Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

The Last Word

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

The Last Word

Article excerpt

As my 3-year-old son, David, struts around the house with a recorder to his lips, blowing his one-note songs and directing me on my trombone or my wife, Carla, on her alto sax, I have little doubt that his eventual career choice will be music. Musicians run in the family, along with a long line of poets, politicians, preachers, physicians and professors. Until my mother and me, however, there had been no accountants.

I enrolled in Ole Miss (where my great-great-great grandfather had been in its second graduating class), intending to study political science. One of my father's cousins--the head of economics at Louisiana Tech University--convinced me that accounting was the language of business, and I could work anywhere in the world with it. Of course, he was right, and to this day I'm thankful I switched majors.

My career has included working for one of the Big Four firms; becoming CFO, CO0 and then acting executive director of the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra; and becoming head of internal audit and divisional controller for the largest chain of resorts in the Caribbean. I am now a shareholder in the firm my mother established. (She went back to school to become an accountant while I was at Ole Miss!) My brother is also in the firm. The family tradition of preachers and politicians has definitely been broken.

What hasn't been broken, however, is music's influence on my life. My first instrument was guitar; later I learned baritone. When I was in high school in New Jersey, I mastered trombone to play in the school's great marching band, which put on halftime shows for the New York Giants, the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles and marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I also joined a jazz band that played at a jazz festival at the Lincoln Center in New York City My biggest musical moment was playing a solo during that performance.

Music has always seemed to touch me wherever I go. When I was in college, I worked on Jimmy Carter's campaign. Among other duties, I was a representative at musical benefits to raise funds for his presidential campaign, including the one at the Sunshine Jam concert at the Gator Bowl.

I worked with musicians while at the New Orleans Symphony and escorted many, such as Henry Mancini, to dinner. …

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