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Day in the Life of a CPA: Dave Whitely, CPA

May 16, 2023

Senior Director of Finance & Accounting
Bastian Solutions, LLC

Photo of Dave Whitely, CPA4:45 A.M.: Get out of bed and get ready for the gym as quietly as possible so I don’t wake up my family. You have to find whatever time works for you to take care of yourself — this is what works for me!

4:59 A.M.: As I get into my car to leave for my workout, I wonder to myself if waking up before 5 a.m. is ever going to get easier.

5:15 A.M.: Class begins at F45 Fishers Geist (shout out to the awesome coaches there). It’s 45 minutes of pushing myself to get a good workout and get my mind right for the day.

6:15 A.M.: Back home for a protein shake and shower while I listen to a daily news podcast and get ready for the day. I am working from the office today, so it has to be pants with buttons — we all have to make sacrifices.

7 A.M.: My son, Max, wakes up with an enthusiasm and energy that I hope to one day match. It’s usually a loud “Good morning!” and immediate rough housing with our dog, Bob. The energy in the house kicks up a lot when he throws his door open in the morning.
I am part of the senior leadership team…[that helps] the corporate support functions take that all-important leap to the next level of capabilities to enable excellence across all parts of the company. The responsibility this comes with is a privilege.
 Photo of Dave Whitely's Family
Dave and his wife Sarah, with son, Max and dog, Bob.

7:05 A.M.: My wife, Sarah, and I are downstairs tag-teaming the morning routine — feed the dog, brew the coffee, make lunch for Max, talk about what the day holds for us both separately and what the evening plans and commitments look like.

7:25 A.M.: Coffee in hand, hugs all around, I am out the door and into the morning commute. It is about 30 minutes door-to-door and I use that time to listen to leadership podcasts or a book through Audible. I am currently re-listening to Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.

8 A.M.: Boot up the computer while brewing a cup of coffee in my office — time to start the day! I check in with my boss (CFO) to see if there is anything that needs immediate attention or anything he needs help with, then I work through some outstanding emails until my first of a handful of meetings.

8:30 A.M. : First meeting of the day: an in-person meeting with my boss, the CEO/president of Bastian Solutions and other key leaders to discuss the financial results for February. I lead the discussion on the month’s results, but more importantly, discuss what drove the performance and what it means for the remainder of the quarter and beyond.

Photo of Dave's family

Dave’s family: Wife, Sarah, and son, Max.

9 A.M.: Second meeting of the day: a virtual meeting with my direct reporting team — managers and leaders of different aspects of accounting, finance and operations across the corporate support platform of the business. We talk through roadblocks, issues and developments from the week, troubleshooting and brainstorming along the way, setting the stage for a successful finish to the week and planning what the week ahead will bring. We are heading into fiscal year-end so the discussion centers around that final push, performance reviews, strategic planning and team management discussions. It is a crazy time of the year, and these roundtable discussions are so critical to ensure we are all on the same page.
There is no better way to see all parts of a business and its operations than through the eyes of the accounting profession.
10 A.M.: Another meeting — it is a busy Friday! This meeting is in-person with the senior leadership team, a group of cross functional leaders from across the organization who partner with the executive leadership team to help set and execute on the strategic direction of the organization. This is one of my favorite teams and groups to contribute to. It allows us to take off the “hat” we wear in running our respective functions and put on an “overall business” hat instead.

NOON: First lull of the day. I use it to grab a light lunch and walk around the building. I typically use this time to relax a bit and catch up with colleagues in other parts of the business that I am partnering with on projects or just say hello.

1 P.M.: With the morning meetings complete and a few hours of unscheduled time on my calendar this afternoon, I am using the time to tackle of a few projects that will take more individual focus. That list is eclectic today and includes a review of the final budget submission for the upcoming new year, Risk Management Committee duties and planning for strategic initiatives across my teams in the coming year.

3 P.M.: Final meeting of the day. I am sitting down with an executive and one of our customers to discuss an active project: collecting feedback and ensuring our project team is meeting the customer’s expectations. I enjoy flexing into a “customer service” mindset to finish up the week and help clear road blocks before they become an issue.

4 P.M.: Time for a little “Win the Week” planning for what we have on the radar for the coming week. This ensures I have time set aside to focus and collaborate on key initiatives as we finish up the year. I also reach out to the audit manager at PwC to check in on planning/interim work and start discussion about some unique challenges we will need to tackle during our upcoming audit.

4:45 P.M.: Great finish to the week! I hit the road to head home for a busy and exciting weekend. We have a charity event with Noble tonight (their mission is to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families), some fun home projects to tackle and plan to hit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for the new exhibit that just opened. I use my 30-minute commute home to listen to some music and catch up on some sports news, resetting my mind and putting the work day behind me for the weekend fun ahead!

11 P.M.: The charity event was fantastic and a great way to spend the evening with my wife. It’s later than normal for us but was worth the little bit of lost sleep. Now it’s time for bed — I’m looking forward to the weekend!

About Me

NAME: Dave Whitely, CPA

Senior Director of Finance & Accounting

Bastian Solutions, LLC


Make an impact! Since the company was acquired by Toyota Advanced Logistics in 2017, there has been tremendous investment into an already incredible organization. I am part of the senior leadership team and the group brought in since the acquisition to help the corporate support functions take that all-important leap to the next level of capabilities to enable excellence across all parts of the company. The responsibility this comes with is a privilege as I get to work alongside a great group with similar growth mindsets to bring out the best in the team and company as we grow together.

PREVIOUS POSITIONS: Associate through senior associate with PwC’s Consumer Finance Group (multiple offices across the country); controller for Cochlear Americas in Denver, CO.

Ohio University (O-U Oh-Yeah!)
 Photo of Dave Whitely's Family boating on a lake
Family time on the lake.

When I'm Not at Work

FAMILY: Wife (Sarah), the managing broker of Sarah Whitely Homes, LLC, and our son, Maxwell (5)

Bob, our one-year-old golden retriever, and we are always fostering other fur-friends

My hobbies center around my family. We love to be active together in as many things as possible — we work out together, foster dogs (sometimes one older dog, sometimes nine puppies!), flip homes and/or take on projects we shouldn’t at our own home, go boating, and love to go to King’s Island as many times as possible each year. On the “just me side” of the hobbies list, I am a die-hard Cleveland sports fan (read as: sucker for punishment, but…loyal through it all!)

In addition to fostering dogs, I am a board member on my HOA (I know I know) and coach my son’s Mudsocks soccer team. Together, we are as involved as possible with charitable organizations. My wife has spent years giving back with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Women for Riley, and I support when I am able.

Advice for Students Considering the Profession

Being a CPA can literally take you anywhere! I know CPAs in roles across all parts of business, and that is not an accident. There is no better way to see all parts of a business and its operations than through the eyes of the accounting profession. Be a sponge around your coworkers, business partners and clients. Learn how they think, what they focus on and how they operate, and see where it takes you. In a business, everything that happens has a financial impact and every new project or initiative will need your input — you can make such an incredible impact wherever you are if you focus on more than just the accounting.

Best Advice You've Ever Received

When it comes to leadership, you need to lead yourself before you can lead others. Be genuine and true to who you are, commit to being a servant leader and your potential will be endless.

Do you think a day in your life would make a good addition to our series? Contact Katie Kirkton at to find out how you can share your story.

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