African-American Accountants

Black History Month Series

In honor of black history month, I am combining my love of numbers with my love of history to bring you biographies of African-American CPAs. As pioneers in their field, it wasn’t all about numbers. These men and women helped to bring more opportunities to African American communities and more value to the education African-Americans had access to.

First up on our list of biographies is John Cromwell.

Early Life

John Cromwell Jr. was born in Washington DC in 1883. His family was significantly established in the DC area. John Cromwell Sr. practiced as an attorney and teacher, and he held the title of chief examiner for the United States Postal Service. Also, his sister graduated from Yale University with a Ph.D. John Cromwell Jr continued the family tradition of higher education,  studying at Dartmouth University. “He graduated from Dartmouth as the best student in science in the class of 1906.” ( read more

Jesse B Blayton Sr.

Accountant, Radio Show Owner and Professor

Early Years

Jesse B Blayton was born in Oklahoma, in late 1897 and went to school in Chicago. After graduating, he attended the University of Chicago. Then, Blayton moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to be an accountant. In 1928, Blayton became the first African American Certified Public Accountant in Georgia, and only the fourth nationwide. After receiving his certification, he taught at the University of Atlanta as a Professor. Eventually, his persistence led him to become the president of a bank in Atlanta, but he wasn’t done. read more

Does the NFL Pay Taxes?

The NFL does pay taxes, kind of. The payment is actually voluntarily, kind of.

A Tax Free Start

In the 1900s, the National Football League and the American football league were two separate things, and they didn’t get along. Before the feuding got out of hand, they reached a deal. Instead of two separate leagues, they would join and make two sides of the same coin.

However, there was a catch. The two leagues joining would create a monopoly, seriously violating the anti-trust act. They successfully lobbied for a loop-hole solution to their problem. If they’re suddenly considered a non-profit then anti-trust laws wouldn’t apply. read more

Alexander Hamilton and Taxes

To celebrate Alexander Hamilton’s birthday we’re going to go over Alexander Hamilton’s life and the role he had in building the financial system that we still use today

Alexander Hamilton and taxes, have a complicated and conflict filled history. In fact, Alexander’s entire life seems to have been complicated and conflict filled.

Early Years:

  • 1757: Alexander Hamilton is born
  • 1765: Hamilton’s father left; Hamilton never sees him again.
  • 1768: His mother dies. Alexander Hamilton was just 13. Left with nothing, he moved in with a cousin. Within a year, the cousin committed suicide.
  • 1773: Hamilton’s life improves greatly. His community raised enough funds for him to travel to America for an education.

“I wish there was a war” – A. Hamilton in a letter, 1769

At the same time that Hamilton was studying at King’s College (now Columbia University), the debate over independence was heating up. After the Boston Tea party, Hamilton traveled to Massachusetts, to educate himself on the matter. He strongly sided with the idea of rebellion and joined the military.

Though his career experienced hiccups during the war, by the end of it all Hamilton was back on top. The last battle of the war, Yorktown, Hamilton commanded the New York and Connecticut light infantry battalion. After four days, the British surrendered. In 1781, the war was over. read more

History of Taxes:

Tax Stories from Ancient Times to the 1700’s

While tax season can be a stressful and worrying time, it’s comforting to know you’re not alone. In fact, just about every known civilization throughout history had some sort of tax system.

Ancient World:

Even Mesopotamia, a place that existed before coined money, handled taxes similarly to the present day. They looked at what you had and figured out how much you had to give. Though, of course, back then instead of a check you’d give them, say, a cow. Another big difference is taxes in Mesopotamia taxes could include labor. Citizens sometimes paid their taxes by working on farmlands or even by military service. Yikes! read more