A Book Report – One Man’s Opinion of the Six Step Process

The following is a “book report” I received from an individual with whom I will soon be meeting to provide advice on the Road to Excellence.  I am publishing this with his permission but without attribution because to do so would drive his general counsel nuts.  Suffice it to say that he is a senior […]

Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven: 6 Steps to Organizational Excellence

Excellence is a competitive advantage. Most books on achieving organizational excellence tell you what to do. Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven tells you how to do it. Pat McDonnell gives you a six-step program, developed in his 30 years of directing and advising diverse firms. Gain insights on leadership, communication, employee motivation, strategic planning, participative decision-making, marketing, human resources and staffing.

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Audit Failure: It’s Time to Address the Cause

We asked ourselves – doesn’t serving a client where standing on principle could be severely punished create a conflict of interest? We concluded then – and I believe now – that it does. Emerson’s Professional Opinion, January 2002. The bankruptcy of Enron has caused focus – yet again on the role and performance of the […]

My Biggest Mistake – Too Much Focus on the Next Customer

Your best clients are your best source of business – and your competitor’s prospects. Take them for granted at great peril. Over a long business career, I have seen companies of all sizes make the same mistake. Don’t be among them. Keep chasing those new customers, but don’t ignore those who are paying the rent. […]

The PCAOB and the Future of Oversight

Originally published in The Journal of Accountancy, December 2004 The PCAOB and the Future of Oversight The key question is whether audit failures are caused by isolated errors or more systemic factors. As vice-chairman of business assurance at Coopers & Lybrand in 1993, I began a study to identify the causes of audit failures. My […]

Let’s Hear it for Sarbanes-Oxley

Our fundamental responsibility is to provide oversight with respect to the financial reporting of our companies, not minimizing audit fees. For years, as an audit partner, I was frustrated in the lack of attention paid by audit committees to the importance of internal control. Fortunately, those days are gone.

Maintain Excellence, Cut Risk

Firms that operate at the highest standards minimize liability problems. Here are some pointers.