I have been in the accounting field since my first year of college after the Marine Corps. To supplement my VEAP, I worked first as an accounting clerk for heavy/highway construction firm and within 6 months I was promoted to the controller’s position. Unfortunately, I ended up leaving this position as it was starting to eat into my studies. But I learned a great deal about accounting from this position.
During college I did a lot of consulting, what we call the gig-economy today. I helped several construction firms move to computerized accounting systems (this was the early 90’s and QuickBooks wasn’t on anybody’s radar) where we created inventory systems and job costing to provide effective accounting reports to the owners and managers. In most cases, I was taking the company’s One-Write information and trying to transform it into the new Accounting Information System (AIS) and also train their bookkeepers on how to use the system effectively.
In the summer preceding my senior year, I joined Artis, Pine, Berg & Scott, CPA’s in Visalia California as part of their audit team. I got the position partly because one of the partners was a Marine officer and mostly because I love auditing. As explained in more detail later, I helped design the audit program for a very large retailing company, several citrus co-operatives, privately held for-profit vocational schools, auto dealerships and California special districts – mostly water districts which built and moved water from the aqueduct system to the large farms and ranches in the central valley.
Most of my professional career has been in performing attest services; audits and reviews (now that compilations are disappearing). I also perform substantial consulting services in helping businesses tame their accounting department, create effective internal controls and identifying effective strategies.
Oh yes, along the way I even got good at taxes but I have always been a little concerned about tax preparation as a CPA as I feel there is a very legitimate concern about independence when an auditor or reviewing firm prepares the tax return. I realize the profession has a slightly different (but not much anymore) take on it but that is why we do not do any but the most basic 1120-H returns for condominium and homeowner associations.
I believe that my focus and passion for auditing actually makes me a more effective advisor as I am first worried about objective truth, informative reports and ensuring that the information can be audited.