Anthony, Robert N. 1916-2006

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Anthony, Robert N. 1916-2006

(Robert Newton Anthony)

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born September 6, 1916, in Orange, MA; died December 1, 2006, in Hanover, NH. Accountant, educator, and author. Anthony was a former Harvard professor whose accomplishments included improving accounting practices in the U.S. military and making the discipline of accounting more comprehensible and interesting to both students and businesspeople. After completing his B.A. at Colby College in 1938 and a master’s degree in business administration at Harvard in 1942, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Anthony then returned to his studies at Harvard, where he received his D.C.S. in 1952. He joined the Harvard faculty and was promoted to Ross Graham Walker Professor of Management Control in 1963. Anthony would teach at Harvard for the rest of his academic career, retiring in 1982; however, from 1965 to 1968 he worked as secretary comptroller for the U.S. Department of Defense. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara had specifically requested Anthony’s services in order to bring accounting practices in line among the five military branches in an effort to curtail wasteful spending. Anthony is credited with establishing procedures that made it far easier to track down inappropriate expenses. He received the Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Defense Department for his work. As a teacher and author, Anthony was widely praised by students, colleagues, and business executives for making the field of accounting more palatable and intellectually engaging. In this way, he contributed greatly to making the discipline a more appreciated part of doing business. Among the over two dozen books he wrote or cowrote are Management Accounting: Text and Cases (1956; 11th edition, 2004), Essentials of Accounting (1964; 8th edition, 2003), Accounting Principles (1965; 7th edition, 1995), Management Control of Nonprofit Organizations (1975; 7th edition, 2003), and Management Control Systems (11th edition, 2004). His other more recent titles include Financial Accounting in Nonbusiness Organizations (1978), Tell It Like It Was (1983), Future Directions for Financial Accounting (1984), The New Corporate Director (1986), The Management Control Function (1988), Should Business and Nonbusiness Accounting Be Different? (1989), and Rethinking the Rules of Financial Accounting (2003). He also created the computer software title Teach Yourself the Essentials of Accounting (1999). After retiring from teaching, Anthony worked as the town auditor of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, for ten years. A former president of the American Accounting Association, he was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame.



New York Times, December 18, 2006, p. A25.

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Anthony, Robert N. 1916-2006

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