Wednesday, December 28th, 2022

The Mechanical Pencil

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception; it is a prevailing attitude.” – Colin Powell

This brief story is about the importance of a mechanical pencil. I am not sure if the mechanical pencil is still important in the world of public accounting, but it once was.

As the years evolved, when I was working in a CPA firm, accountants and CPAs developed a love for mechanical pencils. Of course, they used pencils because they have erasers! Much of the use of a pencil was to sign off on a route sheet as work flowed through the office. As work moved from hand-calculated depreciation schedules to computerized worksheets, the mechanical pencil still had a starring role.

The accountants always had a favorite (brand or type) of mechanical pencils, and the firm supplied each accountant with their favorite. Not everyone loves the same brand of mechanical pencil. Lively discussions often occurred about which brand/type was the best. If someone lost their pencil, it was panic time. Another must be found of the same exact type and even color.

Now it seems the accountant’s tool, always in their hand, is their iPhone.

My mechanical pencil is on my desk, and I use it daily.

  • "Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken."
  • Warren Buffett

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