Friday, September 25th, 2009

THE FAB FOUR

For us Baby Boomers, of course, The Fab Four means the Beatles.

For me and the attendees at CPAmerica’s Firm Administrator Roundtable in Orlando this week, the “fab four” means the four accounting students in their final year at the University of Florida. Pictured with me, left to right, is: Kristen Ruffing, Harsh Vaidya, Ngan Pham and Sam Young.

I think I can safely say that these four future leaders of the accounting profession exceeded everyone’s expectations as to what this special panel discussion would be about.

As for me, they validated my belief that their generation will be a major positive force in the accounting profession going forward. I actually thought that one hour and forty minutes would be a long time to keep the panel Q&A sessions going, however, the time just flew by and questions were still being fired (both directions) when time ran out.

The session turned out to be a learning experience for both the students and the firm administrators. You won’t be surprised to learn that they did not know a whole lot about local and regional firms. And yes, they did know a lot about the four largest national firms. The main reason they knew so much about the four….. because those firms are in their face constantly. “They” are sponsoring campus activities and events almost weekly. As one student noted, “we are spoiled by all of the attention we get.”

How visible is your firm on campus? Are you doing the same old thing every year…. host ONE campus event and/or invite the students to your office ONCE?

One great question was asked. What do you really like to get as a “give-away?” I know that my clients struggle with this one every fall…. what should we give the students at job fairs and career days that will make them notice us? The students like practical things they can use! Some of the best things they have received: wireless mouse, USB drive and a backpack.

Thank-you, Sam, Kristen, Harsh and Ngan for your participation and for the pleasure of meeting and talking with you.

My continuing concern….. don’t bring in these bright, young people and try to fit them into the old, traditional accountant mold. CPA leaders, you are teachers and that means setting high expectations and an impeccable example. I love this quote, no matter what your profession…..

“In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less.” – – Lee Iacocca

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