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    Maurice Moonitz
    memorial posted September 23, 2009 by Deirdre Harris, last edited January 27, 2010 by Judy Cothern, tagged 2009, memorial 
    colleague's name:
    Maurice Moonitz
    1910 - 2009

    Maurice Moonitz, who was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 31, 1910, died on July 24, 2009 at the age of 98. He served as vice president in 1958 and president in 1978-79 of the American Accounting Association. In 1985, he received the AAA’s Outstanding Accounting Educator Award.  In 1979, he was inducted as the 39th member of the Accounting Hall of Fame at The Ohio State University. He was best known to professional accountants as the first Director of Accounting Research at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) from 1960 to 1963 and as a member of the Accounting Principles Board (APB) from 1963 to 1966.


    Moonitz received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in 1933 and 1936, respectively, and a Ph.D. from Berkeley in 1941. He was an instructor for five years at the University of Santa Clara and for two years at Stanford University and then spent three years on the staff of Arthur Andersen & Co. in San Francisco prior to joining the Berkeley accounting faculty in 1947. He retired from Berkeley in 1978, becoming a Professor Emeritus. While on leave in 1966-68, he was founding director of the Lingnan Institute of Business Administration, in the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    Perhaps his two most widely cited publications were The Basic Postulates of Accounting and A Tentative Set of Broad Accounting Principles for Business Enterprises (with Robert T. Sprouse), published as accounting research studies in 1961 and 1962, respectively, by the AICPA. They were to form the basis for the newly created APB’s major initiative on establishing the accounting principles to underlie its future Opinions.

    Moonitz wrote or edited 14 books and monographs and more than 70 articles and book reviews in his long career. Many of his articles were published in a two-volume anthology entitled Selected Writings, published by Garland in 1990. He once wrote that he had a long and abiding interest in the concept of entity in accounting theory, and his monograph, The Entity Theory of Consolidated Statements, published by the AAA in 1944 and reprinted twice, and also published in Japanese translation, continues to be an influential work today. The main lines of his research have been the standard-setting process and enforcement (both in accounting and auditing), accounting for the effects of changing prices, and the theory and practice of financial reporting.

    Moonitz was an accomplished violinist and loved to play with chamber music groups in California and New York. He was married twice and is survived by his three children, Judy, David, and Elaine.


    Stephen A. Zeff