2018 Best Public Accounting Firms for Women and Best Firms for Leadership Equity

Expectations have never been higher for women’s advancement in the workplace. The 2018 Accounting MOVE Project, showcases innovations that propel women to success and that inform firm leaders about related strategies for overall diversity initiatives. Approaches outlined in the report ensure that the profession’s much-needed emphasis on diversity and inclusion also furthers momentum for women.

The 2018 Accounting MOVE Project found that women comprise 25% of the management committees at participating firms—a huge advance from the 19% reported in the 2014 report. Still, progress is incremental overall, with women remaining at 24% of partners and principals at CPA firms.

Insights from the report include:

  • A philosophy of aligning wins for women with wins for leaders and for firms overall creates common ground for shared wins.
  • Firm aspirations are set by top leaders but middle managers actually convert to culture change
  • Men add invaluable insight as women’s initiatives sharpen their focus on barriers unique to women.
  • When men ask that programs designed for women be opened to them, too, firms have a chance to reinforce the unique value of women’s programs and to explore what the women’s programs are doing that overall training programs are not.
  • Women’s initiatives inform umbrella diversity and inclusion initiatives with proven logistical models and by illustrating the lasting importance of personal stories that inspire and inform rising women.

The Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance has released the Best CPA Firms for Women list and the Best Firms for Equity Leadership List, based on the 2018 Accounting MOVE Project report.

Visit the AFWA National Website http://www.afwa.org/move-project for all the MOVE Project reports.

Women’s History Month: Celebrating Women in Accounting

By AFWA National President, Lori Kelley, CPA

In honor of National Women’s History Month, I thought I would celebrate the contributions of a few important women to the accounting profession.

Christine Ross: First woman CPA

New York was the first state to enact licensure legislation in 1896 and gave its first CPA exam in December 1896.  Christine Ross sat for the exam in June 1898 and scored second or third in her group.  Six to 18 months elapsed while state regents delayed her certificate because of her gender.  The publication “Bookkeeper” stated in 1900, “The eleven men who passed the examination at the same time as Christine Ross, got their certificates promptly, but the young woman waited.”  She had completed the requirements and ultimately became the first woman CPA in the United States, receiving certificate number 143 on December 21, 1899 (more than 10 years after taking the exam!).  Ross had actually been practicing accounting since 1889, working for Manning’s Yacht Agency in New York.  Her clients included women’s organizations and wealthy women in fashion and business.

Of course, a woman did not have to be a CPA to work in accounting.  In 1870, the US Department of Labor, Women’s Division, reported that women working as bookkeepers, accountants and cashiers totaled 893 or 2.3% of the total.  By 1900, their number had risen to 74,895 or 29.1% of the total.  In contrast, by 1910 only 13 women were reported to be CPA’s in the US. The movement had begun!

Mary T. Washington: First Black Woman CPA

In 1943, Mary T. Washington became the first black woman to become a CPA and the 13th black CPA in the country.  Ms. Washington began her career as an assistant at Binga State Bank in Chicago – one of nation’s largest black-owned banks in the country.  She later earned a business degree from Northwestern University in 1941 and in 1968 she founded Washington, Pittman & McKeever, one of the largest black-owned accounting firms in the nation.

Ida S. Broo: Founder of Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance

This piece would not be complete without honoring AFWA’s founder – Ida S. Broo.  Born in 1858 and raised on a farm in Seymour, Indiana, Mrs. Broo went to Indianapolis to study piano.  She went on to take night courses in accounting.  In order to meet the two years of experience necessary to sit for the CPA exam, she worked for a CPA for NO PAY!  In 1925, she passed the CPA exam.  After holding various accounting positions, she ultimately opened her own office, handling tax and audits, and was the only woman in Indiana to practice under her own name at the time.  In 1938, Ida Broo founded the American Society of Women Accountants, with the goal to encourage more women to enter the accounting profession, to increase opportunities in the field and to inform the public of the place women hold in accounting.  “Our goal is to be accepted as persons, not women.  We have a long road to go, but we’re on the way.”  Mrs. Broo is quoted as saying.  Today, she would be pleased at our progress, but from what I have read, she would note that we still have a way to go!

And that is why the organization she founded is still so relevant today, 80 years later.  AFWA is here to support our members and to help you contribute to your profession, as did the women before us!  Join me in celebrating and honoring these women and all women who have forged the way, this month!

Check out the AFWA Blog at http://www.afwa.org for more messages from the AFWA National President and other association and industry news.

