“My first experience with accounting was in my high school bookkeeping class. My teacher, Miss Arens, was the first to introduce to me the concept of debits being the window side of the classroom and credits being the door side. Since then accounting has become much more to me than debits and credits. It has opened up a variety of possible career choices for me including private accounting, public accounting, internal audit, and taxation…to name a few. It has stretched my mind in ways I had not thought possible during that first bookkeeping class. It has enabled me to fulfill goals that once were just a dream (like passing the CPA Exam). The most rewarding part of my career, however, is my client interaction. Getting to know someone’s business and helping them with the challenges they face has been both interesting and rewarding. Our clients know us as their ‘most trusted business advisor’…no small challenge to live up to, but worth every minute of effort.”
- Maureen Bruns
Carl H. Lindner School of Business
University of Cincinnati
Graduate, University of Cincinnati
“An accounting major provides a strong base on which to build a successful and challenging career. Accounting is the language of business, and to succeed in today’s business world with complex financial transactions and regulatory rules (Sarbanes Oxley) every business person must have a strong understanding of how a business makes money and achieves profitability. Accounting also teaches the importance of stewardship and applying sound business judgment in making decisions that are ethically grounded.
In addition, an accounting major provides a strong base for multiple career paths over the course of your lifetime. Many CEOs, CFOs, Controllers, Tax Directors, Attorneys, Banking Executives, and Entrepreneurs have started with accounting backgrounds. In my working with Corporate Executives I can always tell those individuals with strong accounting and financial backgrounds because of their ability to critically think, problem solve, and understand complex business transactions. Many of the most senior financial positions in the organizations I have worked were launched from an accounting background. Over the course of my 19-year career I have worked in Public Accounting, been a Divisional Controller, a Divisional CFO, Controller for a large bank, and now Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller of GMAC, LLC. My accounting preparation and experiences continue to provide a base for more senior financial roles and an ability to run a large business.”
- David DeBrunner
Chief Accounting Officer & Controller
Graduate, Indiana University
“After majoring in Accounting as an undergraduate, and spending two years in public accounting as an auditor, I left the accounting field for the rest of my career—or so I thought. Having since gone to law school and practiced both as a corporate lawyer, and for the last several years as a private equity investor, I realize that the skills I learned as an accountant have been fundamental building blocks for the rest of my career. Whether it was as a corporate attorney advising a client on an acquisition opportunity, or as an investor evaluating the attractiveness of a potential investment, or as a board member of a portfolio company trying to offer strategic advice, I found / find myself always falling back on my accounting skill set to help guide my decisions.
Having the ability to analyze and dissect financial statements has been an invaluable tool for me and allows me to see things that many others without an accounting background simply aren’t able to see. And as is often said, accounting is truly the language of business. Anyone who has traveled in a foreign country knows how critical it is to be able to speak and understand the native language—this also holds true in business. If you can’t speak the language, you often miss the most important parts of the conversation. But perhaps most importantly, accounting teaches one to think in a logical, organized, and data-driven manner. It teaches one to be able to think critically and to find order amongst chaos. Ultimately, no matter what discipline one might choose in business (or otherwise for that matter), these critical thinking skills will provide the foundation for how to approach complex problems.”
- Rajat Duggal
Friedman, Fleischer & Lowe
B.S., Indiana University
J.D., Yale Law School
“Having started out as an engineering major I never really explored the field of accounting until I took my first class. To my surprise I found accounting to be very similar to engineering – both based on the application of logic and reasoning to analyze complex problems within a rules-based context. What made accounting the clear choice for me was my realization that accounting was the true insider’s guide to business and the economy. As I progressed through my curriculum it became apparent that the field of accounting was viewed with prestige – due not only to the technical competencies required, but due also to the critical role that the profession plays in all aspects of business.
While working toward my degree I was fortunate enough to obtain a part-time accounting position working for a startup business where I was charged with setting up and maintaining the books, preparing financial statements, and managing cash flow. It was this experience that cemented in my mind the realization that Accountants shouldn’t be perceived as ‘number crunchers,’ but as true business advisors; uniquely positioned to bring relevance and reliability to the maze of transactions that occur each day within a business setting. As I began my public accounting career the inside-out exposure to a variety of diverse industries and organizations served to reinforce my view of the critical role that Accountants play.
