Saturday, June 24, 2006

Apple #4 on BusinessWeek Top 100 Info Tech Companies

Not only is Apple #4, it is the highest ranking US corporation on the list. Click here to see the list. Take careful note of how BusinessWeek determined the ranking.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Garrett R. Harding, CPA

Yesterday I received a letter from the Division of Professional Licensure of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. On June 15th the State Board of Public Accountancy granted me my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.

This little journey began in 1980 - 26 years ago. In the fall of 1980 I was a senior at Bentley College. While I had no strong intention of going into public accounting, I decided to take advantage of the newly acquired knowledge and sit for the uniform CPA exam in May 1981. Therefore in the fall of 1980 I started attending a CPA review course with several fellow Bentley students. I passed two parts of the CPA exam in May 1980 and passed the remaining two parts in November 1980. The rules at the time required that I obtain 2 or 3 years of public accounting experience. During college I worked part-time for Jim Mills, CPA. Unfortunately the part-time experience did not meet the experience requirement and I never entered public accounting on a full-time basis.

Earlier this year someone mentioned that they could obtain a CPA license with simply a master's degree. This provoked my curiosity and I investigated the current rules. I discovered that on October 13, 2000 the rules were changed. It was now possible to obtain a CPA license if you pass the CPA exam, have a bachelor's of science degree in accountancy and a master's degree, such as a MBA (the exact requirements are available from your state board of public accountancy). I met the revised qualifications. The license does come with a "non-reporting" restriction. This means that I cannot issue reports on financial statements in my practice of public accounting. I am authorized to use the CPA designation and practice all other aspects of public accounting, namely management advisory services and taxation. This meets my particular needs. The restriction can be removed by obtaining the necessary experience or CPE hours.

I must admit that at times I felt like a second class accountant even though I was a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and had the privilege of being a full-time faculty member of the Accountancy department at Bentley College. Now, after 26 years, I can now proudly say that I'm a CPA.

No deadline for Iraq

Congress is debating two democratic proposals to establish a pull out date for Iraq. In my opinion there are two basic views. First, a pull out date pressures the Iraqi military to step up recruiting and training so that the Iraqi military and government will be ready to assume control. The second, opposite viewpoint is to get the job done without a pull out date.

In the world of project management, deadlines are crucial and provide motivation to get the job done. I recognize and support that methodology in a business environment. However, in the world of warfare, you never give your enemy an advantage and a pull out date would do exactly that. A pull out date would encourage the enemy to sit back and give the appearance that the insurgency had been defeated. Then, once the superior training, technology and firepower of the U.S. military had left the area, the insurgency would reappear and provide a challenge that may be too great for the newly formed Iraqi military and government.

Ending the Iraqi war has nothing to do with whether or not you believe in the decision to go to war. (I will state for the record that I supported going to war.) As stated by former secretary of state Colin Powell, gift store rules apply - we broke it, we own it. What does this mean? A necessary result of the Iraqi war was the removal of Saddam Hussein and the dismantling of the previous Iraqi government. We now must support the creation of a new government and associated infrastructure. Afghanistan provides us with a model of what can happen when a governmental void exists. In Afghanistan, the U.S. did not support the redevelopment of a government structure after the Soviet Union's military left the area. That void was filled with the Taliban. We cannot allow the formation of a Iraqi government to fail. Such a void would allow a terrorist environment to thrive. Are terrorists already in Iraqi? Of course they are and that provides the fundamental reason why we must prevail. How long will it take to destroy the terrorists in Iraq, put down the insurgency, stabilize the political environment to remove the threat of civil war and establish a fully functional Iraqi military and government? Simply put - a very long time and pull out date cannot be arbitrarily assigned. Our goal should be get the job done right, not get the job done by a particular date. We take on this task because it is the right thing to do, regardless of difficulty of the challenge or the amount of time and resources required. There is nothing more expensive or worthwhile than freedom.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Welcome FeedBlitz

