What is the biggest misconception about the industry?
That any CPA firm can provide the advisory, audit, and tax services needed by construction companies, so the best value CPA firm is the one offering the lowest price. At CohnReznick, we believe that industry expertise is the critical driver of value, and our clients agree. So, I think it’s important for all construction businesses to have a CPA firm that is focused on and invested in the construction industry. The construction industry is actually a niche industry for the accounting profession.
What is your biggest current challenge at work?
Recruiting top accounting professionals in a very tight and extremely competitive labor market. We’re experiencing talent issues like most other industries, including construction. With major initiatives, such as the infrastructure bill, moving forward, there are many opportunities for accounting professionals at all experience levels. But, like other businesses, our firm is challenged as we look to expand our resources.
What keeps you up at night?
Staying ahead of the constant technical changes in our profession and making sure our clients are keeping pace with modifications to the tax code and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). We’re constantly thinking about how these evolving rules apply to the industry and to our clients’ businesses.
What project is your company most proud of?
We are a CPA firm; our clients are our projects. We take great pride in seeing our clients’ signs, trucks, and completed construction projects knowing we have contributed to their success.
How does your ABC membership help your company?
The strong connections we make with other members, and the knowledge we gain from those members, helps us better serve our clients.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A Navy fighter pilot when I was younger, but that changed when my older sister decided to major in accounting and I took my first accounting class in high school.
Tell us something no one in the industry knows about you.
I was the second in my family (after my older sister) to get a college education.
What do you look forward to each day?
Learning something new. In my 23 years in the profession, there hasn’t been a day when I haven’t learned something new or gained a better understanding of something I thought I already knew.
I also look forward to opportunities to help my clients within the industry, while figuring out how to achieve mutually beneficial growth for our clients and our firm.
What are you like to work for?
I would say fair, yet demanding when I need to be. But, I like to think I am also understanding when it comes to the needs and issues of my team.
What is your favorite metro Washington hangout/restaurant?
Woodmont Grill in Bethesda is my favorite lunch spot and Ted’s Montana Grill in Gaithersburg has recently been my go-to for dinner.
Who would you trade places with for a day?
Pete Alonso of the New York Mets. I’ve also wanted to hit a home run and round the bases as the crowd cheers.
What is your favorite movie or tv show?
I love Ted Lasso.
What do you do for fun?
Anything sports-related, whether it’s coaching my kids in soccer and basketball, playing or spectating.
What business/career advice do you wish you had when you began?
Build and expand your network of contacts and communities of influence as early as possible in your career. ABC is a great place to do that, and I’ve made many valuable connections with its members.
What was your first job?
When I was a kid, landscaping and mowing lawns. But my first job out of school was in accounting. I’ve spent my career entirely at CohnReznick.