In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it better?
First of all, I do not make anything better. Those you meet casually who spark something in the mind do. Those who lead lives we admire do. The people we choose to surround ourselves with do. I just aim to give back as much as I receive.
HISTORY: I started my practice 2 years ago. In the first year of business I was solo and grew the practice successfully. On my own in the first year required me to have ZERO inefficiencies in my process. In year 2, revenue quadrupled and the first team member was hired. Entering year 3, we now have 8 team members and are looking at another strong year of growth. All because the people we work with and for allow for us to. The systems and tools that are in place help too.
In what ways do you participate in the professional community to change/improve the accounting profession?
My #1 focus with CalCPA Education Foundation is guiding the future of continuing education among CPAs. My role now involves education delivery. CalCPA currently produces and delivers cont. Ed. to 42 of the 50 states. The impact our programs have on elevating the profession is remarkable.
Meet monthly with the San Francisco CalCPA chapter board of directors on CPA community outreach. This involves activities to bring CPAs together, other professions, and community service.
Conducted and published original research on the accounting profession. Including stress in accounting, unique satisfaction drivers of san francisco accountants, and alumni employees as revenue streams for accounting firms.
Present effective communication in accounting and business for the Masters in Taxation program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Panel speaker on career paths in accounting (my experience is in Big 4, Private, PhD, and firm owner...only missing FBI Special Agent!).
Worked 1:1 with ex-PwC mentor on launching his own practice (went live Sept 2016).
In what ways do you participate in your local community to help others?
We donate 10% of our profits annually to local 3 (SF) charities. Each provide the foundation to promote youth success (education, fitness, career)
Distribute food at our local food bank (Project openhand), clothes for homeless (Sts Peter and Pauls)
teach/lecture to small business owners (topics include accounting, entity selection, tools for success)
Financial literacy - big program sponsored by CalCPA to teach k-12 on how to manage your money, improve savings and investment strategies, save on taxes, and more.
What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?
How we educate ourselves and stay on top of tax law. I see education being delivered more and more into tiny informational snip-its. Then offering additional information (10 min, 30 min... full day) courses for those who want it.
How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?
Working with industry leaders to deliver education in new ways. Also enhance traditional modes for education (e.g., conference) so there is wider diversity in age participation. Issue: often younger people are missing from live events.
What is your career philosophy?
To move far in your career in a short amount of time, I think back to what my Bike trainer Mike told me. “If you only have an hour to go bike, use that hour and peddle every last second. No brakes, no stopping, only spinning.” My career has been nonstop. While others coasted in cont. education classes, I took notes and engaged. While others were (and may still be) finding their “path”. I took the job at PwC that most aligned with starting my own practice: Private Client Services (no public companies). I made decisions with an end in mind. That helped guide my career and get the most out of it possible. Now I am in a position to give back. I am deeply motivated about our impact on the community and how I can align firm goals (and employee growth) around that.
Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life.
The person who has altered all aspect of my life is Charlotte. My Wife. We met at PwC. She knows her stuff. She taught a ton of special knowledge on trusts/individual taxes. She supported me furthering my education with a Doctorate. She gave the thumbs up to starting a firm. She is always a positive beacon.