The Young CPA Success Show: Episode 2
The only things certain in life are death and taxes–neither of which anyone looks forward. Enter … Dave Danic, Director of Tax at Summit Virtual CFO by Anders. In this episode, Hannah and Joey chat with Dave to discuss his career journey, passion for tax accounting, and advice to young CPAs. They dive into the importance of finding fulfillment in your career, creating positive client interactions, and the opportunities and benefits of a career in tax accounting. They also discuss the challenges of recruiting new accountants and the unique structure and flexibility of the tax department at Summit.
Joey (00:02:00) - And it's it's our tax director, Dave Danic, a guy who I've really enjoyed getting to know a lot over the last 18 months that I've been with Summit Anders and Dave's got a lot more tenure at at the at the group than I do. So we're looking forward to talking to Dave about his tax department. And I think, Dave, the title of this episode is going to be something along the lines of, Hey, taxes are fun. And my first question to you is, should we hire Ty Burrell to be a spokesperson for our tax department? Just get people really fired up?
Dave (00:02:31) - Yeah, I think any celebrity that we can at Anders would be a great partner. Um, but Ty Burrell, I think is already used, so, you know, maybe we'll have to find someone else. But so comment who'd be a great celebrity that we can have for the tax department Spokesperson Besides me? I don't know.
Joey (00:02:52) - Is Matt Damon available?
Dave (00:02:54) - I think he would be, but I'll have to check on the budget for sure.
Joey (00:02:58) - Well, Dave, thanks so much for taking the time for the audience won't know this when they're looking at the podcast but this is we are about to hit the meat of the second half of tax season. It's post summer. Yeah, everybody's going back to school, which for tax accountants usually means, hey, my life's going to be miserable for the next two and a half months. How are you feeling?
Dave (00:03:18) - Oh, I'm feeling okay. Actually, you know what? Heck, I'm feeling great. You know, we've got a great team. I got into tax accounting because I love Summer. I'm located in the Midwest where the lakes are abundant. We have boats, jet skis, water, skis, everything. So had some great lake time. The weather's been excellent, so I'm doing great. But yes, the 915 and 1015 deadlines are coming. So that's certainly in the back of my brain right now as we cruise into the fall. But yeah.
Hannah (00:03:50) - Speaking of why you got into the taxes, why don't you give us a little bit of your background and your journey and of your career of how you got to the point that you're at now?
Dave (00:04:00) - Yeah, sure, Sure thing.
Dave (00:04:02) - So I wanted to be an accountant for my entire life. Um, actually, it's probably nice. Yeah. I don't know. Back in high school, my dad was a small business owner, and he had a great tax CPA that helped him out through some, you know, problems that he had to figure out and was like, Boy, that guy's really helpful. And he's not crawling on roofs in 30 degree temperature, drives a pretty nice car. So he must have life figured out, you know? But at a minimum, that was like, it seemed to me, a pretty decent option. So I took some bookkeeping courses in high school, went into college, really developed a nice relationship with the accounting professors and just said, okay, here, here we are, got to pick something. Then got a master's in accounting because I needed that 150 hours. Uh, and then got my first job as an auditor at a CPA, at a pretty big CPA firm, and I was not very good at it, uh, and didn't really like it.
Dave (00:05:04) - So the combination of not liking it and not being good at it was pretty helped, pretty much helped dictate my path. So then I went to a much smaller firm like eight people, small town USA, and it was a really good experience. I finally started learning how to create balance sheets and panels and and then one of my first clients that I helped developed, I've pretty much picked up on. The only thing he cares about is not the bank financial, but really what's his tax bill. And that's when I had the opportunity to start consulting and start working with clients, developing the relationship, starting to see value in what I was doing to with clients. And that's when I just said, okay, I'm going to start focusing on taxes and then a few firms later because, you know, I've jumped around a little bit. I think I pretty much found my home on where I want to be. But it's really just being in the tax world and it's been great. It's been awesome.
Joey (00:06:08) - So a quick follow up question there, because I think you hit on something that I remember from the early part of my career, and I think a lot of accountants struggle with when I was in school and kind of finishing up, that was always the question at the end of your last year is, well, are you going to be audit or are you going to be taxed? Yeah. And I was like, Man, I don't I don't know. I don't know what I don't know what I like. I don't know what I wanted.
