The Accounting Hall of Fame
Jay Michael Cook
This champion of the accounting profession was born in New York City in 1942. He was encouraged and mentored in his study of accounting at the University of Florida by J. T. Ball, then professor of accounting and taxation. Working as a caddy at the Lake Placid Club one summer, he met Hall of Fame member John Queenan, then managing partner of Haskins & Sells and chairman of the AICPA; a conversation with Queenan about the importance of the accounting profession and the role of the AICPA made a lasting impression on the young student.
Upon graduation with honors from the University of Florida in 1964, he joined the Fort Lauderdale office of Haskins & Sells. In 1974, at the age of 31, he became a partner. On assignment to the firm's National Office in the 1970's, he worked closely with Hall of Fame member, Oscar Gellein, and Kenneth Stringer, and he remembers the important role they played in his professional development. After leading the firm's Florida practice, in 1983 he was named national managing partner of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells; he became Chairman and CEO of the firm in 1986. In 1989, he directed the merger of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells and Touche Ross and was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte & Touche. He also served as Chairman of the Deloitte & Touche Foundation and a member of the Board of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the global organization with over 82,000 people in more than 130 countries.
During his 10 years at the helm of D&T, the U.S. firm more than tripled its annual revenues to over $5 billion and earned national prominence as one of the profession¹s best places to work. He received numerous awards for his commitment to the advancement and retention of high-talent women in business, including the CEO Recognition Award from Women in Technology International and Working Mother magazine¹s Family Champion of the Year Award. He was named as the only male member of the President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History. Through his leadership, Deloitte & Touche was ranked No. 8 on Fortune magazine's 1999 "100 Best Companies to Work for in America," up from No. 14 in 1998‹the only professional services firm on the Fortune list both years‹and one of Working Mother magazine¹s "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" for five consecutive years. In 1995 Deloitte & Touche was the recipient of the prestigious Catalyst Award.
Known as a strong and effective spokesperson on tough professional issues, he has written and spoken extensively on international accounting standards, the globalization of business, auditor independence, corporate governance, gender equality in the workplace, tort and securities law reform‹and has often testified before Congress on professional issues. He led the profession's efforts that resulted in the enactment of the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995 and its counterpart Uniform Standards legislation in 1998; this legislation significantly changed the standards for accounting litigation. He was the youngest Chairman of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, serving during its high-profile centennial year. He was a member of its Auditing Standards Board and Chairman of its SEC Committee and is a lifetime member of its Governing Council. In 1992, he chaired the World Congress of Accountants. He was the longest serving Trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation (1990-97) and served as Chairman and President of the Foundation in 1996 and 1997, a position from which he vigorously defended private-sector standard-setting for accounting and financial reporting. He also served on the Advisory Council of the International Accounting Standards Committee, the Executive Committee of the Securities Regulation Institute, the Conference Board, the US Council for International Business, the National Association of Corporate Directors' Blue Ribbon Commission on corporate governance, and as a Trustee and International Council of the Center for Strategic & International Studies. He is a member of the American Accounting Association and has championed his firm's support of accounting education.
His commitment to the profession is equaled by his dedication to civic organizations and educational institutions. He served as chairman of the Board of Catalyst, the nation¹s leading organization for the advancement of women in business. He also served as chairman of the Board of Governors of United Way of America, the nation's leader in health and human services. He is a Director of the STAR Foundation to Advance the Retarded and Handicapped, a Director of the National Forum for Health Care Quality, Measurement and Reporting, and was a member of the New York City Partnership and Vice Chairman of its Drugs Don't Work Program. In addition, he has been Chairman of the Board of United Way of Tri-State and a member of the boards of trustees of the Central Park Conservancy and the New York City Ballet. He has served on the Board of Overseers of the Columbia Business School, the Business Advisory Board of the University of Florida, the Board of Directors of the Associates of Harvard Business School, and the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami. In recognition of his firm¹s commitment to public service, D&T received United Way of America's prestigious Spirit of America Award.
His many honors and awards include the Columbia School of Business Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics, Yeshiva University's Distinguished Leadership Award and Monmouth College's Distinguished Business Leader. In 1986, he was named Distinguished Alumnus by his alma mater, the University of Florida, and is a Distinguished Alumnus of its Beta Alpha Psi and Fisher School of Accounting.
He and his wife Mary Anne live in Greenwich, Connecticut, near their daughters, Jennifer and Angela, and son, Jeffrey. He is the 62nd member of the Accounting Hall of Fame, Jay Michael Cook.