Management Advisory Services at Haskins & Sells
By ROBERT D. ARNETT Principal, Seattle Office
Presented before the University of Washington
Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi — March 1960
THE PRACTICE of counseling with clients on business matters has
been an activity of certified public accountants for many years. Initially, it was confined to such financial areas as balance-sheet ratios, inventory turnover, and gross-margin problems. These subjects of discussion with clients are considered a standard part of normal auditing
service activity, but nevertheless, represent a form of counseling service.
As certified public accountants seek to provide their clients with improved service, it is natural to extend and emphasize the advisory activity. The certified public accountant has an intimate knowledge of the client's business affairs developed through years of close association.
He also has his client's confidence and respect, which is important in the implementation of recommendations. The continuing relationship between CPA and client insures careful follow-up and assistance in application of any improvement.
Many firms, including Haskins & Sells, have designated specific individuals to specialize in this type of service. This does not mean that audit staff members avoid these areas; on the contrary, we encourage
our men to be thinking of client problems and ways in which they and Haskins & Sells can further serve the client by assistance in solving these problems.
Designating certain individuals to specialize in management advisory
work simply recognizes that many areas of advisory service are sufficiently specialized that concentrated attention on current developments
and methods is required to provide our clients with the very best service.
It is also practical to have a separate management services group engage in advisory activities that sometimes require several months of service time. Audit staff men serve many clients on a recurring basis, which limits time available for extended special service work.
Our management advisory services staff works very closely with the audit staff. This cooperation is beneficial to both the audit and