Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

The Last Word: In This Monthly Column, the JofA Takes a Closer Look at Some of the Intriguing, Inspiring and Imaginative Folks Who Are the Heart of the AICPA

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

The Last Word: In This Monthly Column, the JofA Takes a Closer Look at Some of the Intriguing, Inspiring and Imaginative Folks Who Are the Heart of the AICPA

Article excerpt

One of my mottoes in life is "Make a Difference." Volunteering in the community and being active professionally are important to me. I'm on the task force for financial literacy in Florida; we started a program with the Orlando Chamber of Commerce to help communicate the federal Family Tax Credit for low-income families. Low-income families often just don't think about filing tax returns. I'm also the Florida Institute of CPAs high school coordinator chair and teach Junior Achievement.

Our profession has evolved so much. I try to look at the big picture, at the wealth-management side. I tell young people it's not just about recording history; it's about planning for the future. I feel like I help people with their businesses, take care of the financial side so they can concentrate on what they do best.

When I was 13, I job-shadowed a CPA and from that moment I wanted to be one. Now I have students job-shadow me.

I first started talking to children about financial literacy about 10 years ago. With the younger children the goal is to get them intrigued with math, so I talked about tangible things. One time I brought in green ledger paper and we did hypothetical situations. They loved working on the columns. Now I'm involved with high school students. I made a presentation on Sarbanes-Oxley; I worked with a teacher on the AICPA simulation, where we studied the financial statements of Nike and Reebok. Teachers only touch the surface. Having an actual professional in the classroom gives students a much better idea of what CPAs do.

About 85% of the members of our firm graduated from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. One common thing among the partners is our community outreach. …

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