HASKINS & SELLS
CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS
BULLETIN EXECUTIVE OFFICES
HASKINS & SELLS BUILDING
37 WEST 39TH ST., NEW YORK
SALT LAKE CITY
VOL. V NEW YORK, OCTOBER 15, 1922 No. 10
The Accountant Who Walks Alone
SELF-RELIANCE is an admirable trait.
Resourcefulness and courage have won
many a battle. Only original thought will
solve certain problems. But the accountant
who is so independent that he refuses
to take counsel; who is so short-sighted
that he is annoyed by advice; and who,
most of all, resents criticism, is headed for
anything but complete success.
Success, obviously, is a relative term.
Any attempt to define it, except in a
flippant manner, meets with a problem
which is at once perplexing and discouraging.
What would fit the condition of one
individual is far from applicable to the next.
Some men measure success in dollars;
others in satisfactory accomplishment. To
some it means position and social standing,
or a goodly portion of creature comforts.
However one might be disposed to
quibble over definitions it would probably
be admitted that progress is an element of
success. He who plods along, year after
year, without elevation in rank or increase
in compensation, may rightly be adjudged
lacking in progress. Such cases, if analyzed,
would probably show as the causes,
extreme diffidence, apathy toward study
or improvement of the mind, and false concepts
of independence founded on conceit
There are accountants who have attained
some measure of success when judged by
comparison with a former state. In the
light of comparison with other men who
started out with them on an equal footing
they are rank failures. In no field as in
accountancy, perhaps, are there such
striking contrasts of success and failure
Those in one group have improved every
opportunity of increasing their fund of
knowledge. Taking the ten talents entrusted
to them they have gained ten more.
Unceasing study, developing the power of
absorbing and classifying information, and
learning to apply their knowledge to each
new problem, have made them increasingly
The other group contains the men who
are content to function in a mechanical
fashion, figuratively speaking, posting the
blue tickets to the left-hand side of the
ledger; the red ones to the right. They
have neglected the precious chance of
learning and of developing mentally. Pride
has kept them from accepting suggestions
as to their work or plan of professional life.