the personal Archives of Raymond John Chambers (1917-1999) Professor of Accounting

The Chambers item lists are in PDF format.

Raymond John Chambers was born 16 November 1917 and educated in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. He was awarded a scholarship to study economics at the University of Sydney where he graduated in 1939. He was the first full time lecturer in accounting at the University of Sydney and was appointed to the University's foundation Chair of Accounting in 1960 - a position he held till his retirement in 1983.

Chambers has been described by his 20th century peers as an "accounting pioneer" (Moonitz, Abacus 1982) and "intellectual giant" of the 20th century (George Staubus, Accounting Horizons, 2003) - truly a "Renaissance man" (Giuseppe Galassi, private correspondence with Graeme Dean, 2000). He was selected by Dick Edwards (1994) as one of his Twentieth Century Accounting Thinkers. What is not so well known, especially by younger accounting academics, is the role he played in lifting the status of accounting to that of an equal in the the University. He fought for this for half a century.

Internationally recognised as an eminent scholar in his lifetime, the intellectual contributions of Chambers include a dozen books and more than 200 articles. In 1965 he became the founding editor of Abacus, Australia’s leading international academic journal of accounting. Chambers is especially known for his proposed new system of accounting, Continuously Contemporary Accounting (CoCoA), which earned him the Degree of Doctor of Science in Economics in 1973 from the University of Sydney, and election as fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. In recognition of his services to commerce and education he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1978.

Chambers became the first person outside North America to be appointed as the Distinguished International Lecturer by the American Accounting Association. In 1991 he was awarded the Association’s prestigious Outstanding Educator’s Award and was, at the time the first non-US resident to be inducted into the Ohio Accounting Hall of Fame.

1945 – 1952 Lecturer, School of Management, Sydney Technical College
1953 – 1954 Senior Lecturer, Accounting, University of Sydney
1955 – 1959 Associate Professor, Accounting, University of Sydney
1958 – 1966 Chairman, University Co-operative Bookshop Ltd
1959 Relm Foundation Fellow (USA)
1967 Director, The Nestlé Co. (Aust.) Ltd
1960 Professor, Accounting, University of Sydney
1960 – 1961 President, Australian Association of University Teachers
1962 Visiting Professor, University of Chicago
1963 – 1970 Chairman, Appointments Board, University of Sydney
1965 – 1974 Editor, Abacus
1966 Visiting Professor, University of California (Berkeley)
1967 Visiting Professor, University of Washington; AICPA gold medal (USA)
1970 Visiting Professor, University of Florida; Visiting Professor, University of Kansas
1971 Leverhulme Foundation Fellow, Waseda University, Tokyo
1975 President, NSW Division, Australian Society of Accountants
1976 Distinguished International Lecturer, American Acc. Association; Alpha Kappa Psi Award
1977 – 1978 National President, Australian Society of Accountants
1978 Chairman, Accounting Standards Review Committee (NSW)

Clarke, F.L., Dean, G.W. and P.W. Wolnizer, 'Rejoinder to Forum on Chambers' "The Poverty of Accounting Discourse" - More questions than answers?', Accounting Education, Vol.14, No.1 March, 2005, pp. 39-51.

Program for the RJ Chambers memorial Lecture (2004)

See also:
Contemporary Accounting Thought: Essays in Honour of Raymond J. Chambers, Prentice-Hall of Australia, Sydney, c1984