While many of my co-workers decided to leave public accounting for private industry, I opted to develop my career in public accounting. While the vast body of knowledge and technical requirements of the profession can seem daunting, the profession affords me the unique opportunity and rewards of working daily with highly intelligent, motivated, and successful business owners and peers.
I have also greatly benefited from finding a progressive public accounting firm whose core values are based on client service excellence and investment in the development of trusted business advisors. From a career perspective, accounting is so diverse that it is entirely possible to reinvent yourself and invest in differing areas of expertise without having to find a different position or organization. Early in my career I made the decision to diversify within public accounting – developing competencies in non-traditional operational and strategic disciplines in addition to traditional areas of auditing and tax. I believe that Accounting is the only degree that could have positioned me to work in such a fast-paced, demanding, and respected field, while affording me the flexibility, diversity, and personal reward I’ve been able to achieve. In today’s business environment knowledge is power, and Accountants are uniquely positioned to leverage their knowledge wherever their careers may lead them.”
- Adam G. Feld
Barnes Dennig & Co., Ltd.
B.A., Brooklyn College
“Why did I originally think about a career in accounting?
One day while a student in high school I visited the home of a friend, whose father was a partner at one of the then ‘Big Six’ (now ‘Big Four’) firms. It was a rather large and beautiful home in a pretty desirable part of town. I thought to myself, “Maybe I should do what he does for a living someday!” Although this wasn’t THE deciding factor for choosing an accounting major, and joining an international firm, it did open my eyes to the financial security it could bring.
I still remember those thoughts now and laugh…as I now live in a home not too different from the home I visited that one day back when I was in high school. As well, that particular partner continues today to be a mentor in my career development.
Because of my accounting degree I have been able to work with intelligent and hard-working individuals. I have been given opportunities to prove my capabilities and to succeed. I have helped companies complete transactions for billions of dollars. I understand the issues that are reported daily in the Wall Street Journal. I have had the opportunity to travel internationally. And, I have had the flexibility to work hard and still be there for my family and children.”
- Eileen Crowley
Graduate, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
“I majored in accounting due to some very sound advice I received from several very successful businessmen. In brief, what they said to me was, “Regardless of your final career choice in business, an advanced knowledge of accounting will allow you to stand out in a crowd.” I understand now that accounting is the ‘language of business,’ and those who understand this language, whether they be a sales professional, an engineer, a manager of operations and / or people, or an accountant are significantly advantaged. In fact, I have never known an effective CEO who didn’t have a firm grasp of his / her organization’s accounting.
My accounting degree became the bedrock of a series of successful and rewarding careers including CPA, Tax Specialist, Venture Capitalist, Private Equity Investor, Real Estate Investor, Entrepreneur, and Business Owner. Each facet of my varied career has been constructed on a clear understanding of accounting and finance. This understanding allowed me the insight and confidence to lead organizations in financial disciplines and the creation of value.”
- Christopher Fister
Bachelors Degree, University of Kentucky
MS Taxation, University of Cincinnati
“My Father encouraged me to choose accounting as my major because doing what is necessary to satisfy the requirements to obtain an accounting degree and CPA certification provides a tremendous foundation for success in business, whether within accounting or otherwise. As a former CPA, and now a corporate lawyer, I have found that advice to be absolutely correct for me.”
- George D. Molinsky, Jr.
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
University of Notre Dame, BBA, Accounting
University of Notre Dame Law School, JD
“Majoring in accounting and obtaining my CPA has proven extremely valuable in my corporate business practice. Regardless of the projects I work on from time-to-time (mergers and acquisitions, venture capital investments), I always feel that I have a leg up in terms of analyzing financial statements and advising my clients as to financial aspects of the transactions.”
- Alan S. Fershtman, Attorney / CPA
Keating Muething & Klekamp, PLL
Accounting Undergraduate, Miami University
JD, University of Cincinnati
“Accounting is the language of business, and the understanding of accounting is a major requirement for success in most areas of business. I have known many successful executives in business that either began their career in accounting or studied it in their undergraduate program.”
- G.J. DeBrunner
Retired Vice Chairman
Deloitte & Touche, LLP
Graduate, Xavier University
Former Xavier University Mentor