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Semper Fi(永远忠诚)——美国海军陆战队

 
 
 

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[書摘]詮釋成功:普華(PW)在美國的一百年(第一章-13)  

2011-12-17 12:19:48|  分类: 诠释成功:普华( |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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PW's American agents benefited greatly from these developments, forging an enduring connection with big business. "The firm was entrusted with by far a larger share of this work than that of any other," concluded George 0. May, who arrived in the United States to begin work for PW. One important connection was with the iron and steel industry. In 1897, Jones. Caesar & Co. started auditing some 25 to 30 companies that were later merged into the American Steel & Wire Co. Instructions for the work came from JP. Morgan, and fees collected were in excess of total billing for any of their first 5 or 6 years in America. Two years later, another examination of the same companies was made, as well as one of a large group of companies that were consolidated into the National Tube Co. Other merger work came from a wide diversity of businesses. In 1899, engagements were undertaken for 9 or 10 street railway companies and 2 railway construction companies in St. Louis, 6 milk companies in Chicago, 19 railway supply companies, and 6 companies that were later merged into Allis-Chalmers Co. The sheer volume of work required the skills of more British accountants, and the London office sent over May, Edward Stanley, George R. Webster, Henry W. Wilmot, and others who provided critical continuity for PW in subsequent decades.

美國企業的這些發展讓兩個普華的代理人深受其益,使他們與大企業建立了持久穩定的合作關系。普華派至美國支援人手的一位業務骨幹George O. May認為,“公司從這些業務里獲得的[客戶的]信任比任何同行都要多”。這些重要的合作關系里有一個與鋼鐵業有關。1897年,公司開始審計後來合並為美國鋼鐵線材公司的25-30個鋼鐵企業客戶。摩根大通負責對這項業務進行督導,而普華從中獲得的公費收入遠遠超過了5-6年前在美國開始[審計這類公司的業務]的總和兩年後,公司又進行了另一個類似的項目,這一次是一大群公司最終合並為National Tube Co.。此外公司還承接了來自各行各業的企業並購項目。1899年,公司簽下的業務約定書包括為聖路易斯市2個鐵路施工企業和9-10個電車企業、芝加哥6個乳制品生產企業、19個鐵路物資供應商和6個最終合並為油田鉆探設備生產企業Allis-Chalmers Co.的公司提供服務。這些突然飛來的業務需要更多技藝嫻熟的英國會計師來完成,於是倫敦總所派了May、Edward Stanley、George R. Webster、Henry W. Wilmot等人赴美,他們在後來的數十年中對公司延續普華的精神和文化起到了至關重要的作用。

Besides consolidations, Jones, Caesar & Co. also secured work directly or indirectly from current or former clients. Earlier brewery investigations were followed by audits for many private breweries through 1898. Brewery connections in St. Louis led to enough other engagements in that community for the U.S. firm to consider opening an office there. The decision was postponed until 1901, after Caesar's retirement. Referral business occurred elsewhere. The firm began annual examinations of the Omaha Stockyards and related enterprises in 1896, expanding on their earlier work done for the Chicago Stockyards. Conducting an audit for the Norfolk & Western Railroad in 1895, "a class of work which seems... more desirable than any other," led to audits or special examinations for almost a dozen other lines in the 5 years that followed.

除了企業合並,Jones, Caesar & Co.還牢牢地守住了現有及以前的客戶直接或間接帶來的業務。原來的酒廠財務調查業務在1898年變為對私營釀酒企業的審計。而且聖路易斯市的釀酒業客戶多得讓公司開始考慮在當地開設辦事處,不過直到1901年Caesar退休後辦事處才正式開張。其它地方的客戶也轉介了不少生意。公司在1896年開始檢查Omaha Stockyards和關聯企業的賬目,是為早年在Chicago Stockyards所做的業務的擴展。受1895年為Norfolk & Western鐵路公司進行審計的影響,“這些看上去做得比以前還要理想的工作”讓公司在接下來的5年里贏得了十多條鐵路線的審計業務

The revival led the London office to suggest a new arrangement in the fall of 1897. Its proposal was as bold as that made in late 1894. It envisioned the establishment of "a separate American [PW] Firm," in which both Jones and Caesar would be partners. Although Caesar believed that, "from a purely business point of view," such a firm would not attract any more clients than "under an agency arrangement," he was also of the opinion that "the establishment of an International House would prove a great success." Again, and perhaps more clearly now, the London partners proposed, this time with no prompting from Jones and Caesar, a more decentralized structure in which to carry on its internaional business.