Dave (00:06:30) - I didn't know what I wanted either. I was happy to have a job. So that was big on my end getting compensated for as I moved on into the next chapter of my life was good and think I picked on it just because I really didn't know what tax meant. You know, it's a dirty word, right? Oh, you like taxes. You know, you just don't have that context as you start your career on really what it means.
Dave (00:06:58) - Um, so I picked audit and I picked wrong.
Joey (00:07:03) - Well, and that's the, that's the piece I'm curious about is like the pivot from audit to tax because I've talked to so many people, you know, in their early 5 to 10 years of their career where they're like, well, I started in tax because that's where I was able to get a job, right? Yeah. And then I just sort of found myself stuck there. And now they're like, I still don't know if I like tax, but I'm so deep into it that I it's like I can't just go back and become an auditor. Ten years in.
Dave (00:07:30) - Yeah, yeah, there's this, there's yeah, there's this. There's no special sauce that you can or this magic equation, silver bullet, whatever the heck you want to call it that says, Here's what's going to figure out. I think what stuck with me was not just that it was tax versus audit. It was just what started feeding, feeding me like emotionally to say, this is what I like to do, this is what I want to wake up to do.
Dave (00:07:54) - And it was really that I know who the client is. I know his name. And it was like the first client that said, Dave, thank you. This, this means a lot to me on what you that what you've helped me accomplish here and I was like, that felt good. And so I started gravitating to more relationships that kept feeding that. And to me it just happened to be in tax. And that's and I loved the client interactions. I loved explaining complex tax issues to someone who doesn't talk that language. So this to me, it was just I, I, I found a home where I was able to keep feeding this desire to help people and they just happens to be in the tax realm. So that's where I was at. But no, to our listeners, there isn't like this perfect home that says I'm an auditor or I'm a tax accountant. It's like it's perfect. No, you have to explore what feeds you, that makes you want to come to work.
Dave (00:09:01) - And for some people it's auditing. Some people it's tax. I think tax is fun and I think our team thinks tax is fun and that's why we're here. So you have to find a place where you can say, this is what I like to do and this is what makes me want to get up in the morning. And of course I'm going to say taxes where it's at, but it might be different for everyone, but it can be tax.
Joey (00:09:26) - Well, I think the thing that you hit on there that really resonated with me, it has to do with the emotions of it. Right? We've been kind of working behind the scenes here, as in a post summit, Anders merger world where we're trying to figure out how to get people together and train teams on storytelling and that type of thing. And the number one piece of advice that I get from our storytelling coach, as always, you've got to focus on the emotional connection. You've got to figure out both for your clients but also for yourself.
Joey (00:09:58) - Like what sort of things are emotionally resonating with you? Because if you're just sitting there moving widgets around on an Excel sheet, you're going to hate it. But if you're able to find, like you said, something in there that gives you that joy. Yeah, because sometimes I think accountants don't feel a lot of joy in our jobs. And I feel like because I've been in consulting meetings with you where you've been explaining something and the client just has that bingo aha moment of like, Oh, this is what this transaction means. But not only is this what it means, here's what I'm going to get from this. Like I'm going to be able to pay off my house and go into retirement debt free because Dave walked me through this transaction. Yeah, that's a hugely gratifying feeling, not only for the client but also for you. And that is one of those things where I think accounting kind of gets slept on in that regard.
Dave (00:10:53) - Yeah, as managers you want to, you know, so, you know, we have a team and one thing that we consistently have to improve upon is coaching our team on how to find that area, to make the connection with the client.
Dave (00:11:09) - That's going to say, okay, I found value in this interaction. So there's a couple of ways you can go with taxes. One, I could pull up a 65 page tax return and go through line by line, and it would be a perfect presentation in my mind or someone else's mind to say, Boy, I nailed it. It is completely technically accurate. I have a high level of confidence that the client is not going to get as much value as out of that as you did for 30 minutes explaining a tax return. Or we can take a one page PDF that has five lines on it and then saying, here are some numbers and here's how they make sense to the client in your phase of life. And that comes in and you can find a firm that helps train, that helps coach, that helps give the right tools to be able to communicate that effectively, whether it's in a remote environment like we're in or whether it's an in-person environment. So there's ways that you can get to that, so you can have that positive client interaction, because that's why we're here to serve clients and to make them have a value valuable relationship with us.
