Commitment to Core Values

By Lance Lamprecht - Managing Director, Andersen Tax

Winston Churchill once said:

To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.

Although Winston Churchill was referring to service that may be provided to one’s country, I believe that same concept can apply to any aspect of life including a person’s chosen profession. Since I joined Andersen Tax eight years ago, I have reflected on this quote and its potential meaning as it relates to our business. I have realized that in order to accomplish anything that could be deemed unique or special, I and my fellow co-workers need to be prepared, qualified and focused on making it the finest hour.

The primary focus of our business at Andersen Tax is encompassed in the core values by which we choose to be guided. I have come to realize the tremendous value of our firm’s commitment to these core values which include:

Stewardship – leaving the firm in a better position than when I started

Best in Class - commitment to delivering best-in-class services – being the benchmark for quality in our industry

Independence – always providing advice and solutions that are in the best interest of our clients

Transparency -- valuing open communication, information sharing and inclusive decision making

Seamless – providing the highest quality service regardless of geographic location

It was a commitment to similar core values which made “old” Arthur Andersen arguably the leading service company in the world during the 20th century. Having spent the first 18 years of my career at two international public accounting firms that were competitors of Arthur Andersen, I recall the anxiety I felt when I was competing with Arthur Andersen for a new client engagement. From an outsider’s perspective, I truly believed that Arthur Andersen’s core values were deeply instilled in every person that worked there. It was this commitment that made Arthur Andersen a great firm and a formidable competitor – and attracted me to Andersen Tax.

The first time I met with the leadership of Andersen Tax (known as WTAS at the time), it was abundantly clear that, while their name didn’t reflect it at the time, the core values that made Arthur Andersen so successful were deeply engrained in this firm. Our values were clearly aligned and it made the decision join Andersen Tax that much easier. I have made a personal and professional commitment to pattern my career on these values and adopt them into my every-day business and professional activities.

In particular, I believe that stewardship more than any other of our core values can make the greatest difference in our firm. I believe that if this value is instilled in everyone and adopted with 100% commitment, Andersen Tax will become the world class “gold” standard in tax consulting service firms. Merriam Webster defines stewardship as the “activity or job of protecting and being responsible for something.” When I arrived at Andersen Tax eight years ago and after attending my first Managing Director meeting, I had the distinct feeling that I was part of something special, a firm where the leaders knew they were “protecting or being responsible for something.” All of the discussions about how we were organized, how compensation worked, how quality control was monitored and all other operations of our firm lead me to believe that stewardship was not just a cliché. After eight years at Andersen Tax, I continue to believe that the owners of our firm believe in and are committed to the core value of stewardship.

I am excited about the future of Andersen Tax. I believe that the future generations that have and will commit their careers to our firm will find great satisfaction in working for our company.