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MaineYankee It was an interest in statistics that led Lawrence M. Walsh to accounting when he entered the University of Notre Dame in 1937. It was an instinctive grasp of the importance of human relationships that influenced his career within Haskins & Sells and led to his present post as partner in charge of the Miami office. Born in Portland, Maine ("My father was a railroad man who observed the work ethic"), Larry Walsh is a man of strong opinions on a broad range of topics, opinions based solidly on professional expertise and a recognition that the most effective accountant is one who can work as well with people as with numbers. In the late 1930s the number of colleges and universities offering majors in accounting was limited, and H&S recruiting efforts focused on the few schools that graduated accountants with a high level of training. One of the best of these was Notre Dame which, in just the four years during which Larry Walsh attended, was alma mater to EO partners Tom Hogan and Phil Sandmaier, San Francisco PIC Tom Graves, and Detroit PIC Lou MacKenzie. In fact Lou, Larry, and now-deceased partners Fred Voglewede (Mexico City) and Bill Sturm (Memphis) were all members of the class of 1941 at Notre Dame. Offered a position with H&S in his senior year, Larry accepted and in July of 1941 came east for a year's training period, split between classroom work and assignments in the New York office report department. With his New England background, he had set his sights on a transfer to Boston at the end of the year. Like millions of other Americans, Larry found his plans changed and future affected by the outbreak of the Second World War. Because the military services were calling up large numbers of draftees, H&S offices across the country found themselves shorthanded. Four months after Larry started with the Firm, Cincinnati issued an emergency call for a staff accountant. Lured by the office's outstanding reputation as a training ground for new accountants, Larry volunteered and was accepted for the position. "We really had to produce in those days," he recalls. "There was too much work and too few people." After only a year with the Firm, Larry found himself the accountant in charge on several engagements."In charge in those days meant just that," he said. "After I finished field work on an engagement, I often came back to the office and typed the reports." The war finally caught up with him three years after his arrival in Cincinnati. Drafted into the Army, Sergeant Walsh spent the next two years training infantry recruits. During his years in Cincinnati (he rejoined that office after discharge), Larry found many of his ideas on the role of the CPA as a man as well as an accountant coming into sharp focus under the influence of several of the partners and managers. "I was fortunate to have had a 'teacher-student' relationship in the fullest sense with such men as Charlie Swormstedt, Rudy Englert and Elmer Beamer... but to single out just a few would be unfair... it was really a fine office!" It was in 1954 that Larry Walsh, then a manager, was asked by partner John Queenan to prepare and deliver a talk on personnel matters at a managers meeting. That talk proved a turning point in Larry's career. Shortly thereafter Mr. Queenan asked Larry to transfer to Executive Office as national personnel director, a position he accepted. In June of 1955, Larry Walsh was admitted to partnership in the Firm and became the first partner to carry the title of National Personnel Director. Charged with developing and implementing an effective personnel program for the Firm, Larry was not overly burdened by any personnel structure he inherited—it was mostly a case of starting from scratch. During the next five years, with his responsibilities including recruiting, training, salary and personnel policies, Larry began implementing broad programs which formed the base of the personnel practices and policies employed today by the Firm. 'In establishing priorities," Larry remembers, "our first objective was to enhance both the number and quality of our staff." Grade standing was a prime consideration to H&S recruiters. "We wanted the best, and grade standing was the most objective criterion for selecting those we thought had the mental capacity to succeed in the profession." Larry recognized, however, that it was just as important to attempt to gauge how well a student would be able to work with clients and his fellows at H&S. "We looked for accountants whose background revealed an understanding of the service concept, who were articulate, who could relate well to other people." Most of the criteria originally developed by Larry Walsh and those who worked with him eventually became formalized into the same points used today to evaluate those being considered for promotion to manager or for admission to the Firm as partner. His early efforts were directed toward generating more enthusiasm within the Firm for recruiting, highlighting its importance so it would be considered a key function at every practice office. He also began developing a program that would systematically determine the techniques most effective for college recruiting, including college relations, student contact and methods for presenting the image of the professional CPA most effectively to the colleges. It was in this period that Larry coordinated preparation of the first recruiting brochure used by the Firm. "Our recruiting brochure was the second produced by any of the Big Eight firms and was an important factor in strengthening our whole recruiting program," he said. To supplement the recruiting brochure used on campus, a recruiting manual was prepared for use within the Firm covering such topics as interview techniques, how to present effectively the opportunities available 24 Copyrighted -- License from Black Star
Maine Yankee in Miami
Walsh, Lawrence M.
Queenan, John W.
Forer, Henry D.
Walsh, Lawrence M.
Haskins & Sells. Miami Office
Haskins & Sells. New York Office
Haskins & Sells. Cincinnati Office
Haskins & Sells. Philadelphia Office
H&S Reports, Vol. 11, (1974 autumn), p. 24-26
|Source||Originally published by: Haskins & Sells|
|Rights||Copyright and permission to republish held by: Deloitte; Photographs by Mike Carlebach, Black Star|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|