeline shows milestones, accomplishments and initiatives, along with photos and images.

1898-01-19 00:00:00

Membership Milestone

4 members. Membership fee of $5 was assessed.

1898-01-19 00:00:00

Where It All Began

Four New Jersey accountants — Richard Stevens, Andrew Patterson, Leonard Conant and Charles Phelps — held the first meeting of the “Society of Public Accountants of the State of New Jersey” in Room 1017 of the Prudential Building in Newark, NJ, on Jan. 19, 1898.

1898-12-01 00:00:00

Membership Milestone

14 members

1898-12-01 14:56:24

First Legislative Activity

The Society introduced a proposed Act to regulate the accounting profession to New Jersey legislators. Amendments to and advocacy for the Act continued through 1903.

1904-04-05 00:00:00

The Birth of the CPA in New Jersey

Legislation creating the CPA license in New Jersey was signed into law.

1904-05-01 16:55:12

Bylaws Updated

Society bylaws were updated to restrict membership eligibility to only those who “have received the degree of Certified Public Accountant from the State of New Jersey.”

1905-01-01 16:55:12

Membership Milestone

28 members

1905-05-01 16:55:12

New Headquarters

Permanent headquarters for the Society were established at 781 Broad Street in Newark.

1905-05-01 16:55:12

Organization Gets New Name

The Society's first Constitution and Bylaws were adopted under the new name of the Society of Certified Public Accountants of the State of New Jersey.

1906-01-01 06:17:06

Advocacy for Audit Regulations

Society members advocate for rules requiring independent audits.

1910-01-01 06:17:06

Membership Milestone

44 members

1912-09-04 00:00:00

First Female Member

Dora Roworth, CPA, was admitted as the first female NJCPA member. She remained an active member for more than 20 years, including terms as treasurer.

1920-01-01 00:00:00

Membership Milestone

62 members

1923-01-12 00:00:00


The New Jersey Society of CPAs celebrates its 25th anniversary at Newark’s Washington restaurant. Nearly the entire membership attended, including founding member Leonard Conant.

1927-08-30 00:00:00

Educational Fund Established

The Educational Fund - predecessor of the NJCPA Scholarship Fund - was established with a $300 contribution from past president James F. Hughes.

1928-12-20 00:00:00

Professional Conduct Rules Adopted

The Rules of Professional Conduct, which were prepared by the Committee on Ethics, were adopted.

1930-01-01 00:00:00

Membership Milestone

315 members

1931-01-12 00:00:00

First Publication

The first issue of the C.P.A. Bulletin was published.

1933-04-01 00:00:00

Essay Contest

The Society's Committee on Education sponsored an essay contest for undergraduates. The winner received $25 (which is $573 in 2023 dollars).

1934-05-21 00:00:00

Name Change

The organization's name was changed to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants.

1938-01-01 00:00:00

Changes to CPA Qualification

The qualifications to become a CPA were amended to state that candidates must have “satisfactorily completed a four-year high school course, satisfactorily completed a course of study in College” and received two years of full-time experience in public accountant at the office of a CPA.

1938-01-01 00:00:00

New Headquarters

The Society moved to new headquarters at 744 Broad Street, Newark.

1940-01-01 00:00:00

Membership Milestone

481 members

1940-04-01 00:00:00

Code of Ethics

The New Jersey State Board of Public Accountants adopted a Code of Ethics.

1944-01-01 00:00:00

Rules of Conduct

The New Jersey State Board of Public Accountants issued Rules of Conduct.

1946-05-01 00:00:00

Maintaining High Requirements

The Society mounted a campaign to maintain the highest possible professional requirements for the state’s CPAs. This was a contributing factor to a reversal of the nationwide trend toward lowering the requirements.

1948-01-19 00:00:00


The Society held a 50th anniversary celebration that was attended by 417 members and guests. An anniversary book, “Fifty Years of Service,” was published.

1949-01-01 00:00:00

Promoting the Value of the CPA

The Society launched a campaign to better educate the public about CPAs and the value of their services.

1950-01-01 00:00:00

Student Outreach

This brochure from the 1950s was used to promote the CPA profession to high school students.

1950-01-01 00:00:00

Membership Milestone

819 members

1950-09-01 00:00:00

First Accounting Conference

The Society offered the first Accounting Conference, together with Rutgers University School of Business and the Newark Chapter of the National Association of Cost Accountants.

1951-02-01 00:00:00

New Committee

The Society established the Committee on National Defense to promote the effective use of accountants in the armed forces.

1953-01-01 00:00:00

Chapters Established

The membership voted to amend the bylaws to establish local-area chapters.

1954-01-01 00:00:00

Opportunities for the Future

This appeared on the last page of a brochure in 1954 titled "The CPA in New Jersey."

1954-01-01 00:00:00

CPA Profession Grows

50,000 CPAs nationwide

1954-05-14 00:00:00

56th Annual Meeting

The Society's 56th Annual Meeting focused on "The Growing Role of the CPA in an Expanding Economy" - a topic that is just as pertinent today!

1955-01-01 00:00:00

First Black CPA in New Jersey

Wilbur Parker became New Jersey's first Black CPA.

1957-01-01 00:00:00

First CPA Nun

Sister Kathleen Mary of the Sisters of Charity became New Jersey’s first CPA nun.

1957-07-01 00:00:00

New Jersey CPA Journal

One of the oldest publications found in the Society's archives is this July 1957 edition of the New Jersey CPA Journal.

1958-01-01 00:00:00

Membership Milestone

1,528 members

1958-01-01 00:00:00

Corporation Business Tax Is Established

At the request of the New Jersey state government, the Society's Committee on State Taxation worked with the New Jersey Deputy Director of Taxation in the development of the Corporation Business Tax. It was passed into law later in the year.

1959-01-01 00:00:00

The Beginnings of CPE

The Society established the Committee on Professional Development.

1960-01-01 00:00:00

Membership Milestone

1,719 members

1960-01-01 00:00:00

Membership Milestone

1,719 members

1960-01-01 00:00:00

Scholarship Fund Created

The NJSCPA Scholarship Fund was created in 1960. An exam was administered, and 112 students sat for the first exam. The highest scorers each received a $25 U.S. Savings Bond (the equivalent of approximately $250 today).

1963-05-11 00:00:00

New Bylaws

The Society's Constitution, By-Laws and Rules of Professional Conduct were updated.

1964-01-01 00:00:00

Joanne Chuckerel

In 1964, the Society's longest-standing staffer ever started – Joanne Chuckerel. She retired in 2011 after 47 years of service.

1965-01-01 00:00:00

Forward Thinking

In the mid-1960s, two technology-related ad hoc committees were established: one to study “the impact of the computer on the future of the profession” and the other to study electronic data processing.

1965-01-01 00:00:00

New Jersey's CPA Profession Grows

By 1965, there were more than 2,000 CPAs practicing in New Jersey.

1965-01-01 00:00:00

Events and Seminars

It's fun to look back at these event flyers from the 1960s!

NJCPA History

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