Matters of the Heart: Women’s Heart Health

By AFWA ’17-’18 National President, Lori Kelley, CPA

It is February – the month that is associated with matters of the heart.  And I am speaking literally, not figuratively!  This past Thanksgiving, my Dad headed home from spending the day at my house enjoying the holiday and three hours later, he had to be rushed to the hospital because he was having a heart attack.  This story ends well, my Dad survived and is on his way to recovery, thank goodness.

We all know someone who has suffered from heart disease and the statistics are sobering.  According to the CDC, About 630,000 Americans die each year from heart disease – that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.  What’s even more astounding is that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 289,758 women in 2013 (CDC), representing roughly one-quarter of all deaths involving women, and women are not paying attention!  Prior to my father having a heart attack, I had 2 other family members who have suffered heart attacks AND THEY WERE BOTH WOMEN!  My husband’s sisters both had heart attacks in their 50’s.   I have a dear friend from my childhood and she has heart disease that requires her to have a pacemaker – at age 50!  What the heck is going on?!?  What’s further distressing is that women’s symptoms of heart disease and a heart attack, may be completely different than those symptoms that a man experiences.  No wonder women have been a little lost when it comes to recognizing heart disease as something other than a “man killer”.

With that, let’s talk about important facts surrounding heart disease in women:

  • Heart Disease Affects Women of All Races – Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both Caucasian and African American women in the United States. Hispanic, American Indian or Alaska Native and Asian or Pacific Islander women – Cancer and Heart Disease cause about the same number of deaths.
  • Heart Disease can occur suddenly, with no prior symptoms.
  • Heart Disease Symptoms Vary in Women – Many women experience angina (dull, heavy to sharp chest pain and discomfort), pain in the neck, jaw or throat or pain in the upper abdomen or back. These symptoms can occur during rest, physical activity or at times of stress.  Arrhythmia is also a common symptom – the feeling that the chest is fluttering about.
  • Heart Disease can lead to Stroke – A stroke is caused when the blood flow to the brain is disrupted and this is often the result of problems caused by heart disease. Symptoms of a stroke include sudden weakness, paralysis or numbness of the face, arms or legs, confusion, trouble speaking, trouble seeing, shortness of breath, loss of balance or sudden or severe headache.
  • There are many risk factors – high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, smoking, drinking excessively, consuming drugs, poor diet, and lack of physical activity, as well as being overweight or obese.
  • It can be genetic – Heart disease, like many other health conditions, can be inherited. Make sure you speak to your parents, grandparents and siblings about the existence of heart disease in your family.

Knowledge is power and there are many organizations out there that spread the news and help women understand the dangers of heart disease and how to reduce the risk.  Two that I find very effective are:  The American Heart Association, which has its “Go Red for Women” campaign to dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease and stroke as the number one killer of women.  And WISEWOMAN (Well-Intergrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation), administered through the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention – it was created to help women understand and reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke by providing services to promote lasting heart-healthy lifestyles. Go check out their websites to stay up-to-date!

Ladies:  Take power over your heart health!  Happy Heart Month!

The Foundation of AFWA: Wrapping Up 2017

Message from Barbara Covington, Chair of the Foundation of AFWA

The Foundation would like to thank everyone for their generosity in helping us have a very successful FUNdraising event at the Women Who Count conference in Alexandria, VA.  With your help we were able to raise over $35,000!  Now we are excited to look towards spring when we will be able to award scholarships to accounting and finance students.  But, our fundraising work isn’t done.  Our goal for the year is $47,000!  We hope that you will continue to support The Foundation to enable us to continue our mission to promote and advance education, career development and leadership in finance and accounting.

Have you seen our weekly posts on FaceBook – #AFWAFoundationFriday.  We are promoting Foundation news, profiling our Donors and Board members, and promoting chapter events of community service and fundraising.  We are all excited about this opportunity to increase the Foundation’s awareness, but we need your help.  When your chapter hosts a special event, conducts community outreach, awards scholarships; let us know!  We want these posts to be not only about the national Foundation activities…we want to highlight you and your chapter! Like us and share our posts.  Let’s spread the good works of our chapters and Donors.

This has been quite the year for natural disasters, from Montana and California fires, to three devastating hurricanes.  In support of our impacted AFWA members, The Foundation Executive Committee has tasked the scholarship committee to develop the criteria and application for a National and Chapter Dues Reimbursement scholarship.  Because long after the storm is gone, our members’ lives may still be affected by the natural disaster, we have made this scholarship open for up to 2 years of support.  So California, Montana, Texas, Florida and any other member that has suffered from a natural disaster, please know we are here for you.  Please check out the application on the website.

