Praise for the Accounting Profession

One thing I have always been impressed with from accounting firms, 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.

3 thoughts on “Praise for the Accounting Profession

  1. Excellent point as always Ed. One of the coolest examples of this is Richard Branson. In his book (the first one) he tells how when an employee is ready to move on (he only hires bright people) he offers to put them in business. What a great philosophy! The ex-employee gets to expand his horizons, and Branson gets a return on his investment!

  2. I couldn’t have said this any better than Ed did, but there are few things that I can say better than him anyway.

    I’ve worked for just the opposite type company & have found it disconcerting & perplexing that if I was trusted to manage people & revenue just one day earlier then what made me a bad guy just one day later?

    Employers should be happy that their employees are in high demand. They should create an atmosphere of trust, an atmosphere that says, “we know the average life expectancy of any employee is only 3.5 years” but while you’re here we’re going to do our absolute best to make you want to stay longer.

    What better way to see how past employees can expect to be treated than a company alumni group barbeque.

    But more importantly the question should be, “would anyone show up?”

  3. What an interesting concept. Help others to move forward with their career. I have worked with both types of companies mentioned & have found myself perplexed when I was good enough to manage people & revenue & then just the following day become the “Bad Guy.”

    Pretend that the company does turn a new life & starts to have Alumni Barbeques. The better question to ask is, “Would Anyone Show Up?”

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