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Frank has been my friend, colleague and partner since late 1993 when he came to work at MendlowitzWeitsen LLP, which merged with Withum on January 1, 2005. He retired on December 31 and these are his last words. His three points are great advice for anyone new to accounting and those already working in it or elsewhere. Frank has had an illustrious career, including serving as president of the New Jersey Society of CPAs.

“13-6-83 to 31-12-21: My 38-year career as a CPA comes to an end today. Reflecting on my career, I remember in 1983 I had to drive this retired CPA from the Metro Park station to our office in Woodbridge on Tuesday morning and back to the train on Thursday afternoon. The company brought him in for his tax knowledge, and I was smart enough to listen to him when he spoke. Here are three of the many things he said during those trips. They are valid for everything we do.

  1. Don’t follow the work someone did last time without spending five minutes thinking about it first. They could be wrong, and by simply following them, you too would be wrong.
  2. You own it and they rent it out. Your brain is like inventory on a shelf. The more information you put into it, the more valuable you are to others. If you stop learning, your brain will be obsolete and they will no longer be of any use to you.
  3. Come back every six months to see what you have learned. Accounting (but that replaces anything in life) is constantly changing, and you should be learning new things all the time. If not, then maybe what you’re doing isn’t hard and it’s time to do something different.

Franck Boutillette

Following these three pieces of wisdom has made all the difference in what I’ve accomplished as a CPA/person. Thanks Joe Wolfowitz. I hope I have been able to leave my mark on the CPA profession, impart my wisdom and work ethic to the partners and staff I have worked with, and provide the proper guidance to the clients I have served over the years.

Well-spoken words for any professional. Frank only had two jobs – at this company and mine. Good luck, my friend, in your well-deserved retirement.

Do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] with your questions about practice management or assignments you may not be able to complete.

Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is a partner at WithumSmith+Brown, PC, CPA. He is on Accounting Today’s list of the 100 most influential people. He is the author of 24 books, including “How to Review Tax Returns”, co-authored with Andrew D. Mendlowitz, and “Managing Your Tax Season, Third Edition”. He also writes a blog twice a week dealing with issues customers have with www.partners-network.com with the Pay-Less-Tax Man Blog for the bottom line. He is an adjunct professor in Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MBA program and teaches end-user applications of financial statements. Art of Accounting is an ongoing series where he shares autobiographical experiences with advice he hopes his colleagues can adopt. He welcomes practice management questions and can be reached at (732) 743-4582 or [email protected].