As 2017 comes to a close, I want to thank each of you again for your continued support of The Foundation and wish you a Blessed Holiday Season.  Here’s to a great year in retrospect and many wishes for a successful, Happy New Year in 2018!

Learn more about the programs and to make a donation, visit http://www.afwa.org/foundation.

You Are Invited…

The Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance Mesa East Valley Chapter has several exciting events planned and we hope you can join us for education and fun!

Tuesday November 28th – Fraud/Forensic Accounting Night @ Dobson’s Restaurant, Mesa

This month includes 2 hours of CPE, dinner, networking and updates from the Women Who Count Conference. Our first session will start at 5:30 and features Theresa Valade, CPA – Partner from Moffitt and Company presenting The Fraud Epidemic and How to Stop It. After dinner, Katie Bair, CPA, CFE – Manager at Grant Thornton will present Exposing Fraudsters using Profiling and Forensic Data Analysis at 7:00. We will finish the night with our chapter business meeting and share updates from the Women Who Count Conference in Washington DC. November is also our United Food Bank Food Drive Community Service project. Attendees can help us fill the box to support our neighbors in need this holiday season. Registration is open now!

Tuesday December 12th – Excel Tips & Tricks / Holiday Party @ Dobson’s Restaurant, Mesa

This month we are excited to have Past President Andrea Owens share some Excel tips and tricks with us after dinner. Attendees can participate in a festive gift exchange during dinner and bring their gift donations for our Adopt a Family Holiday Community Service Project. We will have a special presentation to our chapter scholarship winner. Save the Date – registration will open after the November meeting.

Tuesday January 23rd – Annual Tax Night @ Karsten’s Golf Course, Tempe

We are inviting our AFWA Phoenix Chapter to join us for tax night and will be meeting in the middle at Karsten’s Golf Course in Tempe. Join us for 2 hours of CPE featuring updates direct from the IRS and AZDOR. These sessions will focus on individual tax returns, recent tax legislation and important updates. Save the Date – registration will open mid-December.

Thursday January 25th – Beers with Peers @ Macayo’s Depot Cantina, Tempe

Take a break from your hectic schedule and relax with AFWA and IMA members for our winter social at Macyo’s Depot Cantina from 5:00-7:00. No RSVP, no CPE, no stress – just fun.

Friday May 18th – Empowering Today’s Accountant Seminar @ Sheraton Mesa Hotel

Please note our annual seminar has moved to May. Shifting our traditional July/August seminar to the spring will give our AFWA National Board an opportunity to join us and hold their spring meeting and installation in sunny Arizona. Mark your calendar and plan to join us for 8 hours of CPE on Friday May 18th. You can also join us for the special installation dinner and recognize our National and Foundation board members.

Our chapter website http://www.mesaeastvalleyafwa.org will have all the details.

2017 AFWA Women Who Count Award Recipients

The Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA) announced the recipients of the 2017 Women Who Count Awards during the annual Women Who Count Awards lunch held October 30, 2017 in Alexandria, Virginia.

This year’s recipients demonstrate a drive to take on challenges and strive for success. They are leaders in their companies and communities. They’ve earned the trust and respect of their clients and peers. And they show enthusiasm toward their career and the accounting and finance industry as a whole.

Emerging Leader: Jennifer Brodmann, MBA, MSFE
PhD Candidate/Dissertation Fellow, The University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

Jennifer Broadmann is described by one of her students as a passionate scholar who manages to break up the complicated subject of finance into something everyone can understand. She has earned the admiration of her students, who seek her out for career advice, and the respect of her peers who seek her for teaching advice.

Makeen Huda, who nominated Jennifer for this award, states “The fact that so many of us flock to work with Jennifer reflects her integrity. We trust her to put her all into every endeavor. She has proven to be hard-working, reliable, and meticulous in her research.”

Industry Professional: Grace Staten, FSCP
Marketing Director, MassMutual, San Diego, CA

As Marketing Director for two agencies with MassMutual, Grace advises producers on how to position their practices in the marketplace. During her tenure with MassMutual, she used her leadership qualities to increase their field force, volunteerism and diversity.

Grace has dedicated much time throughout her career to community involvement. And her personal volunteer efforts have inspired many others within MassMutual to do the same. In fact, She ensures that the firm is out in full force volunteering and partnering with local nonprofits.

