Blog Archive

Friday, April 24, 2015

Award Winner Spotlight - Matthew Durette

Matthew Durette
Tax Associate
Phoenix, AZ
We are delighted to announce that Matthew Durette, tax associate in Phoenix, was recently named by the AICPA as a winner of the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award.

Bryan Zall, office managing partner for the Phoenix office said, "We are thrilled with Matt's accomplishment to earn the Elijah Watt Sells CPA examination award and recognition! We are looking forward to working with matt as he continues his career development in our Phoenix office! Congratulations, Matt."

In prepping for the CPA exam, "there is a term commonly used which is 'quality time'" Matt said. "Throughout the months I was preparing for the exams, I tried to treat all my time as quality time - meaning that I would try to make every minute productive. One the drive to and from work, I would recount the material I had recently studied. During lunch, I would break out the textbook or flashcards. If I had a few spare minutes, I would write out one of the mnemonics from a recent lecture. I found that there is a lot of potential quality time throughout the day, and I believe it was the use of this time that led to my success on the exams."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Award Winner Spotlight - Lora Dust

Lora Dust
Assurance Associate
Chicago, IL
Lora Beth Dust, an associate in our Chicago office, was recently named a 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award winner by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

"This is a very special award," says Great Lakes regional managing partner, Donna Sciarappa. "Lora's accomplishment is indicative of the high-achieving employee I'm sure she will be at McGladrey for years to come."

Lora said, it never occurred to her that she would accomplish something so rare and receive this kind of recognition. Her only motivation was to take all four parts of the exam between graduation from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in May 2014 and the beginning of her new career with McGladrey in October 2014.

"I studied for the exam like it was a full-time job," said Lora. "Although it was hard some days, I stayed focused and driven to meet my goal of getting the exams taken, passed and behind me."

Lora used a structured study plan and CPA exam classes to ensure she was fully prepared for each part of the exam. She also stressed that her primary study goal was to make sure she understood what she was learning. "If I got something wrong on a practice test, I took the time to understand why it was wrong and how to correct it for the next time," said Lora.

"It doesn't surprise me that Lora was so dedicated to studying for the CPA exams," said Chicago assurance partner, Tom Shaw. "She works on many of my accounts and it's obvious the same effort and diligence she put into taking the exams has translated into her work on the team and with each engagement."

Finding out that she was one of 60 people who had won the Elijah Watt Sells Award was a shock. Lora wasn't even aware of the award until mid-way through her exams when a former professor brought it to her attention.

Although very excited and honored about the award, Lora said she is mostly relieved to be done with the exams and moving forward in her career with McGladrey. Congratulations to Lora and all of the McGladrey 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award winners!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Award Winner Spotlight - Mark Connolly

Mark Connolly
Assurance Associate
New Haven, CT
New Haven, Conn., assurance associate Mark Connolly is one of four McGladrey employees recently awarded the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination.

"We are all very proud of Mark and his accomplishment," said Connecticut office managing partner Tony Ceci. "Clearly his hard work and passion paid off and will be part of a winning formula for his success in the future."

Mark join McGladrey in 2013, after a year as an XBRL research assistant at the Financial Accounting Standards Board. He graduated from University of Connecticut in 2011 with degrees in accounting, economics and resource economics. He said he heard of the award when another UConn graduate earned it in 2011. Although he was aware of the award, his primary goal was simply to pass all sections of the exam the first time.

"Congratulations to Mark for achieving this outstanding distinction as one of the top performers in the country," said northeast regional assurance leader Joel Shamon. "Mark has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and expertise, which is consistent with the vision and values we deliver to our clients throughout the year."

Mark's advice for other associates who will take the CPA exam is to do it as early in your career as possible, when you have the most time available to study. In addition, communicate to your team that you are preparing for the exam. In Mark's case, he kept his team informed, and his team supported him throughout the process by ensuring he had the time to study and take the exam.

Then, once you have the time to study, Mark said sometimes the hardest part is just starting. "You need the discipline to begin studying and to create a routine, because it is too easy to procrastinate and put it off," said Mark. "Set the right expectations for yourself and then hold yourself accountable."

Now that the exam is over, Mark is looking forward to getting back to his passion for kayaking and camping, and hopes to take a summer trip down Maine's Allagash River.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Award Winner Spotlight - John Buntz

John Buntz
Assurance Associate
Baltimore, MD
Baltimore assurance associate John Buntz is one of four McGladrey employees recently awarded the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination.

"Congratulations to John on this great accomplishment," said southeast regional assurance leader Craig Radke. "This honor is a result of commitment and effort toward learning that will follow him throughout his career and we are truly proud to have John as a member of our team."

