Praise for the Accounting Profession

Yes, you read that headline right, someone at the VeraSage Institute is going to praise the accounting profession, specifically, the Big Four, or is it Three. Ooops, sorry, I forgot this is a post praising the accounting profession.

One thing I have always been impressed with from accounting firms, again, specifically the larger ones I have had contact with, has been their ability to create alumni networks that drive real value for them. Now, it certainly is true that this practice has caused some challenges by creating some possible personal conflicts of interest. However, I think for the most part, this is a great idea.

Too many businesses I have encountered tend to blame the person who has last left the organization for everything that has gone wrong at the firm from the creation of the world (a literary flourish, I believe in the Big Bang) to date. This is especially true if the person is fired, but it occurs with all too much frequency when the employee is leaving of the own volition.

“Oh, that Fred (I always use Fred), I am glad he left. In retrospect, he caused more problems than he solved.” Blah, blah, blah. To me this kind of trash talk is indicative of leadership. If this person sucked fowl ova so badly, why didn’t you get rid of them long ago. I think that what the person is really saying is, “Damn that, Fred, how dare he leave us. We are a great place to work.” Really? Do some soul searching.

Anyway, back to the praise.

Accountant do an outstanding job of placing people with their customers and even to some degree encouraging these types of moves. After all, if the person is unhappy, for whatever reason with your company, isn’t better to have them as a ally in the future.

If you are someone who has been critical of former employees, why not turn over a new leaf and plan an alumni BBQ at your house over the summer.


  1. Interesting point Ed and one I agree with.

    A couple of years after I left Deloitte I let the managing partner of the Detroit office know I had joined the firm of another Deloitte alum. I promptly was dropped from alumni rolls, alumni reunions, you name it. It was only when Deloitte took over this function nationally that I was welcomed back. I go to the alumni receptions but they forever damaged any good feelings I had when I left.

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