THE PROFESSIONS' ROLE IN PROFIT IMPROVEMENT
These remarks are addressed to the CPA as a business advisor — an improver of operations and profits. Much of what will be said will be in the frame of reference of the public accounting profession. The same comments apply to the CPA in industry, because he, too, has a unique background and expertise that makes his role essential as advisor in his company. I plan to demonstrate that the CPA has a unique contribution to make in this role of business advisor and to convince you that if the CPA is not accepting this role and fulfilling it to the maximum, he is really not doing the job of which he is capable and which is expected of him.
The theme of this meeting and the subject of my talk can be summarized in a few words:
[The accountant] must not only recognize business conditions, but prescribe remedies ... devise systems and methods by which his clients' affairs may be kept in wholesome, vigorous working activity ..., he must be able to install such a system and such methods, and train the staff of the concern for which it is devised to cooperate in reaching results in profits which will insure business success.
Robert D. Niemeyer, 1971? No, Charles W. Haskins, 1904, in his book on accounting education requirements.
This means that this subject is not a new one and that perhaps we can get the right perspective if we first cover some history before considering the present and the future of the CPA as an advisor to business. When you look back you find that business advice has been the primary function of the profession since its founding. For example:
by Robert D. Niemeyer Partner, Executive Office
Presented before the 1971 Southwest Management Institute, Dallas — October 1971