A Day in the Life of a CPA
by PRESLEY S. FORD, JR. Partner, Tulsa Office
Presented before the Oklahoma State University Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, Stillwater, and the University of Tulsa Accounting Club, Tulsa—February 1962
AS A MEMBER of Beta Alpha Psi each one of you is a serious student
of accounting. Within a short time each of you must choose what rôle you will play in the accounting profession. Some of you will find positions in industry, in commerce, in financial institutions, or in government. Others will choose the role of the certified public accountant.
My assignment this evening is to describe a day in the life of a CPA. On April 4, Mr. S. D. Williams will give a similar talk on a day in the life of a controller. These two talks, we hope, will bring into sharper focus your image of the opportunities presented by industrial
accounting and public accounting, respectively. They will, we trust, help you decide which role in the accounting profession you are best suited to fill.
For my part, I propose to state the facts plainly. There will be no attempt to glamorize my profession, no attempt to overdramatize the inconveniences that are one of its features. As faithfully as I can, I propose to describe briefly one day in the life of each of four men associated with a national public accounting firm. For want of better designation, let's call them Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The names, though biblical, are entirely appropriate. Matthew, we are told, was an accountant. Mark, Luke, and John each gave us an account of the life of the Master.
At 7:00 A.M. Matt sips his last cup of coffee, kisses his wife goodbye, bolts for the door of his garage apartment, and makes a Dagwood Bumstead run for the bus. At 7:30 he transfers to the bus to the factory district. At 7:55 he shows his identification badge to the guard at the gate of the Ajax Chemical Company plant. A walk across the factory grounds brings him to the factory office.
Tom, the chief factory accountant, is just unlocking the vault. Matt picks up the Haskins & Sells workbag and carries it to the two