By Bridget A. Sanders
I fell in love with accounting as a junior in high school. My high school in Pennsylvania offered classes primarily for vocational purposes, as many students would likely not pursue a college degree after graduation. I enjoyed math, so I thought accounting might be something worthwhile. As soon as I heard the words “debit” and “credit,” I was in love. I want to thank my high school accounting teacher, who is still teaching after 40-plus years, for starting me on an exciting career path filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, and one that would ultimately land me in the arms of my supervisor who became my husband on an audit engagement almost 20 years ago!
I continue to be amazed by what our profession has to offer. There are so many opportunities and specialties available to CPAs today! I have worked as an auditor for what (at the time) was a Big Six accounting firm, as a financial analyst summarizing international production costs for the television animation division of Walt Disney, and as a financial reporting manager consolidating the results of 40-plus countries reporting in more than 20 currencies. I’m most proud of my experience as a forensic accountant, and specifically when I hung my own shingle a few years ago. I recently gave up my practice to join a client as their CFO, where I’m able to work a reduced schedule to spend time with my pre-teen daughter. And I’m likely not done yet! This is what I most appreciate about the profession: There are always new and exciting opportunities to pursue.
And about that pre-teen daughter (sigh): While I continue to expound on the benefits of becoming an accountant/CPA, she has not yet bought into it. Her plan is to become a marine biologist specializing in sharks. Go figure. But having both parents as CPAs, the poor girl really doesn’t stand a chance. I’ve informed her, in no uncertain terms, she will take an accounting class in high school, because at least she can learn how to balance her checkbook and will be able to challenge the representatives she encounters at the credit card booth at college orientation trying to get her to sign up.
For the students reading this who are debating what career path in accounting is right for them, first and foremost, please plan to attend our annual Student Luncheon next month where you can network with professionals from local firms and hear from panelists who will share their amazing experiences and diverse backgrounds. The event will be held at the Sacramento State Alumni Center, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16. I hope to see you there! My second piece of advice is to obtain your CPA license. While it was very hard work and it took more than one try to pass the exam, it’s absolutely the best decision I ever made. And I credit having the license for helping me achieve many of my professional goals.
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June 13: Real Estate Conference
Aug. 20: 55th Annual Golf Tournament at Granite Bay Golf Club