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Harry Anson Finney Collection

Identifier: SC-017

Scope and Contents

Series I: Personal files, 1917-1958, undated, consists of personal files such as original certificates in accounting, various correspondence, portraits, a wooden plaque made for Finney given to him from a former student, and publication advertisements related to his book called "Lawyer's Guide to Accounting".


  • Created: 1913-1958


Conditions Governing Access

The entire collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical or Historical Information

Harry A. Finney, the son of Solon Burroughs and Ellen Bike Finney, was born in Postville, Iowa on November 19, 1886. He attended the University of Chicago and received his Ph.B. degree in 1913. Upon graduation, He started taking graduate courses in accounting at the Northwestern University, Illinois. In 1917, he obtained an Illinois Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate. Two years later, he became a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and later served as a member of the Institute's Committee on Accounting Procedure from 1949 to 1953. Harry A. Finney married to Lois Ingram on November 24, 1920 and had three children; Richard Anson, Stephen Ingram, Janet Sue. On February 9, 1946, Harry remarried to Hazel M. Hale. Finney spent most of his professional life as a Professor of Accounting at the Northwestern University. He also was a practicing accountant, first with the firm of Haskins & Sells Co. and later as a partner in his own firm, Baumann, Finney & Co.

The first edition of "Principles of Accounting" was published in 1923. Eventually, the one book led to the development of principles books for introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels. His three-level Principles texts sold over three million copies, which placed them in the best-selling category for more than three decades. Professor Herbert E. Miller of the University of Michigan joined him in preparing the fourth edition of "Principles of Accounting, Introductory" and the partnership of Finney & Miller became the accounting author team of the 1950s and 1960s.

Professor Finney's large sales are a tribute to his ability as a writer of educational textbooks. Although the Principles series are his best known and most widely used books, he wrote nine other books. His first book, "Modern Business Arithmetic", was written with Joseph C. Brown in 1916. This was followed by "Introduction to Actuarial Science", which was published by the AICPA in 1920. His next book, "Mathematics of Accounting and Finance", was written with Seymour Walton and published in 1921. His last book, "Lawyer's Guide to Accounting", was coauthored with Richard Oldberg in 1955.

Harry Finney semi-retired and moved to central Florida in 1953, eventually settling in Winter Park. He continued to work on revisions of his books until his death on May 8, 1966. His wife, Hazel, remained in Winter Park until her death in 1985. The entire personal library of Harry A. Finney was donated by his stepson Allen Morris to the University of Central Florida, School of Accounting shortly after her death.


1.5 Linear Feet (2 Boxes)


Harry Anson Finney was a well-known American accountant, teacher, and an author. He joined the Haskins & Sells Accounting firm in 1923 and later on he resigned and founded the firm, Baumann, Finney & Company. He taught at the Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois as a Professor of Accounting until his retirement in 1944. Finney published serious of textbooks known as "Principles of Accounting" and also served as an editor for the Journal of Accountancy from 1920 to 1928. Harry A. Finney collection is comprised of his certificates, correspondence, photographs, publication advertisements, books, and a wooden plaque given to Finney from one of his former students.

Method of Acquisition

Allen Morris donated these materials to the University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives in 1989 (CFM1989_05).

Related Materials

Harry Anson Finney Collection contains reference books that played a role in the development of Accounting theory and practice. Books may be found in the Online Catalog by searching the series "The Finney collection" or by clicking [url=]here.[/url]

Processing Information

Materials were arranged in chronological order and then placed into pH neutral folders and boxes. Photographs were placed in polyester sleeves. The wooden plaque is placed in a separate protective case.
Harry Anson Finney Collection
Suphi Burak Ogreten
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the UCF Special Collections Repository

Special Collections & University Archives
University of Central Florida Libraries
P.O. Box 162666
Orlando Florida 32816-2666 US
(407) 823-2576