From: "Canadian Men & Women of the time
Ed. By Henry James Morgan, Toronto, William Briggs, Richmond Street West, 1898
Ross, Philip S., chartered accountant, was born of Scottish parentage, at Belfast, Ireland, August 1827. Educated at Glasgow, Scotland he received his business training in the service of the Monkland Iron and Steel Company, Scotland, and came to Montreal June 1851.
Following a mercantile career there for some years, he retired there from his appointment as Official Assignee under the Insolvent Act, 1874. On the organization of the Chartered Accountants into a separate body, he was chosen V.P., and since then has been elected president of the Association.
He is an active member of the Montreal Board of Trade and he holds commissions. from nearly all the Provincial Governments, empowering him to take affidavids for use in their respective provinces. Among other offices held by him, he is secretary of the Sailor's Institute. Politically he is a Conservative.
Address: 26 University
by: John Alistair and Rosemary Ross, c1978
Reprinted with permission from Ian Ross
They tell the story of how Philip Simpson Ross arrived on this side of the Atlantic and immediately wrote to his Minister in Scotland. He explained that he wished to get married and that there were two girls in Scotland, and it really made no difference which one he married, but would the Minister please talk to them and send one out so he could be married.
Quite a few months passed and then Christina Chalmers Dansken arrived and they were married in Portland, Maine, U.S.A. in 1856. The Old Boy was quite provoked that she took so long to come out and demanded the reason. Her reply was - "Could not make up my mind whether to marry your brother back in Scotland or come out and marry you."
Nearly 150 years ago, in 1827, Philip Simpson Ross was born in Ireland of Scottish Parents, his Father being stationed there at the time in the Army. The Family originally came from the banks of the Forth, where they had lived for many generations.
He and his Family returned to Glasgow where he lived until he left for Canada in 1851 at the age of 26 where he arrived as a complete stranger with only five (5) Pounds in his pocket. He heard of an opening for a young man in Perth, Ontario, and he journeyed by boat up the Ottawa River and hiked the remaining distance. It makes the plight of the modern immigrant seem very unimpressive. He secured the position and received the then handsome sum of three (3) Pounds per week. About a year later his Fiance came over from Scotland and they were married in Portland, Maine.
After a few brief visits to other parts of Canada, Philip and his wife, Christina Dansken, settled in Montreal and opened a Ship's Chandlers Shop, selling rope and other Ship's Supplies on Grey Nun Street in Old Montreal, by the Harbour. In the long winter months, however, when the St. Lawrence River was frozen over, his business was idle.
Fortunately, he had been trained in Bookkeeping in Glasgow and so he decided to offer, to a few of his friends, his services in writing up Accounts, passing goods through Customs, etc. The business flourished to such an extent that in 1858 Philip Ross decided to retire from the Ship's Chandlers Shop to devote his time to the more profitable Accounting. There was in those days no formal Auditing Profession in existence in Canada and it is rather an interesting commentary on the casualness of early days to note that the engraved announcement he sent out to his friends in 1858 spelt his name incorrectly.
Philip Ross from that date, devoted himself entirely to the Accounting Business which was the earliest Accounting Firm in Canada and was one of the Founding Members of the predecessor to the Quebec Institute of Chartered Accountants which was the second such Institute in the world (after Scotland).
His Shop was kept by two of his Brothers, William Ross and James Ross, who had come from Scotland to join him. This business continued for many years under the name of "Ross Brothers & Co."
The following Ad is of interest
but I don't know where the "Bro." came from.
At that time there was no formal Accounting Profession in Canada. In fact, it was not until 1879 that the Association of Accountants in Montreal was formed. This Association of which Philip S. Ross was one of the original members, was the first Professional Body in Canada and the predecessors of the present Order of Chartered Accountants of Quebec. The Association of Accountants in Montreal held its' first meeting on December 5, 1879. The Association obtained the status of Incorporation in 1880 and was the first to be Incorporated in Canada, later becoming the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Quebec.
