The Field of Management Services As Seen By The CPA
BY C. CURTIS GABRIELSON Partner, Los Angeles Office
Presented before the Fresno Chapter of The California Society of Certified
Public Accountants, Fresno State College, California—May 1958
WHAT is a real profession ? The best answer to this question that I have heard was given by the Executive Director of the American
Institute, Mr. John L. Carey. He listed the characteristics of a profession as "Technical Competence in a field of knowledge requiring advanced intellectual training; the use of judgment; the acceptance of responsibility, the assumption of authority in its own field; a sense of mission, a desire to help people, a willingness to share their worries, to aid their hard decisions."
Each of these characteristics is important, and no one can be stressed over the other. A sense of mission and the use of judgment certainly are not sufficient without technical competence.
A professional man must be an educated man. A description that appealed to me appeared in Fortune Magazine in an article by Russell Kirk. He said:
A person truly educated in the humane tradition should have an orderly and disciplined mind—so far as any system of training can bring order into private personality. He has been taught the relationship between cause and effect. He should understand
that predictable consequences follow from particular actions. He has in his mind a fund of precedent. He is acquainted
with system. He has been taught a respect for just authority, and that the ego must be kept in check. The complexities
of modern business require precisely those habits of thought that a liberal education has been trying to inculcate in young men these several centuries. Business is concerned with just one thing—making a profit. Of course it is true that a business not run to satisfy the wants of its customers,
one that is mismanaged or dishonest, will die. But the reason for its death, finally, will be lack of profit—thus no capital. And making profit is a very high motive—one that has carried our standing of living above that of all other nations of the world, although our start was below, the standard enjoyed by many countries when our country was founded. Profit is the reason lying back of our terrific progress in health and welfare, the great drug companies and world-renowned doctors and surgeons having their origins in this country.