The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants recently honored 98-year-old Philip P. Goodkin, a lifelong resident of New York City, as the longest-practicing CPA in the state of New York.
Goodkin remains an active professional, working as a senior accountant at the New York City-based firm Lipsky Goodkin & Co., P.C., where he primarily deals with trusts and estates for individuals and foundations.
The child of Russian immigrants, Goodkin, a member of the NYSSCPAs Manhattan/Bronx Chapter, started his accountancy career in 1931, when he began working for one of his brothers, who was a CPA. He was initially paid 25 cents a day. He attended night school for two years, passed the CPA exam and continued earning the requisite five years of experience to become licensed in 1938.
Throughout his career and life, Goodkin has borne witness to numerous changes within the accounting profession, including changes in licensure requirements, technology and the breadth of work that CPAs do.
When I think that we cannot do a tax return today without a computer, its mind-boggling, he said. But I remember when it was simple, when you could do a tax return in five or 10 minutes, or a trust return or a foundation return. But its all been changed. And now CPAs, everyone, will have to register and have to e-mail our returns.
Goodkin doesnt think hes ever going to retire. He believes that when people stop working, they are waiting to die.
I enjoy my work very much, he said. I dont think I could sit at home and look at a TV set. So, coming to work every day, Im able to give good advice to my clients and I enjoy it very much, especially in the past few years when things became tough. I dont think I could ever retire. I have too much fun here doing this.
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