Young CPAs

May I brag a moment on the new entries into the CPA profession? I am consistently amazed when I see the talent that comes our way. SCACPA’s Young CPAs have formed a leadership cabinet and challenged their peers at every level. Their energy seems to be endless. There is little doubt in my mind that our future is in good hands.

Just last week, while on break from the NASBA conference in Charleston, SCACPA’s Executive Director Erin Hardwick and I visited two CPA firms. The first firm was most impressive, as I saw many young CPAs sprinkled into the staff. The second, also impressive, had an entire staff that must have been 35 or younger. I even saw a SwaimBrown, PA intern alumni that had been hired by an excellent firm in the Charleston area.

I would like to brag on one of the new interns on our staff here in Spartanburg. This young lady worked with us during her junior year and was so impressive that we naturally kept her on staff through her senior year. She is always smiling and ever ready to assist with any project. Earlier this week she came into my office and asked if there was anything she could do to help (music to the ears!). As I looked down my “to-do” list filled with items such as: 1) Draft SCACPA magazine article; 2) Complete memo for audit client on the weaknesses in internal control; 3) Analyze ROTH versus Regular IRA computations…the list continued and I couldn’t find anything that I thought would fit.

Within the hour an e-mail came across my computer screen. One of our clients who owns a Slovenian subsidiary sent me financial statements which needed to be analyzed and used to prepare a (foreign) partnership return. It is not very complicated “accounting.” None of the numbers appeared to be overwhelming, but there were two basic challenges. The first, not too difficult to conquer: the statements are in Slovenian currency. The second challenge was a bit more to tackle: the statements are written in Slovenian. So, an idea popped into my head. Why not give this challenge to this recently graduated accounting intern? I followed up, presented her with the challenge, she accepted with a smile and I went about my day. (This is a true story).

Later that afternoon I checked to see how she was doing. She informed me that she was almost finished! (Wow!) She determined that the Slovenian currency is actually the Euro, converted the amounts into US Dollars and we had numbers ready for analysis for the US tax returns. No one on our staff speaks Slovenian, including this young accounting graduate, but this was not a problem for her. She found free software on the Internet and simply translated the complete foreign set of internal financial statements into English.

Now, all my boomer buddies, tell me if you could have handled this kind of assignment two weeks out of college. I know that it would have been far more than I could have handled. My first assignment was completing a hand posted depreciation schedule which had been placed onto 13 column paper and another 13 columns taped onto the first. A partner had to make at least one correction on that project. Although it was a wide workpaper, it was computed in US Dollars and written completely in English.

So I will once again say that I little doubt that our future is in good hands. CPA profession…hold on to your seats.

Blogger: Charles ‘Eddie’ Brown, CPA

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About scacpa

The South Carolina Association of CPAs is a professional organization that provides support to all CPAs – whether in public practice, industry, government or education - with lifelong learning opportunities necessary for their success, the promotion of high ethical standards and legislative advocacy for both the public good and for the profession.
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