Senior Manager - PwC
6 a.m. Wake up. I stretch, then do 100 push-ups and 50 sit-ups.
6:45 a.m. The staple of my morning is quiet time (where I focus on breathing and mentally prepare for the day). Regardless of how busy I am, I start every morning with some mental fitness. A few years ago, PwC started an initiative called Be Well, Work Well, which helped each of us channel more self-awareness as it relates to physical, mental and spiritual well-being. I see a significant increase in my productivity (and happiness) when I prioritize it, which is why each day begins with physical fitness and quiet time.
7 a.m. I spend a few minutes scrolling through emails to ensure there aren’t any major issues that need to be resolved. Since PwC is a global firm, it’s common I wake up to emails from teams outside of the U.S. I make sure I respond quickly, so they can see my response before their work day ends.
7:15 a.m. I iron my clothes (yes, I still iron my clothes every day and only use the dry cleaners when necessary), then eat breakfast with my wife Abbey. I’m not a coffee drinker, so this is usually pretty quick— yogurt, fruit and water.
7:30 a.m. Leave for work. We serve clients with global operations, so travel is expected. In the car, I listen to podcasts to stay informed on what’s going on the world (they usually address a broad array of topics, not just business). When I was a kid, I envisioned successful business people reading the newspaper every day, but here I am, getting my daily fix from podcasts and Twitter!
8:30 a.m. Most people begin their days by checking email. In public accounting, chances are you’ve read and answered the emails before you even sit down (or at least the important ones). I spend the first few minutes at work prioritizing. My role requires me to be great at project management, as I often manage multiple large teams at once. My priority list includes tasks that need to be completed today and in the next week. I also list out higher level tasks I need to think about for the upcoming month. In addition, I spend a few minutes each day staying abreast of changes in the accounting and auditing world—whether it’s a new requirement from the FASB, SEC or PCAOB, it’s important I read and assess how these changes will impact my clients (and discuss them with my clients).
9 a.m. I lead a huddle with my team to set expectations for the week. Huddles are quick and to the point, as my goal is to limit the administrative time our teams incur—we want them spending their time learning, growing and doing value-add activities. I also spend time understanding where we are from a budget perspective and ensuring we have the right amount of people on the ground to complete the project.
9:30 a.m. Every couple of days, a client asks a technical accounting question that needs to be discussed internally. I spend some time with my partner to make sure we fully understand the facts and circumstances of the question. In some scenarios, we will bring in our national accounting group to ensure we are headed down the right path.
10 a.m. After consulting with my partner and national group, I meet with the client to provide an update on our auditing of their technical accounting question. We also discuss the status of the overall audit and talk through any potential issues.
11 a.m. Every minute matters, and I usually have an hour in the morning to get through review of our audit. I review audit work performed by my team and provide coaching to the team on a task that needs to be completed.
"For many of my colleagues who identify as minorities, I’ve taken it upon myself to ensure these individuals feel included, are getting correct opportunities and what they want out of the firm."
It’s time for lunch. Team culture is really important to me. Whenever I am onsite with the team, outside of busy season, I often call mandatory team lunches. For a portion of the year, we have interns onsite with us, so this serves as a good vehicle for the interns to get to know the team and vice versa. This summer, we have five interns working with my client. Many of them are in our Start internship program—PwC’s internship experience for college sophomores who identify as an underrepresented minority in the CPA profession.
After lunch, I dive back in to the audit to finish what I started before lunch. At times, public accounting can be challenging, as we are constantly picking up and putting down, so I try to close down one task before I move on to the next.
I serve as both an informal and formal coach to multiple staff. I spend 30 minutes catching up with one of my mentees. We discuss career goals, potential opportunities and satisfaction in their current role. I am passionate about coaching and mentoring, so no matter how busy I am, I make time for it. For many of my colleagues who identify as minorities, I’ve taken it upon myself to ensure these individuals feel included, are getting the correct opportunities and what they want out of the firm. During my career, I’ve had many people mentor and coach me, so I take great pride in doing the same for others. PwC has implemented specific initiatives at all levels to ensure minorities within the firm can succeed. Many of these are led by our office of diversity nationally; however, locally, we have leaders who fully support diversity and inclusion efforts.
A client has called, so I connect virtually to talk to them.
If you’ve been following where the accounting profession is headed, you know that automation is top of mind. To ensure we are all doing our part to stay relevant, my team has an hour on the calendar every week for “Tech Tuesdays,” where we focus on knowledge sharing. Today we talk about how to automate processes that have traditionally been manual (yes, I know how to create a bot!) and how we can use data analytics and visualizations in our audit. PwC has provided significant training to digitally upskill our firm. I’ve spent multiple days learning how to use these tools and technologies. Years ago, CPAs were moving away from a calculator and starting to use Excel—it is safe to say the CPA of the future will be even more tech savvy.
