Staff Accountant – Assurance and Tax Services Groups
Wake up again! My girlfriend is an ER nurse, and she has an early morning shift Monday–Friday. By no fault of her own, I usually will wake up to her alarm. But 7:30 a.m. is when my actual alarm goes off.
Pack my lunch for the office. I usually take in plain chicken, with some sort of veggie and rice. I also bring in two eggs for breakfast, along with a “Just Crack an Egg” (shameless plug) which is what I typically eat for breakfast on workdays.
Brush my teeth, floss (sometimes, sorry dentist) and mouth wash.
Put on my suit to go into work. Although it is not required, I am a big believer in dressing for how you want your day to go. Dress like a professional to have a professional day.
Money is one language everyone speaks, and the CPA profession is a license to learn that language on a more thorough basis.
|Michael plans to get his license after doing 10 skydiving jumps so he can jump on his own
Grab my lunch, briefcase and, hopefully prepacked the night before, gym bag. I hop in my daily commuter car which is a black Veloster R-Spec with the 6-speed manual red leather seat package. I am a huge car guy but also a financially responsible one—the car is paid off and in my name as of last year. It is my first car, and I intend to drive it until the wheels fall off.
Roll into work. Typically, this is also when I turn my stereo down as I only have one volume in my car...which is full-volume! I usually listen to heavy metal or classic rock music. This morning I listened to “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crew on repeat.
Today is Tuesday, which means we have our weekly audit meeting. We start with “the news” for the group about one’s personal life. Later discussions pivot towards how to better serve and schedule our clients for the non-profit fall audit season.
Meeting ends—time to get my two eggs and crack them for breakfast! I also make a cup of coffee, typically with one cream and one sugar. If I am feeling fancy, I will add butter. It’s an old Marine trick to stay awake and productive. Once I have my breakfast ready to go, I start work on a charter school audit for a local Indianapolis school.
Medic school graduation in February 2018 at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas
I never skip lunch. Today, however, I will be exchanging my flavorful chicken to instead go out for “breakfast for lunch.” The lunch I packed will have to wait in the fridge until tomorrow. I wonder if anyone will eat it without my permission? Derek Magee, a senior at Donovan CPAs, has invited me to lunch to discuss CPA Exam study tips and how to sign up for the Exam. Derek also happens to have passed 3/4 sections of the Exam thus far and is taking the final section this coming week. It was so helpful to meet with him as I am preparing to take the Exam soon. Here are his study tips:
- Plan out a weekly study schedule before each Exam section.
- Be disciplined but flexible if necessary.
- Study at similar times each day (for Derek this meant getting an early start at the office).
- 90/30 rule (spend 90 minutes covering new material/30 minutes reviewing).
Catch up on a few emails from both clients and my colleagues.
IMy client questions are taken care of and we don’t typically schedule meetings in the afternoon. This is when I can listen to a podcast, typically a self-help or financial podcast, and knock out my to do list for the day. Today I’m listening to “Can’t Hurt Me” which was originally a book about David Goggins, a Navy Seal.
Since it’s not tax season, I rarely stay at the office past 5 p.m.
Everyone’s true test of patience: commuting home in traffic. I always go to the gym after work, no matter what, so I head there. There have been days during busy season where I would leave the office at 8 p.m. and still go to the gym afterwards. It’s part of my daily routine now—I have gone to the same gym five times a week for the past six years!
Change out of my suit, no tie today, and into my workout gear. On Tuesdays I always focus my workout on arms and back.
Get home and start making dinner. Usually, my girlfriend makes dinner since she is home by 4 p.m., but tonight is special. I am making my mom’s enchiladas recipe. Even my girlfriend does not know the recipe—it is quite possibly my family’s best kept secret. Many have attempted to copy, but none have succeeded.
Eat dinner much later than usual, but oh so satisfying. Nobody makes better enchiladas than my mother. This is also “Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon” time! Tonight we watch the third episode.
My girlfriend gets ready for bed. I stay up a bit longer to catch up on emails from work, which I schedule to send at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. I also use this as “me time” to set goals for the following day, week, month and year. I work on my budget and listen to another podcast. I frequently listen to “The Money Guy Show” which features two financial advisors who discuss hot topics in finance like the housing market and stock news. I also like “The Dave Ramsey Show” and “The Pat McAfee Show.”
Tonight I signed up to take the CPA Exam! Over the summer I reached my 150-credit hour requirement, which turned out to be more complicated than I anticipated. Ivy Tech wouldn’t let me take more than six credit hours in the summer, so I decided to take my remaining two classes at IUPUI. In total I completed four classes for 12 credit hours this summer of 2022.
Time for bed! I make sure I get at least eight hours of sleep each night.
Staff Accountant – Assurance and Tax Services Groups
MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO:
The impact a smaller up-and-coming CPA firm has on its surrounding community is amazing. On my drive home from our Avon office along US-36, I can name many businesses Donovan CPAs serves. One of the reasons I chose to work at a small CPA firm is because I play a hand in serving the same client in a variety of ways. I have quite a few clients I work with on auditing agreements, which later leads to a business tax filing of some sort. This also translates into plenty of public accounting experience!
Cart pusher at Kroger (my first job), Intern – Donovan CPAs, Intern – Cummins, Army Medic – U.S. Army Reserve
Kelley School of Business, Indianapolis
|Michael’s 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 750 motorcycle
When I'm Not at Work
I currently live a fast-paced life in Speedway near the track (pun intended). I recently closed on my house and am eager to settle in! My family is originally from Montreal, Canada, and I moved here 12 years ago not speaking a single word of English. I communicated with my 4th grade teacher through notes handed back and forth in class, and I learned a lot of English through Rosetta Stone. It took me six months to learn, and two years to speak without an accent (people can’t even tell English is not my first language).
Cat (Binx), dog (Ryker) and more fish than I can count. I have two 5-gallon fish tanks, one 10-gallon fish tank, one 29-gallon fish tank and plan to add a “final project” (over 100-gallon tank) to my basement.
Riding my motorcycle, swimming, snowboarding, sky diving, building furniture.
I foster cats for the Brownsburg Misty Eyes Animal Shelter.
Advice for Students Considering the Profession
Secure as many internships as you can while you are in school—especially full-time summer internships. It not only gives you a foot in the door, but you can also leverage the experience you gained from your internships once you start looking for full time employment.
Accounting is a great way to learn how money works. Money is one language everyone speaks, and the CPA profession is a license to learn that language on a more thorough basis. Accountants are advisors, portfolio managers, public accountants—the list goes on and on!
Best Advice You've Ever Received
“If you do not measure it, you cannot
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