She dedicates her time serving as a mentor to young women professionally and personally.  Over the last three years, she has spoken with several women who are first entering the financial services industry through her women’s related industry associations.  She is also the coordinator of the internship program for the office heading up thirteen interns who are interested in eventually becoming financial advisors.

Public Practice Professional: Kelly Haden, CPA, CGMA
Manager, Ericksen Krentel, New Orleans, LA

Kelly is very driven and rarely says no to a challenge. She has her eye on becoming the first female partner at Ericksen Krentel. Kelly has developed a coaching relationship with each of her direct reports and serves as a mentor in the firm’s mentoring program to help develop and retain staff. Kelly was instrumental in helping create the framework for the performance management and learning culture committees to support the firm’s Performance and Career Excellence (PACE) program, which enhances staff development and retention.

According to Kevin Neyrey, Managing Partner at Ericksen Krentel, “It is apparent in everything she does at the firm that Kelly is driven to provide clients with great service, assist with firm growth strategies, and remain focused on her own personal growth to advance within the firm.”

Woman of the Year: Dr. Marilyn Willis, CPA, CGMA
Professor Emeritus, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN

This award is presented to a woman who has demonstrated extraordinary achievement in her efforts to support other women in career advancement. Dr. Marilyn Willis is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. She earned her doctorate in Business Education: Accounting at the University of Kentucky in 1976. She was one of the only women in her class, and was often challenged by the male professors about whether she deserved to be there even though she turned out to be one of the top students in the class.

She has extensive experience working at CPA Firms, as a consultant for large organizations, and countless committees and boards of directors, however her most important work is demonstrated through 45 years in the classroom teaching generations of accounting students. In her classroom, she demanded excellence and accepted nothing less than the best from her students. She expected her students to act professionally, be on time, and come to class prepared. It is said that Her reputation for being an outstanding teacher draws students like flies to honey. Dr. Willis has empowered many women over her years of teaching. Her former students have gone on to become CEOs of companies, controllers of corporations, Vice-Presidents of Finance, tax attorneys, partners in accounting firms, entrepreneurs, and professors – like her! What is most wonderful about Dr. Willis, however, is that her students will seldom have a more powerful advocate than her.

In addition to the prestigious Women Who Count Awards, AFWA also presented two annual member awards during the luncheon.

AFWA Chattanooga member, Debi Gilley, was honored as National Member of the year. Debi continually exceeds expectations in her volunteer roles for the Chapter. According the Chapter President, Christie Jordan “Debi has helped so many of our chapter members and leaders reach their personal & professional potential through her support, advice and friendship.  She is always willing to give her time and expertise when people need her, and is one of our chapter’s greatest assets.”

And finally, AFWA’s top honor the President’s Award, was presented to AFWA Billings member, Cathy Allen. The Award was presented by Immediate Past National President, Linda Harris, CPA. “Cathy is the embodiment of what the President’s Award stands for; her dedication, vision and impact on AFWA, both National and at the Chapter level is amazing.  It is my honor to be able to recognize her with this award,” said Harris.

Congratulations to all of this year’s Women Who Count Award recipients. For more information on the annual awards visit the Women Who Count Awards page.

Women Who Count Conference

Who is going to join me for an opportunity to connect, advance and lead  (and a little sightseeing) in Washington DC? I know you have choices when it comes to the conferences you choose to attend. So I want to share what makes the Women Who Count National Conference different and hope you join members of the AFWA Mesa East Valley Chapter at this year’s conference.

A Conference for Women: 75% of our Conference sessions will be lead by women. You’ll learn how to advance as a woman in the accounting and finance industries, and be inspired by the experiences of those women who you’ll meet. (P.S. Men are invited and welcome to attend!)

Technical and Professional Development Education in one event: Sessions cover a range of topics from tax updates and the future of the accounting industry, to leadership success stories, and self-improvement. You can choose the sessions most important to you! A variety of professional stages, career paths, and States represented.

This unique event brings a variety of professional women together. Women Who Count attendees come from across the country and they are young professionals, firm shareholders, tax professionals, CFOs, and so much more.

Get more info here: http://www.womenwhocount.com/

Girl Scouts Get Fiscally Fit with AFWA Members

The Foundation of AFWA is proud to provide our members with resource packets to support the Girl Scout financial literacy curriculum. The curriculum, designed by Girl Scouts of the USA, fills a gap in financial understanding for girls. The Foundation of AFWA aims to support women and girls, with this program being a perfect fit with The Foundation’s mission.

