By Val Steed, CPA.CITP, MST - CEO, K2 Enterprises

I’ve been involved in the accounting technology industry since 1987. I’ve known many great executives and some really bad ones, so I decided to share my personal list of favorites with the world.

These are executives that I‘ve had long and ongoing relationships with for many years. You should know we did not always see eye to eye, but I always knew where I stood with each individual and we all respected each other. This is my all-star cast and they deserve a big shout out. Some of them are no longer with us but I share them in memoriam. I would love to hear if any of you know or knew these folks.

My top fifteen:

1. Susan Austin (Sheridan) — SBT Accounting, ACCPAC, Sage
2. Doug Burgum — Great Plains Software, Microsoft, Inc.
3. David Butler — MAS90, Sage,
4. Steve Blundell — Intuit, Inc.
5. Michael Bertini — Open Systems, Inc.
6. Kevin Robert — CCH, Wolters Kluwer
7. Jennifer Warawa — Sage
8. Larry Wolfe — Intuit, Inc.
9. David Bergstein — CCH, Wolters Kluwer, Intuit
10. Rich Walker — Intuit, Inc.
11. Mark Albrecht — XCM Solutions, Inc.
12. Pat Ripepi — ACCPAC, NetLedger
13. William (Bill) Goodhew — Peachtree Software, Inc.
14. Larry Beach — Creative Solutions, Inc.
15. Phil Lacerte — Lacerte Software, Inc.

My opinion of characteristics that qualify a top executive in priority order:

1. Honesty
2. Ethics
3. Communication
4. Respect
5. Kindness
6. Work ethic