ERNST & YOUNG is an international accounting firm with more than 600 offices worldwide, including more than 100 offices in the U.S. One of the country's "Big 6" accounting firms, it traces its origins locally to the firm of Ernst & Ernst. In 1903 Alwyn C. and Theodore Ernst opened an accounting office in the Schofield Bldg. (E. 9th St. Tower). The 2-man operation struggled for existence at a time when accounting was considered little more than routine bookkeeping. After Theodore had left the firm in 1906, Alwyn C. remained the managing partner until his death in 1948. Novel for its time, Alwyn C.'s concept of accounting as a creative discipline was the foundation of Ernst & Ernst's success. Implementing his philosophy, Ernst created the Special Services Dept. in 1908, the predecessor of current management-consulting services. The first offices outside Cleveland were opened in Chicago and New York in 1909, followed by several other cities in quick succession. During the 1920s, the firm became national in scope, opening 26 more offices and moving its Cleveland office to the Union Trust (Huntington) Bldg. In 1923 Ernst entered into a working agreement with Sir Arthur Whinney and Sir Chas. Palmour, partners of the British accounting firm Whinney, Murray & Co. The arrangement proved to be mutually satisfactory, and over the years it evolved into Whinney, Murray, Ernst & Ernst, the international operations of Ernst & Ernst. A reorganization in 1979 resulted in the formation of Ernst & Whinney Intl., with international offices in New York and national headquarters in Cleveland. In 1989 Ernst & Whitney merged with Arthur Young of New York as Ernst & Young. While the chairman is located in New York, the firm maintained 4 national offices in Cleveland (Natl. City Ctr.), New York, Washington, and Dallas. In 1993 Ernst & Young employed 20,000 nationally and 64,000 worldwide.