Hi Richard

You are right – I don’t write the articles for the paltry sum that they pay.

I write them because that is the only way to sort out my own thinking on these tricky subjects. I learnt that from the late, great, Geoffrey Holmes, editor of Accountancy. Whenever he and I wrestled with some tortuous accounting issue, such as the different accounting treatments, respectively, of acquired goodwill and internally generated goodwill, he would put me on the spot by asking me to write an article on that very subject. I always took the bait, and never let him down.

I sometimes found, after it had been published, that suddenly I was hailed as the leading authority on the topic – being the only one determined enough to get to the bottom of and clarify issues that others feared to grapple with.

So, in essence, I write the articles for myself! (As you know I also circulate them to a group of colleagues who may wish to comment. But I would write them anyway, just to clarify my own understanding.)

Preferred career description? “Seeker” – after causes and principles – not effects.

All best

Emile Woolf
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On 15 Jul 2015, at 09:16, Richard Watkinson wrote:


I remember your earlier comments about the gang at the ICAEW…..just glad that the free gift is worth keeping!