What the Pharmacist Should Expect from His Independent Accountant
by J. WILLIAM STEWART, JR. Partner, Charlotte Office
Presented before the Annual Meeting of the American College
of Apothecaries, Montreal, Canada—September 1968
WHEN making arrangements last month to address this group today, your executive secretary furnished me with some background information about the college. Included was the fact that there are presently about 425 full fellows in the college, who operate a total of about a thousand pharmacies. This works out to an average of about 2½ pharmacies each. Although I have no knowledge of what the size of a typical pharmacy might be (on the basis of annual revenues), I must assume that even the largest enterprise in which any college member has an ownership interest would still fit the category of "small business" as that term is defined by the U. S. Small Business Administration.
(This classification includes retailers or dealers in services with an annual volume under $1,000,000.) It might be of interest to note that of about 5 million separate business entities estimated to exist in the United States a few years ago, probably over 95 per cent would be considered small by SBA standards. "Small business" obviously is of great importance to the economy as a whole, and of course comprises the majority of clients, and major source of potential clients, of independent
accountants. Accordingly, my remarks today will be applicable to the relationship of small businessmen in general with their independent public accountants. But I hope some specifics concerning pharmacists will evolve from what I shall have to say.
To introduce this subject, it may be appropriate to direct a few words to those not familiar with independent public accountants to describe just what an independent CPA (in the United States) or CA (in Canada) is and what comprises his business.
The CPA or CA is a person who, in most cases, decided early in life to pursue a career as a professional examiner and advisor in the world of business. His education has included specialized training, but nevertheless has been well rounded. When the profession was younger, it generally was not required that he be a college graduate,