Using the Fiscally Fit materials, AFWA members, individually or with their Chapters, are encouraged to work with local Girl Scout troops to educate and share their passion for the industry we all love.

The Foundation’s Educational Advancement committee has selected a badge for each of the six Girl Scout levels. Using the Girl Scouts’ curriculum we have prepared a guide for AFWA members to lead or support the achievement of each of these badges.

Sign up for an upcoming webinar to learn more:

  • Tuesday, April 4, 2pmET/11amPT: Register
  • Thursday, April 6, 8pmET/5pmPT: Register
  • Saturday, April 8, 12pmET/9amPT: Register

To get started, download the Program Overview packet to learn more about the Girl Scouts and Fiscally Fit.

> Fiscally Fit Program Overview

> Fiscally Fit Program FAQs

Fiscally Fit Badge Guides

The Girl Scout Badge Guides for each level are currently available in a dropbox folder. These guides will help you understand the complete badge requirements. If you have any issues accessing the files you need, please contact Ericka Harney.

> Girl Scout Badge Activity pages (in Dropbox)

Questions about Fiscally Fit? Contact AFWA Executive Director, Ericka Harney

National Wear Red Day® is Friday, February 3, 2017

Why Go Red? Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. Fortunately, we have the power to change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.

In 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute took action against a disease that was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year – a disease that women weren’t paying attention to. A disease they truly believed, and many still believe to this day, affects more men than women.

Stemming from that action, National Wear Red Day was born. It’s held on the first Friday in February every year to raise awareness about heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women. But despite our progress, more work is crucial. 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke each year. But what’s more powerful? Millions of mothers, sisters, daughters and friends making a change.

More than ever, your financial contributions help save women’s lives. Funds raised by Go Red support educational programs to increase women’s awareness about their risk for heart disease and stroke as well as critical research to discover scientific knowledge about cardiovascular health.

Help raise awareness by participating in National Wear Red Day.

Wear Red that day, get your office or class to wear red, take pictures, share on social media with #GoRedWearRed and #PhxGoRed, visit heart.org and goredforwomen.org for heart health tips and resources.


Members of the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance National Board and Headquarters Staff showed their support for Go Red For Women at their recent board meeting in Lexington, KY. #TeamAFWA #GoRedWearRed #PhxGoRed

AFWA Members Use their Skills to Give Back

Applying Professional Skills to a Good Cause

When we think of giving back, we tend to think of donating money or goods. But as an accounting or finance professional, your professional expertise and experience may be more helpful than you realize. Here are the stories of five professional women putting their talents to good use in volunteer roles. Let these women inspire you to give more of your time in meaningful ways.


Dorothy Ashley, CPA, is retired from the State of Arizona General Accounting Office.  She continues to work for a small CPA firm during tax season interviewing clients and preparing tax returns.

How and why did you first get involved with VITA? I was introduced to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), which offers free tax help to people who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns, through my membership in AFWA. I began volunteering every Saturday for VITA, sponsored by United Way, because I wanted to help people that really could not pay a preparer.  It gave me a good feeling inside to see the smiles on clients’ faces after we helped them.

How did you use your professional skills in your volunteer role, and does VITA require any special qualifications?  I used my skills in interviewing the taxpayers at VITA the same as I did at work at the CPA firm. Actually, my main job at the VITA site was to do the interviewing to make sure they had everything needed for a tax preparer to complete their return which included items they may have forgotten to bring. Every year, VITA volunteers have to pass a test in order to participate. There is not a requirement to be a CPA or an accountant, but you must learn the tax code and the software.


Alanna is Audit Senior at Dannible & McKee, LLP. She specializes in not-for-profits (NPO) in her firm but also serves in various capacities as needed for local NPO’s.

(Alanna) Through work, there are several NPO’s that I work more closely with to make sure they are in compliance with new laws and regulations, as small NPO’s don’t have the means or the know-how to be able to understand and know what they should or shouldn’t be doing in some cases. My time both professionally and in a volunteer basis fluctuates with need. I work with an NPO on areas that need improvement and then set them up to maintain on their own. I think it’s important that I “teach them to fish” vs “giving them the fish”.

Why did you first get involved with non-profits? In my household growing up, I learned young that it was important to give back to community. At home we helped our mom with her Women Nursing Associates through various functions or other organization she was helping with, and in high school I become actively involved with Young Life, which only grew from there.

How do you use your professional skills to help NPOs? I help with anything that is in need, I either give advice from what I know or just give them a resource for something I don’t. Sometime with small NPO’s it’s simply the lack of knowing where to look.

