Level: Category
Miscellaneous archives; Societies' and Organisations' records
Level: Fonds
Scope and Content:
The then County Accountants' Society was formed by a resolution of a meeting of eight County Accountants, called by the County Accountant of Warwickshire and held in Birmingham on 11 June 1903 'to consider various matters in relation to the Education Act 1902'. Membership, which was by subscription, was open to County Accountants and Finance Clerks of the counties of England and Wales (re-defined under the constitution of 1927 as the Chief Financial Officers of such counties). Deputies' groups existed from 1945. From 1926 a president and a vice-president were elected annually; lists of the presidents appear in the annual reports from 1979 (D/Z 313/3/4). The name of the society was changed in 1950 to the Society of County Treasurers.

Several meetings were held each year, normally in London, discussing a wide variety of questions connected with local government finance. Minutes of the meetings were printed from the outset, and bound into numbered volumes, each with its own index, normally untitled but entitled from 1923 (volume 6) to 1946 (volume 13) 'Proceedings of the County Accountants' Society'. The minutes ceased to be bound up in 1963, but the loose minutes of each meeting continued to be paginated as if for binding, and these reports continued to be indexed individually until they ceased to be printed in 1975. From September 1904 onwards the minutes were marked 'private and confidential', and under the constitutions of 1927 and 1957 were supplied to members only (D/Z 313/1/7, p. 39; D/Z 313/1/18, p. 114).

The minutes are not signed, although there are references to the chairman signing minutes (for example in 1904 (D/Z 313/1/1, p. 28) and 1919 (D/Z 313/1/5, p. 116)) and the constitutions of 1927 and 1957 required such signatures (D/Z 313/1/7, p. 35, and D/Z 313/1/18, p. 111). No other set of minutes, nor any records of the society other than those listed here, are known to survive.

From about 1906 the society was much involved in gathering statistics on the finances and activities of county councils, and the returns it produced were available for sale. Not all the returns produced were incorporated into the minutes, and they were omitted altogether after 1956. However some of the returns, at least, were also published in the County Councils Association Gazette (D/Z 313/1/18, p. 103). This area of work declined after about 1975 with the establishment of a Statistical Information Service within the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

In 1952-1953 and again in 1975 the society considered publishing a history of the office of County Treasurer, a draft having been produced on the latter occasion by Ralph H.A. Chisholm (D/Z 313/2/18, p. 30). The work seems never to have appeared.

The secretaryship of the society was held by the representatives of Warwickshire 1903-1910, Essex 1910-1926, Cheshire 1926-1931, West Sussex 1931-1948, Middlesex 1948-1955, Nottinghamshire 1955-1957, Cheshire 1957-1965, Somerset 1965-1972, Berkshire 1972-1980, Humberside 1980-1986, Lincolnshire 1986-[1990?], Staffordshire [1990?]-1992, Essex 1992-1997, and Nottinghamshire from 1997. From 1922 a co-secretary was also elected.

The E.R.O. accepted custody of the society's archives in 1997, following the retirement of the Essex County Treasurer as secretary of the society.