形勢的複蘇使倫敦總所在1897年秋提出了新的經營計劃。這個計劃直截了當,就跟三年前的那份一樣。它提出了單獨建立“普華美國分所”的設想,而Jones和Caesar將成為分所的合夥人。雖然Caesar認為“從純商業的角度來看”,轉制成分所後吸引的客戶並不比按代理處的體制經營的時候更多,但他還是覺得“建成國際性的組織會是一個很大的進步”。為了更好地跨國執業,倫敦總所的合夥人在Jones和Caesar沒有推動的情況下再次提出了一個去中心化程度更高的組織結構形式,而且這次的構想更清晰

This proposal met with an enthusiastic response from Jones and Caesar. Difficulties soon arose, however, including a new American law prohibiting foreign contract labor, which effectively prevented PW from sending its contract accountants to the United States. Caesar also came to believe that the current financial arrangement was unsatisfactory and that, even if it were possible to bring over more British accountants, they were too expensive to make PW business profitable. In addition, Caesar's reports of anti-British sentiment in the United States and of increased competition in the accounting field, combined with the new legal restraints, seemed to preclude an alternative course of action for the time being. Although some of these issues were relevant, it may have seemed to Waterhouse, Sneath, and Fowler that Caesar was trying to protract discussions.

總所的經營計劃得到了兩人積極的回應。然而問題很快隨之產生,其中包括一部禁止外國勞務以合同承包方式輸入美國的法律,該項法律使普華總所無法派遣其簽約會計師來美。Caesar還斷言現有的財務協議不如人意,因此即使能夠帶更多的英國會計師過來,他們高昂的人工成本也將令公司的業務無利可圖。另外,Caesar報稱美國存在反英情緒和會計業競爭日趨激烈,它們與新通過法規的制肘一道,似乎成為尋找[前述問題的]其它可行的解決方案的障礙盡管這里面有些問題與[新的經營計劃]息息相關,但是Waterhouse、Sneath和Fowler看上去似乎都在認為Caesar在試著拖延,讓雙方的爭論繼續下去。

In the end, calmer sentiments prevailed, and the relationship struck in 1895 continued throughout 1898. Discussions for a new arrangement resumed in the fall of that year. Responding to a new proposal, Jones and Caesar argued that the different names of both firms should continue, being "advantageous to you practically a necessity for us." Caesar went on to note that they felt that PW would "always be looked upon in this country as a London firm and that no amount of legal technicalities will remove this impression and its consequences." Nevertheless, they were "willing to Combine and divide the profits of both businesses on the basis arranged with Mr. Fowler." The London partners agreed to Caesar's points, seeing the continued existence of two firms "as being as satisfactory a means as seems available in dealing with any local prejudices that may exist or that may hereafter arise." Still, they cautioned that this was in no way to imply or "result in, a less measure of influence by ourselves over the manner in which the entire business is conducted in America."

最終,雙方的情緒平複下來,1895年陷入僵局的代理關系持續進行到了1898年當年秋季雙方又開始了針對新的經營計劃的協商。作為回應,Jones和Caesar堅稱公司和英國倫敦總所不同的名號應予以保留,“這對你們有利,對我們也不可或缺”。Caesar還表示他們覺得普華“在美國會一直被當作是一家倫敦的事務所,不管法務上怎麽努力都無法消除人們的這種印象和它所帶來的後果”。然而,他們仍舊“樂意按照Fowler合夥人所擬定的基礎來合並或是拆分總所與公司之間的利潤”。倫敦總所的合夥人同意了Caesar的意見,認為兩家公司的存在將“有利於避開當地任何對外來企業可能存在或將於日後出現的偏見”。不過,他們指出這在所有情況下都不暗示或者“導致我們認為所有的業務都在美國進行”。

Having reached a level of general approval, Jones went to London in December 1898 to conclude matters. On his return home, he stopped in New York, where he and Caesar examined and approved the draft memorandum of agreement and began planning financial reporting information, letterheads, and other details for the new partnership. However, by the time Jones reached Chicago, he was very ill. Despite his sickness and his preoccupation with new work, Jones returned the signed articles of partnership to London. Shortly thereafter, he became bedridden and died a few days later, on February 2, 1899, apparently of diabetic complications, at the age of 40.

總體上與總所達成共識之後,Jones於1898年12月抵達倫敦以結清所有事項。返程的路上他去了紐約,與Caesar一道審閱並簽訂了協議備忘錄草案,並開始著手研究解決有關分所的財務信息報送、對外發文的信頭及其他細節性的問題。然而,Jones回到芝加哥時已重病在身。在身有惡疾和全神貫註工作的情況下,他仍舊把簽好的合夥協議寄到倫敦。不久,他就臥床不起,幾天後因糖尿病並發癥於1899年2月2日去世,終年40歲。

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