John graduated from Salisbury University in Maryland in 2014 with dual degrees in accounting and corporate finance. While at school, he completed an externship in 2012 and an internship in 2013 at McGladrey. After graduating, he took the Becker fast pass course, which is a concentrated version of the traditional Becker course, to prepare for the CPA exam. He took the final section of the CPA exam at the end of August and join McGladrey as an associate in October 2014.

"John has been an outstanding addition to McGladrey and the Baltimore office," said Baltimore office managing partner Marty Brunk. "We are very proud of his accomplishment and recognize that he has a great future ahead of him."

Although John was aware of the Elijah Watt Sells Award, he wasn't necessarily expecting to win it - he just wanted to do well on the exam. His advice for other associates who will take the CPA exam is to develop and stick to a study plan, take the exam before you start working, if possible, and make sure you take a break every day to relax.

"I went to the gym every day," said John. "And while I was studying and taking the exam, it was baseball season; so I made sure to take breaks to watch the Baltimore Orioles."

Now that the exam is over, John is looking forward to the 2015 baseball season and to spending more time playing with his roommate's black lab.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Award Winner Spotlight - 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award

Congratulations to four McGladrey associates who were recently awarded the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination.

These McGladrey associates were four of the 60 award recipients:
  • John Buntz, Baltimore
  • Mark Connolly, New Haven
  • Lora Dust, Chicago
  • Matthew Durette, Phoenix
To earn the Elijah Watt Sells Award, recipients must pass all four sections of the exam on the first try within the same year with a cumulative average score above 95.5 on all four sections. More than 91,000 candidates sat for the exam in 2014.

"Congratulations to John, Mark, Lora and Matthew on their extraordinary accomplishment," said Jim Morton, national assurance leader. "These individuals have clearly demonstrated a strong commitment to competence, which is one of the building blocks that inspires confidence in our profession. We sincerely thank them for their exemplary dedication to learning."

This week, we will be highlighting one Elijah Watt Sells recipient each day! Whether you're a graduating student looking for advice on taking the CPA, or an experienced accountant wanting to congratulate a fellow CPA, their stories provide insight and encouragement for everyone! Look for their stories to come this week!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Life After Busy Season

Nicole Neglia
Recruiting Specialist
New York, NY

It’s April 15th and you’ve made it!  Another busy season in the books and the only thing you want to think about is what you’re going to do with all that extra time – spend time with friends and family that thought you fell off the face of the earth.  Maybe go on vacation.  Or even have a staycation and just enjoy the spring weather.  Whatever the case may be, the last thing you want to think about is your next move, right?  Wrong!  Most people feel that they have the luxury of waiting until the fall to start their job search.  This can backfire for a few reasons:

- Your competition is thinking the same thing and your chances of landing that dream job decrease dramatically (as do the amounts of offers).

- Companies that wait to hire in the fall are already behind the 8 ball because not only do they have to staff the winter engagements but they also have to replace all those people that left over the summer – and that means extra hours for everyone if they don’t fill those jobs. We are in it for the long haul to ensure a less hectic busy season for everyone.

-You don’t have to rush if you start now! Things move quickly in the fall and many people feel that they have to make hurried decisions because of the approaching busy season.  Not the case if you start early.

Yes it seems daunting to have to deal with after you just worked your butt off.  But in the end you’ll be happy you made the move now rather than worrying in October that you waited too long.

So check out our jobs and get your search started before the guy sitting next to you takes the job you want.

2015 Trailblazer Award Recipient

Kara Trahan
Assurance Manager
Oklahoma City, OK
Assurance manager, Kara Trahan has been recognized by the Oklahoma Society of CPAs (OSCPA) as a recipient of the 2015 "Trailblazer" award. The OSCPA Trailblazers program pays tribute to the professional dedication, innovation and community commitment of new OSCPA members who are under the age of 40 or who have five or fewer years of CPA experience.

"Kara is an outstanding professional who is an excellent leader within the profession and the community. She has definitely earned this opportunity to be recognized as one of the leading new CPA's in Oklahoma," said Mike Gibson, assurance lead partner.

Kara is a certified public accountant and began her career with Cole + Reed in 2009 prior to its merger with McGladrey on December 1, 2014. Kara has focused her career in providing assurance services to manufacturing and distribution, governmental, not-for-profit and benefit plan clients. She works closely with clients and staff to ensure each audit is performed in accordance with industry standards.

Kara is heavily active in the local community and is a volunteer for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Chapter of the Salvation Army. She has also been a participant in the Oklahoma City Regatta and the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.