Obituary: Professor David Flint CA

By CA Today

17 May 2017

ICAS Past President, Professor David Flint CA, who lived latterly in Auchterarder, died on Sunday 14 May 2017 aged 98.

He was born on 24 February 1919 and admitted to ICAS membership on 28 March 1949. David was educated at the University of Glasgow where he read a range of subjects including economics and law, being awarded an MA in 1939 and a BL, in absentia in 1942.

David’s accountancy career began when he entered the Glasgow office of Mann, Judd, Gordon & Co on 14 August 1939 as an apprentice. However, 10 days into his apprenticeship he was mobilised as a Territorial Army Officer and served in the Royal Corps of Signals for seven years. During this time, he was present during the D-Day landings, as a consequence of which he received the Legion d'Honneur last year, given by France to recognise surviving veterans of that day.

On returning to civilian life, David completed his apprenticeship and qualified as a chartered accountant.

David went on to enjoy an incredibly successful career with the firm, quickly rising through the ranks to become senior partner.

His illustrious academic career began in 1964 when he was appointed Johnston Smith Chair of Accountancy at the University of Glasgow. He also held the positions of Dean of the Faculty of Law, an additional appointment to Chair of Accountancy and Vice Principal.

David Flint
Professor David Flint CA and his wife Dorothy. 

Before being appointed President of ICAS in 1975, David made valuable contributions to the ICAS education programme.

He lectured on “Investigations, Valuations etc” between 1953 and 1956 and served as the assistant examiner in law.

One of David’s son, Douglas Flint CA, followed his father as a prominent member of the profession, becoming  a partner in what would become KPMG before joining HSBC as Group Finance Director and ultimately being appointed Group Chairman.

In 2013, David was awarded the inaugural ICAS lifetime achievement award. On presenting David with his award Sir David Tweedie cited a quotation from his work: “I believe in academic education for accountants, and I believe in the function of accounting as a vital force in society,” he said, “and I believe in auditing – two different subjects but both of them vital to our kind of democracy.”

Anton Colella, CEO of ICAS said, “The contributions Professor Flint made not just to ICAS but to the accountancy profession as a whole are immeasurable.

“His passion for the profession captivated and inspired all who were lucky enough to meet him. This truly wonderful man will be sadly missed.”  

Former Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board Sir David Tweedie was apprenticed to David, his first employer.

Sir David said: “David was an inspirational figure for generations of accountants. His classes at the University of Glasgow were legendary and affected the attitudes of his students for decades later.

“He was an example of all that is best in our profession.”


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