"To provide the quality of service expected by our clients; to develop individual initiative and help our people fulfill their potential; and to foster a sense of teamwork-among our people and with our com-muni-ties."

This is the commitment made by Coopers & Lybrand, an international accounting and tax service firm that is known as one of the "Big Six" accounting firms in the United States.C&L has achieved global status through its internal growth and selective acquisitions of the past 30 years. Today it has 61,000 employees in 640 offices in 107 countries. C&L ranks among the top three firms in 24 of the 28 European countries where it has offices.

The firm has 1,250 partners. To become a partner, an employee must have at least 12 years of experience in accounting. Nominees for partnership status must be approved by a committee that interviews each candidate. Fellow workers are also interviewed about the nominee's worthiness. The process takes seven months.

Partners are allowed to sign the name Coopers & Lybrand on documents, indicating the company stands behind the work.

The Salt Lake office, located on the 17th floor of the Beneficial Life Tower, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. There are four partners, Larry P. Schumann, Scott W. Pickett, Alan V. Funk and Craig Jacobsen. Schumann was transferred to the Salt Lake office 11 months ago.

Opened in 1963, the Salt Lake C&L office has 40 professional accountants and five support people, Schumann said. It offers tax-return preparation, tax planning and audit services.

Pickett said the office has been providing the same services throughout its 30 years of operation. Now, however, the services are provided via advanced technology, especially computers. In C&L offices, accountants these days are seldom seen pounding on calculators.

Thirty years ago, said Pickett, one person worked on audits and taxes, but now employeesperform only one function or the other.

The accounting and tax professions have become more complicated over the years, said Schumann, especially with the release of new rules by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. "There used to be a few standards, and now there are 72 auditing standards and 117 accounting standards. Each is a book, and our people must keep abreast of the new standards and laws," said Schumann.

The Salt Lake office offers several services: certifying numbers in annual reports by business, preparing tax returns for businesses and individuals, and providing tax planning. Some of its major clients are Kennecott Corp.; Salt Lake City Corp.; Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Utah; C. R. England; Associated Foods; Great Salt Lake Minerals; Equity Oil; and Chums, Hurricane.

A relatively new area for the firm is litigation support: That's where Funk comes in. He has been an expert witness in several cases, including the Bonneville Pacific Corp. bankruptcy and criminal investigation. He spent 60 days examining piles of documents and telling the court what he found.

The genesis of C&L started in 1854 when William Cooper established an accounting practice in London. In 1864, the firm took the name Cooper Brothers & Co. and later became one of the three founding firms of Coopers and Lybrand (International).

The firm of Lybrand, Ross Bros. & Montgomery was founded in Philadelphia on Jan. 1, 1898, with four partners, William M. Lybrand, T. Edward Ross, Adam A. Ross and Robert H. Montgomery. It made several acquisitions between then and 1957 when senior partners of Cooper Brothers & Co. in London, the senior partner of McDonald, Currie & Co. and Al Jennings, managing partner of Lybrand, Ross Bros. and Montgomery, formed the international firm of Coopers and Lybrand.

The U.S. portion of the firm retained the name Lybrand, Ross Bros. & Montgomery until 1973 when the name was changed to Coopers & Lybrand. Since then, several other firms have been acquired. In 1967, the firm established a foundation with a grant from William Lybrand to support business education.

Over the years, C&L's services have expanded in the four disciplines of general practice; tax; management consulting; and actuarial, benefits and compensation. These services are provided to a wide range of industries ranging from electric and gas utilities to higher education and nonprofit institutions.

A native of Denver, Schumann graduate from Duke University in 1970 and earned an ensign grade in the U.S. Navy after attending Reserve Officers Training Corp. He flew with the Navy for five years in the North Atlantic, looking for submarines.

His public accounting career began with Arthur Young & Co., and he worked for Price Waterhouse before joining C&L in 1983 in Denver. He became a partner in 1985 and was transferred to Salt Lake City less than one year ago, replacing Jacobsen as the managing partner. He runs the audit practice.

Pickett is a Salt Lake native who received a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Utah in 1979 and a master's degree in accounting in 1980. He joined C&L in 1980, heads the tax practice and earlier this year received an Up 'n Comer Award from Zions First National Bank in its program to recognize people under 40 years old in the business world.

A native of Los Angeles, Funk graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in accounting in 1971, did some audit work with Arthur Andersen & Co. for three years and also did some land developing in Newport Beach, Calif., and Tampa, Fla.

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He became an FBI agent in 1976 and was assigned to work with the U.S. attorney's office in Phoenix, concentrating on land fraud and thrift-company fraud. He was an expert witness in several thrift-company fraud trials.

In October 1980, he went to work for Main Hurdman, an accounting firm that became Peat, Marwick Main & Co., becoming a partner in 1985. In July 1988, he joined C&L in charge of litigation and bankruptcies and became a partner on Oct. 1, 1990.

About 18 months ago he was transferred to Los Angeles to work on high-profile fraud cases. Less than two months ago, he moved back to Salt Lake City.

Jacobsen is a Salt Lake native who started his career with C&L in San Francisco. He left C&L to work for a family business, Jacobsen Construction, but returned to C&L in 1981, becoming a partner Oct. 1, 1984. He is a service line leader for litigation services for C&L and is involved with 400 professionals in the firm who provide expert testimony in court cases.

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