Accounting Ethics (and fraud)

Postings by Art Berkowitz on ethics and fraud. Most of them are serious, but sometimes we also need to have a little fun.

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Location: Orange County, California, United States

Art Berkowitz, C.P.A. is an author, speaker, and consultant from Orange County, California. He writes ethics, fraud, and accounting courses (CPE) for accountants and other financial professionals. Art has also written a weekly online column for The Wall Street Journal and a book on the Enron debacle. To order any of his self-study courses go to

Monday, August 21, 2006

This is One of those Moments

After 28 years in accounting, I will be taking down my shingle in just a little over a week.

I have been eagerly talking about the official date - September 1, 2006 - with a great deal of anticipation. But as I was driving to San Luis Obispo from my home in South Orange County to present my last three seminars, there was also a bit of sadness as the realization that a lifetime of work was coming to an end.

It was on the Pacific Coast Highway with the sun glistening off the water that I began to get a lump in my throat. Earlier in the day I had found it amusing that it took me nearly ten minutes to select which suit I was going to wear for that "final seminar". Now I was thinking about the multitude of clients that I had tried to help straighten out their books or get a loan or improve their personal financial condition so they could have that retirement or vacation or even that sports car they wanted.

But most of all I was thinking about the past half dozen or so years that I have spent working with my colleagues to help restore the nobility and sensibility of a profession that for far too many seems to have lost its direction.

Perhaps it was nothing more than being in the right place at the right time. But these last few years of challenging the direction we had taken, asking the tough questions, and sometimes even lecturing about professionalism and ethics seemed pretty important at that moment.

I was listening to a CD from the movie, Yentl, when these words from Alan & Marilyn Bergman seemed to capture everything I was feeling.

There are moments you remember all your life. There are moments you wait for and dream of all your life.
This is one of those moments.


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