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I It is a quality shop, in which Art Schwertfeger, partner in charge of the Chicago office of Haskins & Sells, takes great pride. It aims at absolute accuracy, impeccable content, handsome appearance, punctual production and efficiency. Art shows genuine enthusiasm when he talks about the work of the Chicago Report Department. 'There are so many things that they do here, and do so well," he says, as he displays a variety of multilith products of the department. "This shows you what people can do when they are innovative." He holds up a small, handsome catalog of the art works that decorate the Chicago office, in which H&S people can identify title and artist of each print and piece of sculpture. Then he shows a green-covered annual report, decorated with a golf course landscape, that the Report Department produced for a country club. Next to it is a report for a 2 5-year old company, covered in silver stock in recognition of the company's silver anniversary. Report departments are frequently overlooked in discussions of who is who, and who does what, in public accounting firms. Yet, as Art Schwertfeger is ready to point out, a report department produces the one physical, tangible evidence of all the meticulous work performed by a professional organization for a client. So why should a report not be the best possible instrument to represent that work? Why shouldn't we take pains to make it speak well of us, in every way? The question answers itself— at least in the time and attention that the Chicago office devotes to its reports. And for this reason the Chicago office Report Department has become something special. This is not to say that others in the Firm do not see the matter the same way; indeed, there are a number of outstanding report departments in other offices. But as an example of what an excellent department can be in this phase of our Firm's work, the department in Chicago serves well. The emphasis on excellence in Chicago office reports to clients has a long tradition behind it. For a good many years it was the Chicago pattern to put as many staff accountants as possible through a training stage in the Report Department, during which they became familiar with all the steps necessary to produce finished reports. By doing comparing and proving, or having to cope with someone's unclear hand or imperfect draft, many Chicago staffmen gained a fresh understanding of the importance of being careful from the start. Being responsible for searching out discrepancies in names and figures, they sharpened their proofreading eyes. Dave Ringstad, supervisor of the department, and Maury Bax, assistant supervisor, are both former members of the audit staff who are certified public accountants. The work for which they are responsible consists of far more than the mechanical reproduction of reports—as some people mistakenly conceive of all report department work. Their experience and knowledge of current report requirements and format enable them to assist the professional staff as a reference library. As Art Schwertfeger puts it: "We rely on Dave and Maury, who are professional accountants, to review our reports for technical content, accuracy and completeness. Our Report Department serves as a backstop to our partners and principals in editing our reports. They are a checkpoint. For example, they might suggest some wording to insert in a report to make it comply fully with our APM, or with SEC regulations. They do much more than check names, dates and figures." Reporting from Chicago 22
Reporting from Chicago
Schwertfeger, Arthur E.
Ringstad, David A.
Hoffman, Reynard H.
Grosse, Richard H.
Ranney, David C.
Haskins & Sells. Chicago Office
Haskins & Sells. Executive Office
Haskins & Sells. Pittsburgh Office
H&S Reports, Vol. 09, (1972 autumn), p. 22-25
|Source||Originally published by: Haskins & Sells|
|Rights||Copyright and permission to republish held by: Deloitte; Photographs by Roy Stevens|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|