How does your volunteer/consulting work impact your overall professional experience? With NPO’s I have to research a lot, so I learn so much. I also have to dig for answers within their systems, which gives me an opportunity to learn different systems and how they work.


Mary Burns is retired, with 35 years of accounting experience in the oil and gas industry. She now serves as Assistant Director Finance for the Red Cross.

Mary Burns volunteers with The Red Cross

How did you first get involved with the Red Cross? Oklahoma has been affected by several large devastating tornadoes and I wanted a way to help those impacted.  At a Volunteer Fair at work, I met representatives from the Red Cross who gave me the opportunity to get involved.

How do you use your accounting skills as a volunteer? Initially as a Red Crosser, I trained for disaster response.  After Superstorm Sandy, the Red Cross was criticized for not managing donor dollars wisely and in response to that, they created the Assistant Director Finance role.  I volunteered for the role and with my accounting background, was immediately accepted.

In this role, I report to the Director in charge of the relief operations and to the Red Cross Disaster Finance staff.  I assist the leadership team in developing their budget, monitoring expenses, tracking inventories and developing fiscal controls.  I am there to manage the brand risk.

In large scale disasters, there are hundreds of people, primarily volunteers, arriving from all over the country to assist.  They have a wide range of backgrounds, training and experience.  There can be lots of donations of relief supplies pouring in to many different locations.  We can operate out of many facilities, setting up service locations and warehouses quickly only to move them later.  It is a constantly changing environment so having good fiscal controls and reporting is very important.

Did your volunteer work impact your professional experience? Working on disaster relief operations requires good communication skills to be able to explain fiscal controls to a wide range of people and flexibility to adjust to changing situations.  With people who don’t know each other being thrown into situations of working together for 12 hour days, conflict resolution can be needed.  I frequently supervise one or two people and train volunteers.  All of these skills apply to professional situations.

The Red Cross is constantly looking for more finance volunteers. If you’re interested in learning more, contact Mary Burns.


Jessica Veal is a Senior at, Novinger, Ball & Zivi, PC. In her spare time, she serves as a mentor for college students pursuing accounting degrees and volunteers for various non-profits.

Why did you first get involved as a mentor? I first became a mentor to pay it forward. I appreciate each person who has given me advice and has supported me along my career path. I just wanted to provide that same guidance to someone else.

How do you use your experience as an accounting/finance professional as a volunteer? In one instance a college student wanted someone with career experience to advise them on their initial career path.  I was able to share my experiences. My accounting skills have also been valuable in volunteering for non-profit organizations and assisting with cash management.

Does your volunteer work impact your own professional experience or growth? Volunteer experiences are instrumental in developing leadership and soft skills. I have become a more positive person with a greater understanding on how to be an advocate for those I will meet along my career path.


The StaffBuffalo team volunteers with Race for a Cure

Maggie Shea, CPA is the owner of StaffBuffalo, LLC which specializes in executive, permanent, and temporary placements, primarily focused on placing Finance and Accounting professionals. Maggie recognizes community involvement is key to her and her business success. An avid volunteer herself, she encourages her team to do the same and is known to occasionally shut down the office for her team to participate together in volunteer events.

Maggie and her team at StaffBuffalo take pride in volunteering on various Boards and for events throughout the year!  StaffBuffalo is built around the motto that their work is done “to make people happy”, which translates from work to volunteering and vice versa. The team works with companies and people to make career matches, and in turn, they make the managers and employees happy. The team is further solidified by their extensive involvement in the community.

The StaffBuffalo team participates in “Cooks for Kids” and ran the 5k at the Ronald McDonald House Charities.  They volunteer for NextGen (aka YCPAs of the NYSSCPAs) at the annual NextGen Golf Outing, the annual Taste of Buffalo, and volunteered at Evergreen Health Services in preparation for Pride Week, which included running in the Gay 5k.  The StaffBuffalo team also volunteers for the Finance Team at the Promise Shop for the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure WNY, plants trees in the community through Re-Tree WNY, and donates blood and platelets for Roswell Park.  They volunteer for and help coordinate the Annual  Parkside Tour of Homes and help fundraise, plan, and attend events for Child & Family Services, Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA), and WNY Human Resources Young Professionals (WNY HR YPs).  The team also works closely with B Team Buffalo, where they volunteer for the groups largest event, City of Light, participated in a Buffalo park clean up, and volunteered for one of their other signature events, Send Hunger Packing.

Visit http://www.afwa.org/blog for more AFWA news and articles.