"My most impactful career conversations came from a mentor who was in public accounting for 10 years
and had switched professions. He offered a different perspective, which was insightful."
Outside of busy season, my goal is to leave the office around 5 p.m. Since flexibility is key to happiness at work, I try to lead by example to show my teams it’s okay to leave at a decent hour. Flexibility isn’t about working less—it’s about finding the balance that works for each person individually. Most of what we do can be done virtually, so in June, August and September (July is a peak month), the team works remotely on Fridays to promote flexibility in their schedules.
My wife Abbey is a Pure Barre teacher and is instructing a class tonight, so I head to the City Way YMCA to work out.
Abbey and I meet each other at home and eat dinner together. I have to travel for work frequently—in the last few weeks, I have been to Montreal, Seattle, Las Vegas, New York, Ireland, Dallas and Colorado. When I am home, I want to be present.
I received a fair amount of emails today that I didn’t have time to respond to. I put a basketball game on TV (Go Aces and Hoosiers) while getting a few things done for work.
I close my laptop for the night. Since our family isn’t in Indy, I make a Facetime call to check in with our nieces and nephew (and of course their parents).
I settle down in bed and watch a show before I fall asleep.
Each night, our goal is to have the TV off by 11 p.m. so we get a good night’s rest. I turn it off and do a last refresh of social media and emails to ensure I’m not missing out on anything major in the world.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC)
U.S. Firm (50,000); Worldwide (250,000)
I am a senior manager in the core assurance/audit practice, which focuses on performing audits for SEC registrants. One of my favorite things about my role is getting to work with some of the smartest people in the industry. I work alongside top-notch clients, PwC partners who have been in the CPA profession for 20+ years, IT professionals and tax professionals every day.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION INITIATIVES AT WORK:
Two years ago, our CEO, Tim Ryan, along with other CEOs in the country, started the CEO Action Pledge. It is a commitment from some of the most prestigious institutions in the world to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Since it rolled out, PwC has taken significant steps towards this commitment. To acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr. Day (which is also the busiest time of the year for us), all staff within our U.S. firm stepped away from our laptops for an hour to have candid discussions with our teams. We discussed how we all can support D&I, what it is like to be the only minority in the workplace and even education about our different cultures. I never envisioned I would ever talk about these topics during work hours (in fact, I was coached to never talk about them in the workplace), so I am proud our CEO is the reason why I feel comfortable talking about it now.
Manager, Senior Associate, Associate – PwC; Intern – Social Security Administration; Intern – Kemper CPA Group, Evansville location
University of Evansville (bachelor’s in accounting); Indiana University (master’s in accounting) INCPAS INVOLVEMENT: INCPAS member; Served as an INCPAS Scholars program mentor; Participated in INCPAS Game On event; Received 2019 INCPAS Building Bridges to the Profession Award
WHEN I’M NOT AT WORK
My family is my biggest motivation and keep me going every day. My parents are blue collar and seeing them work hard and make sacrifices for my brother and me has shaped who I am today. My wife Abbey is a dermatology physician assistant (and also a Pure Barre teacher). The rest of my family is spread between Southern Indiana and Connecticut, which means Abbey and I are always on the move to see them (especially my nieces and baby nephew)!
I’m a retired college athlete, so playing basketball and working out are still in my DNA (although my body tells me differently the morning after I get a game in). I’m also really interested in personal development, so I enjoy reading and listening to podcasts. Lately, I’ve been focused on common behaviors among some of the most successful business men and women.
OTHER MEMBERSHIPS/COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:
National Association of Black Accountants (NABA); Board member for the University of Evansville Alumni Association; Diversity Champion for Indiana University Recruiting (PwC)
ADVICE ADVICE FOR STUDENTS CONSIDERING THE PROFESSION/BECOMING A CPA
It’s hard to pinpoint what you want to do for the rest of your life when you’re a college student. Network with tenured professionals (and not just those you are comfortable with) to get an idea of what they do. When I went through the recruiting process, I primarily gravitated towards CPAs who were closest to me in age (and ultimately, people I had the most in common with). However, my most impactful career conversations came from a mentor who was in public accounting for 10 years and had switched professions. He offered a different perspective, which was insightful.
ADVICE FOR YOUNG PROS WANTING TO ADVANCE IN THE PROFESSION
In the accounting world, we often ask each other, “What did you do last year?” and use this as the baseline for what we’re doing in the current year. As a manager, I highly value instances when colleagues think outside of the box or challenge what we’ve always done in the past. Whether it’s thinking of a more efficient approach (creating a bot to automate a process!) or increasing quality of the work product, show initiative by not always accepting the “same as last year” approach.