Some Endorsements For Kristi Yamaguchi
In reference to your excellent article "To marketers, Kristi Yamaguchi isn't as good as gold" (Top of the News, Mar. 9), this is only another example of the anti-Asian hysteria brought about by the stagnant domestic economy. Last year's "model minority" has become this year's scapegoat. Unfortunately, many in the American public fail to differentiate between the activities of Asian-Americans and overseas countries. Asian-Americans are as committed as any other ethnic group to the political, religious, and economic institutions of America.
Colts Neck, N. J.
Americans come in many faces. I was outraged to read that "companies may be shying away from Yamaguchi because of her ethnic heritage." America is united by the concept of equality of opportunity and the recognition of each individual's achievement. Kristi (and many others with her ethnic background) represents talent, energy, and excellence. She should be a role model for our society. Or do advertisers prefer Bart Simpson?
As president of a new biotechnology company, I regret that our company is still early in the research phase and not yet ready to involve Yamaguchi in promotional efforts.
President & CEO
Culling 40% of the 1,300 U.S. franchises, as suggested in your article "Bass can't get comfortable at Holiday Inns" (Top of the News, Mar. 2), would be economic suicide for Holiday Inn, creating a revenue and profitability slump that could last into the 21st century. With one of the strongest brand names in the industry, Holiday Inn should stay committed to its spending plan of providing loans for capital improvements to its franchisees. Otherwise, the higher-quality Holiday Inn franchises may change affiliation, leaving the chain to compete in a lower market tier.
Mariner Hotel Corp.
Your article caught my attention because it discussed the problem Holiday Inn is having with losing some of its major U.S. and British hotel franchisees to the Marriott nameplate. Interestingly, the photo that appeared with your article was of a new Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in Kansas City, Mo.--a hotel that Holiday Inn franchised when who else but Marriott lost the franchise there last year!
Senior Hotel Consultant
Coopers & Lybrand
In "Is College Bound for real? The SEC wants to know" (Top of the News, Feb. 10), you quote accounting Professor Howard Schilit as critical of some of the company's accounting methods, including having a sole practitioner handle its books instead of an accounting firm. As a society representing over 33,000 CPAs from practice units of all sizes, we want to stress that, contrary to the article's inference, the size of a CPA firm has no direct relation to the quality of services performed. The Crazy Eddie case is just one example of management fraud committed by a small company that had been audited by a major accounting firm, but we also want to point out that fraud and perceived audit failure can occur in corporations of all sizes. CPAs can evaluate only financial information that management discloses.
It is the role of a company's board of directors and audit committee to more closely monitor management's internal activities and ensure that the outside auditor receives the full picture. One alleged case of misconduct, if this proves to be the case with College Bound's CPA, does not and should not imply that the role of independent auditor is company watchdog, regardless of the size of the company or its accounting firm.
Robert L. Gray
New York State Society
of Certified Public Accountants