This paper examines the structure of the occupation of accounting in Australia between 1944 and 1951 and the problems for the accounting associations caused by the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme. In particular, accounting education was caught between the Commonwealth government's post-war reconstruction policies and the accounting associations' desire to be recognized as a ‘profession’. Control of accounting education is argued to be one dimension of professionalism, yet managing this condition was a problem for the accounting associations when accounting education shifted to universities and technical colleges. The paper explores how two accounting associations managed their attempts to control accounting education through strategies of co-operation, competition and conflict. It shows how (higher) education was not simply a passive recipient of demands by the professionalising associations. Instead, it manifested a robust institution which was supported by the state in establishing accounting education within its domain. Further, the paper offers evidence of (higher) education's capacity to negotiate arrangements with the accounting associations.