Professorial Tribute: Abraham Briloff

December 2010  |  Class Notes, Online Exclusives

I remember Professor Abraham Briloff very well from my time as a student in the seventies. Back then, innocent accounting students thought that an accountant/auditor just prepared the books and reported the findings. We were unaware of the major impacts to society when ethics are disregarded in this seemingly mundane profession.

Of course, Briloff knew otherwise, and we all learned that lesson too. After the Enron meltdown, people reviewed the literature to find that the first books about ethics and the accounting profession were written long ago. Briloff, a student in the thirties and a professor from the 1940s on, understands these truths—and takes pleasure in sharing that understanding.

I like the way he thinks about the discipline: accounting is, after all, the language of business (regardless of how automated we get). Without sound, underlying principles, we are not likely to get accurate results.

Michelle (Tuchscher) Rosenbaum (’81)

Inspired to write your own professorial tribute? Please e-mail them to communications@baruch.cuny.edu.

* Alumni Alert: Not only is Abraham Briloff a world-renowned professor and accountant, he is also a Baruch double alumnus from the Classes of ’37 and ’41 and trustee emeritus of The Baruch College Fund.

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1 Comment


  1. I was fortunate to have Abraham Briloff as both the lecturer and classroom instructor for my first accounting course in the early 70s. I eventually decided to not major in accounting, but the basics of accounting, especially the ethics, I learned from him have served me well in my work as a performance auditor and training director for the Government Accountability Office. I still remember how he used the name of his daughter, Alice, as an acronym to remind us of some accounting basics: assets, liabilities, income, capital and expenditures.

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