Art of Accounting: Kennedy’s Acceptance Speech

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IMGCAP(1)]This is not about JFK. When he was nominated at the 1960 Democratic Convention, his acceptance speech was preceded with an introduction by Chester Bowes narrating a film about Kennedy’s life and achievements.

It was a terrific and impressive presentation, and I had never seen anything like it. I expressed my feelings about this to my father and he replied, “Benton and Bowes.”

Prior to entering public service and becoming a senator, Chester Bowes was a founder of one of the top advertising agencies at that time. The experience he learned, and was successful with in the advertising business, was used by him to present his “product”—the next President of the United States.

My takeaway was that impressions count, are lasting, can sway opinions and can change minds. From that point on I became interested in advertising, marketing and promotional techniques. It is not enough to be good. You have to let people know and be able to guide actions in a painless, subtle and results-oriented way, and it doesn’t hurt to be interesting.

I am always concerned with how my ideas and suggestions will be received and that they will result in causing action. An expression of what I do can be summed up with this quote: “Nothing speaks with greater assurance than a proper presentation of facts.”

Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is a partner in WithumSmith+Brown, PC, CPAs. He has authored 20 books and has written hundreds of articles for business and professional journals and newsletters plus a Tax Loophole article for every issue of TaxHotline for 27 years. Ed also writes a blog twice a week that addresses issues his clients have at He is the winner of the Lawler Award for the best article published during 2001 in the Journal of Accountancy. He has also taught in the MBA graduate program at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court. Ed welcomes practice management questions and he can be reached at WithumSmith+Brown, One Spring Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, (732) 964-9329,

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