Emil Scharff, CPABy
We remember a former IMA Chair, advocate for young accountants, and visionary who kept his eye on the horizon.
Emil “Bob” Scharff, NAA President (now called IMA Chair) in 1981-82, died last year in Burlingame, Calif. He was 93. A member for 56 years, he joined the National Association of Accountants, now IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants), in 1960, affiliating with the San Diego Chapter. He worked his way up through various positions and became Chapter president for 1966-67. Then he turned to national service when he was elected a national director in 1968 and a vice president in 1971.
Next he served as chair of several IMA committees and was a member of the Stuart Cameron McLeod Society (SCMS). He remained active in IMA for years. Throughout his IMA service, he emphasized education, chapter and council activities, participation in the accounting standard-setting process, and international involvement.
Focused on the future of the profession, Bob always encouraged IMA to help develop young accountants and said that “Accountants must be responsive to the changing financial world we’re in” and prepare themselves for their future roles. Those who knew him say he was a great person and that his impact on members lasted decades.
He started his career as an accounting clerk for the Knox Company in Hollywood, Calif., then enlisted and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. In 1953 he received a bachelor of accounting degree from the University of Southern California and joined the Los Angeles office of Arthur Young & Co. (now EY) as an auditor. He later became a partner with the firm and was managing partner of the San Francisco office until he retired in 1983.
His family says Bob enjoyed socializing, traveling worldwide, reading, boating, the symphony, ballet, opera, visiting museums, “a good game of poker,” and dancing with Charlotte, his late-wife of 50 years. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Sharon and Larry Ventura, his nephew Bob Cudlip, cousin Terry Whitney, and several other nephews of Charlotte.