The Rôle and Survival of the Individual Practitioner
BY RICHARD H. GROSSE Partner, Pittsburgh Office
Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Puerto Rico Institute of Certified Public Accountants, San Juan — November, 1958
Iunderstand that a lively interest in this subject has been prompted by the fact that during the last five years five national public accounting
firms have opened new offices in Puerto Rico. Therefore, there seems to be the thought in the mind of the individual practitioner
that these offices will encroach upon his practice. He also seems to feel that he is at a disadvantage with his clients because he is competing with the resources of the national firms. The individual practitioner raises other fearful and hopeful questions, such as these: What advantages does a large firm have over the smaller one? Are there instances where the individual practitioner can render better service than the national firm? Is there any cause for fear that the national firms will attract all clients, thereby eventually eliminating
the individual practitioner? What is the feeling among bankers and other credit grantors?
The able and confident individual practitioner, however, is seeking
answers to questions in a somewhat different area. He is asking such questions as: How can I train, develop, and keep a good staff? What must I do to keep up with current developments in the profession?
How can I render better service to my clients? How can I obtain new clients? How can the individual practitioner render service in the fields of tax planning, management advisory services, systems, business consultant?
STATUS OF ACCOUNTANCY
Now, I realize that in our audience today will be a number of representatives of the national firms. Suppose I were to devote my talk to pointing out that the national firms have all the advantages and can render much better service than the individual practitioner. On the other hand, suppose I were to put emphasis on the individual practitioner by attempting to prove to you that he can do a much better job than the national firm. Perhaps our immediate concern, or at least my concern, should be "the rôle and survival of today's speaker."