Posted in on Job Post at 18 Aug, 2011

Welcome to “By the Numbers…”. Together we will work through career advancement issues in accounting. This blog will serve as a career-mentoring site for you, the professional accountant/CPA.

When I started my career, I had very limited access to career advice for a new accounting graduate/CPA. So many of the decisions and choices I made were based on instinct rather than the best long term interests of my career.

I began as a po’ boy from Southside Virginia, stumbled into a degree in accounting and earned my CPA certificate upon graduation. I was recruited to join a prestigious ”Big 4″public accounting firm (actually it was called “Big 8″ then) for their DC office even though I had little idea what I would be doing and less understanding of where this was going to lead.

I went to a small high school in a small town where career planning was deciding which mill you would work for upon graduation and how much of a car loan could one get. Being the first in my family to go to college and all that goes along with that, I just knew I wanted to do something different. My parents (though neither of them ever thought about college for themselves) felt education was the way out and always expected I would be a college grad.

At Virginia Tech, I knew that two things about a career selection really mattered to me: qualifying for a job where I could make $ upon graduation and doing something involving math and numbers. Accounting!!!

I worked for that Big 8 firm for about 3 years beginning a career odyssey of travel, long hours, hard work and risk taking that has provided  great opportunities to learn and develop many professional connections that I have leveraged throughout my career. I have worked for Fortune 100 firms and entrepreneurial start ups. I’ve been staff accountant, senior accountant, manager, CFO and CEO. And I have bet the ranch a couple of times that I could leverage my contacts and skills to build successful businesses.

Along the way, I found mentors. Some have shared information I wasn’t ready to hear. Others didn’t quite give me what I needed. But, a few gave me just what I needed, when I needed it, to make a break-through to a new level. They made a difference in my career and perhaps I can make a difference in yours.

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