Harold Katz, one of the founders of the organization CPAs Reforming Our Profession, or CROP, has died at the age of 77.
Katz passed away on Nov. 22. He coined the phrase “cotton candy assets” when describing the AICPA balance sheet some years ago, according to his friend and fellow CPA Mitchell Freedman.
“Harold loved our profession and was outspoken about how CPAs should go back to their basic tenets of being independent in fact and in appearance,” said Freedman. “He decried anybody who shamed the profession. He said that he would rather lose a client than do something that went against his ethics. His writings, spoken words, and wisdom were excellent representations of someone who lived his life for the public good.”
Katz had a CPA license in both Michigan and California. He and his partner Arnold Fram founded the CPA firm Katz, Fram & Co. in 1972.
He and his wife Jan were known as "the Dancers."
“He and his beloved, Jan, could dance well into the night, putting those much younger than they to shame,” said Freedman. “Despite being a very serious man about issues that were important to him, Harold had a joie de vivre that was infectious. He and Jan were always fun to be around.”
Katz was heavily involved in volunteer and charitable work. He was a founding member of the Century City Chamber of Commerce and its president for 1972 and 1973. He was also director of the Los Angeles Business Council, and chairman of transportation and planning on the council. In addition, he was a specialist reserve police officer for the Los Angeles police department and assisted with commercial crimes for 36 years.
Katz was also chairman of the Los Angeles Citizens Advisory Redevelopment Project Committee, director and founder of the nonprofit Skid Row Development Corporation. Katz was also director and former vice president of the Variety Club Children's Charities, and co-chairman of five telethons and pre-telethon dinners. He was named Century City Man of the Year in 1972 and 2007. He was on the Site Selection Committee of the Starbright Pavilion Foundation , and was a member of the advisory board to the Community Relations Committee of Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles.
He was dedicated to his work as a CPA. “I'm personally devastated to hear that Harold is gone,” said Freedman. “I'm not surprised that it happened at work as he was one of the hardest working CPAs, even past his mid 70s, that I have ever known. There is one word that can truly describe Harold Katz – ‘MENSCH!’”
“Goodbye dear friend,” Freedman added. “Rest in peace. Know that your legacy is that caring CPAs will continue to monitor the CPA profession and its membership organizations so that those who come after us will have the kind of profession that you envisioned and hoped for.”
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