Author: Dina Barabash, Content Development & Web Specialist
Posted: March 7, 2023

Not everyone knows how fulfilling it is to be a CPA these days and the joy that comes from such a dynamic profession. So, we wanted to change that narrative by sharing insight from two of NASBA’s resident CPAs. NASBA’s Jeremy Davenport and Michael Bryant were gracious enough to let us interview them about their experience as certified public accountants. Hear the inside scoop from two of today’s rockstar accountants.

Q & A:

How long have you been a CPA?

Michael: 40+ years.

Jeremy: Since 2006, so 17 years.

What do you enjoy most about the profession?

Michael: The variety of puzzles that must be addressed and being able to communicate results to others.  

Jeremy: I appreciate the trust and respect you get when people find out you are a CPA. It’s an immediate recognition of your knowledge and hard work.

What is something that surprises you about being a CPA?

Michael: How so many of the CPAs I have worked with in my career have a great sense of humor. 

Jeremy: How many people think that you’re a tax expert! I get a lot of questions from family and friends about tax issues, but I’ve never worked much in tax. So, I have limited knowledge in that area, especially individual tax. It’s similar to the medical profession: you wouldn’t ask a proctologist for advice on your heart issues.

What is a piece of advice you have for candidates?

Michael: Study hard and picture yourself passing. Once you get licensed, no one can take that away from you unless you do something unwise. 

Jeremy: Find a career that provides fulfillment for you in some way, not just a job. Being part of an important mission goes a long way toward personal fulfillment.

What is a challenge you must overcome often and how do you do it? 

Michael: Balancing multiple deadlines and a variety of tasks. Time is a finite resource, so I have to know when enough work has been done to make a decision and move on. There is such a thing as analysis paralysis, which is constantly wanting more and more data to make a decision. Decisions must come from people who use data. Not the other way around.  

Jeremy: Meeting the various reporting deadlines is always a challenge. I have to wait for the financial information to be finalized before providing an analysis. I do as much prep beforehand as I can so that I can meet the deadlines or beat them.

Do you have a tip for someone studying for the CPA Exam?

Michael: Believe you can do it and keep agreements with yourself to study when you say you will.  Create acronyms and draw pictures to anchor what you have studied in your mind. 

Jeremy: Get on an organized study schedule or it will feel very overwhelming, and it will feel like it is taking over your life. If you are on a schedule, you will have defined boundaries for study time and personal time. Balance is key.

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