|Previous||1 of 2||Next|
42 HASKINS & SELLS June Recasting Procedure NEVER perhaps in the history of the accountancy profession has opportunity knocked harder at the door. The opportunity exists in rendering to clients a service more distinctly helpful, more genuinely valuable, and manifestly more useful to business administration. It is traditional of the public accountant that he has looked upon his functions largely as confined to reviewing and verifying. For some unknown reason he has thought it unfitting that he should go beyond the accuracy and truth of recorded financial transactions and their statement in technical form. His sphere has been considered to preclude him from possessing business intelligence and judgment in matters outside of accounting technique. Here and there, however, certain accountants have broken away from the hide-bound notions which circumscribe the traditional accountant in his work. To the amazement of their fellow practitioners such presumptuous accountants have become eminently successful in the establishment of practice. Why they are so sought after by business men and bankers is a mystery to those whose concepts of practice permit of no change. To paraphrase a well known advertisement, "The client's nose knows," and there is abundant evidence to show that this discriminating sense has detected a bad odor on the part of the accountant who persists in selling clerical service and typewritten sheets at professional rates. Is there any wonder, when an accountant approaches an engagement with some business intelligence and not only verifies facts and figures but tries to interpret the data and results examined, that he is preferred over the one who leaves nothing helpful with the client who pays the fee? Is there any comparison in the matter of respect on the part of a client between an accountant who gives him a copy of his books with a recital of the verification procedure and one who in addition to verifying, points out trouble-spots, inefficiencies, unsound policies, and wrong practices, and suggests remedies? Is there any doubt if such suggestions are practical and sensible that they will be favorably received? Naturally, an accountant who recommends tearing down and reconstructing all the plant buildings in order to adapt them to some advanced scientific production scheme will find little favor with a client. But such suggestions are not comprehended in the sensible class and breed contempt rather than the confidence on which professional service rests. There is a growing tendency on the part of those who have occasion to utilize the services of public accountants to expect more constructive service. Accounting is a means to an end. It has too long been regarded as the end. The accountant is presumed to know not only how to obtain results but what the results mean. Business men are coming more and more to expect that accountants will tell them what interpretations may be placed on the figures which the accounting process produces; how the conclusions may be applied to the future conduct of the business. Postmortems in the practice of medicine do more than satisfy curiosity. They afford a basis for more intelligent future practice. The growing expectations of clients place a somewhat new and heavier responsibility on public accountants. Somewhat clumsy in their methods, steeped in traditional technique, woefully weak in their ability to interpret, and frequently devoid of business judgment, accountants who would meet the demands of modern practice are confronted with the task of getting busy on a new program of thought, study and methods of procedure.
Accounting as a profession
Haskins & Sells Bulletin, Vol. 07, no. 06 (1924 June), p. 42-43
|Source||Originally published by: Haskins & Sells|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Libraries. Accounting Collection|
|Identifier||HS Bulletin 7-p42|