The Tale of the Two Accountants

BY CHERYL ROSEN

L ooking for a little stocking stuffer this Christmas? Metis Group, the New York accounting firm, likely would suggest one of the mystery novels its partners have published this year.

Having two writers among the firms nine partners is pure coincidence, says Jerry Eitelthe result of a merger that brought him and fellow CPA-cum-novelist Jim Weikert together. His recently published Trail of Light tells the tale of a crooked college adviser who makes a shady living promising rich parents to get their academically challenged teenagers into top universitiesuntil he meets his match in a mobster who demands real results.

Eitel earned a degree in creative writing before deciding on a career in accounting, and still finds fiction a fine way to unwind during tax season. He scribbles his tales of mobsters and murders in tony townslike the one hes headed home toon the back of financial statements during his hour-long commute. Then he types them up and edits them from 6:00 to 7:00 every morning without fail before catching the 7:23 to Penn Station.

Despite the light touch, Eitels writing echoes the moral foundation of his professional work. Im trying to be a serious novelist, kind of in the style of Elmore Leonard, he says. The book definitely has a moral. Its entertainment thats trying to say something.

Cheryl Rosen

SPONSORED REPORT

The technology assessment engagement

Are you working with the best technology? Do you know how to help your clients determine if their technology stack measures up? In this free report, J. Carlton Collins, CPA, explains how to answer those questions via a technology assessment engagement.

FEATURE

Maximizing the higher education tax credits

A counterintuitive strategy can save taxes by including otherwise excludable scholarships in gross income.