Philip Simpson Ross had five sons, all of whom were to have long business careers. The eldest, Philip D. Ross, entered the Newspaper business on graduating from McGill University in Engineering, moved to Ottawa and Founded the Ottawa Journal (or took it over when it was struggling), one of the most influential Newspapers in Canada. For over sixty (60) years he was its Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He died in the summer of 1949, aged 92 years.
In 1884, the Firm became known as P. S. Ross & Sons.
Letter to J. G. Ross from P. S. Ross on the occasion of J. G.'s proposed trip to Scotland :
(Note J. G. never made the trip)
William retired from the profession in 1896 and proceeded to a rather dramatic business career, during which, among other positions, he became President of the Asbestos Corporation of Canada. Three sons remained in the Accounting business : James, who took time out during World War I to act as Paymaster General of the Canadian Forces overseas and John and Alexander (the fourth and fifth sons who were identical twins) were active in the Firm until they died in the 1940's. They were both over six feet in height and habitually wore Morning Coats and Silk Hats and must have made a conspicuous pair at the various Accounting gatherings they attended, their fame consequently spreading as they were apt to take advantage of their similarity by playing tricks on unsuspecting folk.
By the year 1900, Philip S. Ross had retired from the Accounting business and he died in Montreal in 1907 at the age of 80.
Philip Simpson Ross and George A. Touche had began what is now one of the largest Firms of Accountants in the world - Touche Ross & Company. Both Scots who travelled far from their homes, they were eventually to cross paths after which each had founded his own Firm, Philip S. Ross in Canada and George A. Touche in the U. K., the U. S. and Canada.
In the 1950's Lybrand Ross Bros. of the U.S.A. were looking around for a Firm in Great Britian with whom they could make a working arrangement. J. G. Ross and his brothers had met the Ross Bros., in the U.S.A. back in the early 1900's and had entered into an arrangement whereby P. S. Ross & Sons did all the U.S. work in Canada for Lybrand Ross Bros., on a commission basis. They did not think our English Accounting Firm was large enough and so they made a working arrangement with Cooper's Accounting Firm which was making a name for themselves in opening Branches throughout the world. Cooper's representatives in Canada was McDonald, Currie & Co.
Lybrand and Coopers then suggested that P. S. Ross & Sons and McDonald, Currie merge in Canada and become part of Coopers and Lybrand. After considerable thought and discussion between the Partners of P. S. Ross & Sons, this was turned down for various reasons, one being that we were both large in various Cities and neither of us had very many Offices across Canada.
Later Howard Ross got talking to Bill Munroe of George A. Touche of Canada about working together. P. S. Ross & Sons then merged with George A. Touche of Canada under the name of Ross Touche & Co. When Touche Niven, Baily and Smart of the U.S.A. heard of this they suggested that we consider joining with them and George A. Touche of England, in an International Parterership. Each Country to still control their own affairs in their own Country, but to do any International work in all other Countries under the name of Touche, Ross Baily and Smart. This International Firm then asked Accounting Firms all over the world to work with them on the same basis, that is, they would retain their names and control of their own work in their own Country. However, any work sent to them from Canada, Great Britian or the U.S.A. would be done under the International name. Most important in this was the fact that they were to do the work under our standards of Audit requirements. Later the name was changed to Touche Ross & Co. The Consulting Associates connected with the Firm work under the name of P. S. Ross and Partners.
In March 1975 the Montreal Office of Touche Ross & Co., signed the Financial Statements of the above Company which marked the 100 consecutive years in which they had been the Auditors of the Sun Life Assurance Company.
The Sun Mutual Life Insurance Company had been founded on March 18, 1865 by Matthew Hamilton Gault, who later became Managing Director.
When the 1875 Financial Statements
were presented to the Shareholders on March 26, 1876, the Chairman stated
"The books of the Company have been subjected to a most sifting examination
by P.S. Ross Esq., who is acknowledged to
be a very competent Auditor." Here follows his Report -
Philip Simpson Ross was elected to the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 1984. He was in the first 30 persons so honoured. This Canadian Business Hall of Fame is situated in the C.N. Tower in Toronto.
The Firm, which he started
with his two sons as a "Montreal based" Company, has developed into a National
and International organization, one of the "Big Eight" Firms in the Chartered
*Researching Philip Simpson Ross...........
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