Small CPA Firm Declares War On American Express Policies
A well respected CPA recently lambasted his peers in an address to the graduating class of The School of Hard Knocks. In a controversial move, Peter G. Masullo defiantly waved his finger back and forth as he accused other CPAs of "incestuous relationships with large financial service companies."
Masullo has a reputation for boring his audiences with banter about the good old days. But this time, we think he raises a good point. We quote the old man as follows:
"I often reminisce, with fondness, about my boyhood days when I worked as a messenger for a Wall Street bank. Within a short period of time I had memorized the address of every banker and broker on the southern tip of NY City. Some of my favorite stops were at Shearson, Lehman Brothers, Smith Barney, EF Hutton...When I walk down memory lane, I need go no further than American Express Plaza, for all of these companies are now one and the same. To make matters worse, American Express is now aggressively buying up large accounting firms, and small CPA firms are seeking similar affiliations. With everybody jumping on the investment sales band wagon, who will be left to check corporate Americaís books? Are we now going to sell shares in the same companies we audit? Will the public still trust our advice if our compensation depends upon a sales commission? What if the stock market goes sour? For the long term survival of our profession, I urge every CPA to sell nothing except time and knowledge."
When asked how he will compete with American Express, Masullo quipped "I canít, I wonít, and I hope I never have to. I believe there will always be a market for independent financial advisors who do not accept commissions. My clients can trust that I am not beholding to anyone, and Iím not afraid to call them as I see them."
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Peter G. Masullo, CPA
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