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Welcome to the class—whoops, I meant The Accounting Onion.  Before you read my posts, you may want to read this frank and deeply touching tale of my personal journey to accounting blogdom.

I graduated from the Cornell Hotel School in 1973, but as I approached the time where I was supposed to snag a job in the hospitality industry, the traditional career paths open to ‘hotelies’ just didn’t feel right.  Following a series of lackluster job interviews, I made an appointment with the assistant dean, an impetuous and avuncular fellow, to seek his advice.  Within ten minutes, he offered me a position to teach accounting and finance at a 2-year junior college that Cornell was running for the tourism authority of Puerto Rico.  Career-wise, it was the luckiest day of my life.

Here’s the next 49 years in a nutshell.  I quickly found that I loved teaching, and two years later, I entered graduate school.  I have taught accounting more or less continuously since taking the Puerto Rico job: at Cornell, Ohio State, Dartmouth, Wake Forest, MIT, Thunderbird, and until 2019 as a visitor at SMU.  Even though I consider myself semi-retired, I seem to be busier (and happier) than ever:

  • I’m writing a book.  The working title is Honest Financial Accounting:
    The Myth, and Making it a Reality.  As I draft poritions, I am posting them to the Accounting Onion.  Comments are welco
  • I have lead and produced approximately 250 management education programs in 14 countries.  The CPE from Me section of the blog lists the courses that I currently offer “off the shelf”.
  • I continue to provide consulting services to companies on matters including SEC compliance, U.S. GAAP, international accounting standards, operational and strategic decision making, and control of international operations.
  • I continue to serve as an expert witness and provide litigation support on a broad range of accounting topics, including foreign accounting standards and valuation.

So, why have I become a blogger?  Frankly, I thought that blogging would help make me money.  I saw it as a way that independent professionals could gain exposure that could lead to opportunity.  Indeed, blogging has  provided me with professional opportunities.  But far more important and gratifyingly, it has provided a channel for my voice in the service of the public’s interest in high quality financial reporting.  I know that financial reporting is often unnecessarily complex and far from perfect. From my years of teaching, I also learned how to peel away layers of jargon and complexity to expose what lies at the core of an accounting rule: sometimes a valid concept, and other times an unpleasant surprise.

As of this latest update to my “welcome page,” The Accounting Onion is just a few months short of nine years old.  In that time, I have published 324 posts of roughly 1,000 words each.  I sincerely hope that something in The Accounting Onion makes a difference for you.

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