Today I registered with a new blog email subcription service called FeedBlitz. My prior service was Bloglet. Bloglet's developer started the service as a hobby and never had any intention to take it beyond the hobby stage. Bloglet was the true pioneer in this particular service and the success of the concept demanded support beyond the original intention of its developer. Unfortunately this may have translated into email notifications not going out. In spite of that, I would like to thank Bloglet for being the pioneer and welcome aboard FeedBlitz.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dr. Joseph Chamie, Demographer

On June 2nd Guy Kawasaki posted a great interview he had with Dr. Joseph Chamie, a demographer. Dr Chamie is the director of research at the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) and editor of the International Migration Review. Prior to this position, he was the director of the United Nations Population Division. I found his answer to question #7 interesting. Here's the text:

Question: Based on historical lessons, what should America’s public policy be regarding immigration?

Answer: To begin with, it should not be what we have today. America’s current immigration policies and programs are ineffective, inconsistent, unfair, divisive, and harmful.

Should legal immigration be stopped? Of course not. The government needs to consider and decide regularly on the appropriate levels and types of legal immigration that are in the best interests of the country.
Should illegal immigration be stopped?

Of course it should—or at least limited to the lowest level possible. The country needs to get control of illegal immigration. And what about the proposed temporary guest worker program? The bipartisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, which reported to the U.S, Congress and President in 1997, advised in the strongest language against the kind of temporary worker programs that are currently again being promoted by various advocates and politicians, including President George W. Bush.

Such programs, the U.S. Commission wrote, would be ’a grievous mistake.” They concluded that temporary worker programs for lesser-skilled and unskilled workers exert particularly harmful effects on the US. Such programs, for example, have depressed the wages and working conditions of US workers. Foreign guest workers are also more exploitable than lawful US workers, particularly when an employer threatens deportation if workers complain about wages or working conditions. Moreover, the Commission stressed that guest worker programs fail to reduce unauthorized migration and often the guest workers themselves remain permanently and illegally in the country.

As I have stated before, I strongly believe that illegal immigration must be stopped and that begins with securing our borders. After that we need to address how to resolve the millions of illegal immigrants that are already in the U.S.

Dr. Chamie's answers to other questions at can be found at and

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Here's a neat little API to add to your blog - Zoomcloud. ZoomCloud scans your rss file and creates an interactive graphic comprised of tags. When you click on a tag you are taken to the corresponding posting. The tags vary in size based upon relevance/popularity. The tags are automatically generated by a content analysis tool. Check out ZoomCloud.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Guy Kawasaki - The Legend Continues...

If you're a Mac fan then you should know the name. Guy was the ultimate Macintosh evangelist. If you cut him with a knife he would bleed the colors of the Apple logo.

For two years (1988-89) I was a product manager for Layered, Inc., developer of the Insight accounting package for the Mac. The software was an award winner and the Mac industry was an exciting place to be. At the same time Guy was (and still is) a phenomenon in the marketing world. His book, The Macintosh Way was the bible for Macintosh marketing. I've read three of his books - The Macintosh Way, Selling the Dream and How to Drive your Competition Crazy and have had the privilege to see Guy speak more than once. The books and the presentations were enjoyable and, more importantly, made you think.

Now Guy has gotten into blogging. You absolutely must check out Signum sine tinnitu--by Guy Kawasaki. Ok, the title doesn't roll off the tongue but the content is excellent.

As for the Mac fans out there, check out the post entitled The Top Ten Lies of Guy Kawasaki. You will find number ten interesting. At least he believed it at the time. Hats off to Guy's openness and honesty.

To Guy - thanks for joining the blogosphere.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Congratulations to U.S. Special Forces

Congratulations to the U.S. Military for an outstanding job in killing Abu Musab Al-Zaqawi.

This clearly demonstrates the dedication and hard work of many individuals. One bad guy down, many still left. Go get 'em.