Dave (00:12:27) - So yeah, that's, that's what I totally get out of the job is finding these few little data points that are completely going to resonate with the client to make them walk away satisfied.
Hannah (00:12:40) - But considering your journey, I think we've all experienced what an unhealthy, toxic workplace environment looks like and you probably have, especially during busy season and tax time. How would you say the work environment that you're in currently differs and is a healthier environment and conducive to just to more of a I know we kind of talked through is there really work life balance, but how is it conducive to more integration into your daily life?
Dave (00:13:11) - Yeah, I think yeah, you hit the key word integration. I'm really not a big fan of work life balance that term. Not that I don't want to have balance. I don't know. Just as CPAs, you know, we've all worked really hard to get that designation, you know, and we should be completely proud of it. And especially for the listeners that are coming up that are working really hard to get that CPA designation, we got to embrace it.
Dave (00:13:36) - You know, it kind of becomes a part of our identity, you know, like, Hi, what do you do? I'm a CPA, I'm a CPA, and like it's awesome. And people say, Oh, well, you've worked hard for that. So we embrace that identity. But then what we have to do is say, okay, how do we integrate that into my into our lives? And we have to recognize that that shifts, you know, when you're first out of college, you know what that means to you is different than someone who has young kids like I do. So priorities can shift. And we got to find a place where or find a firm where, you know, it's able to cultivate a positive experience for you. So to your question, Hannah, the last firm I was at is a very successful firm. But had a one year old and like another baby on the way, or maybe the child was born. It was a crazy time of life.
Dave (00:14:26) - And I remember as taxis and I think had worked like 80 hours that week. And I remember the managing partner says, I kind of need you at 85 hours. And I was like, I physically can't give you five more hours of my life at this rate. And I was driving 30 minutes each way. So when you like. So I was like. I'm not doing anything and think I was laying in bed with my wife and I literally fell asleep mid-conversation. She's like, Dave, you fell asleep talking to me? I said, Oh, okay. So, you know, by a little bit of initiative and, you know, like, you know, everything's like luck in a little bit of work. So my hard work was that I was really good at networking and keeping relationships up. So I had been in touch with Summit Group and CPA finally and I kept in touch with Jody and Adam, who had built this pretty revolutionary firm, and finally said, I think I'm ready to come work for you guys.
Dave (00:15:26) - And it was a remote position. So I cut that half hour commute or the one hour in the car away from my life, and I was able to find a flexible arrangement where I was having breakfast with my family. And when they got home from daycare or school, I was also at I was I was there. I was present. Okay. And kind of you know, I was hearing a you and I were joking around the math earlier. I'm like, what did that mean? I don't know. I think I've saved like 60 days of my life of not sitting in the car and like being with my family and like 60 days, like, imagine being on your deathbed. And I'm going to get morbid here and saying, and you're like, the nurse comes up to you and says, Would you like 60 more days with your family? And, you know, and I'm still like, I still got a long way on my career. So this could be like an extra year of my life that I get to spend with my family by finding the right place to work.
Dave (00:16:22) - I think it's pretty awesome. So, you know, so I think, you know, with our tax department, we've certainly tried to find a place where we've embraced the remote work and also giving the autonomy to say, hey, you know, if you're clear with your expectations of what you want out of your career and we're clear with you on what you need to do to be successful in your job, then I think we're going to have a really fruitful relationship to, you know, to find a really positive experience to work with. So that's how I got to where I am at, and that's how I want to build our tax department to say we know everyone's life is different, but I think we have this element of flexibility that we can make it work for everyone.
Joey (00:17:06) - So speaking of the.
Dave (00:17:07) - My screen flashed a big white thing, so my light changed. I'm back. Okay.
Joey (00:17:12) - Speaking of that, of that recruitment, because I think that's always going to be it's always the challenge with accounting.
Joey (00:17:19) - One of the one of the things that kind of led to us discussing even starting this podcast was a stat that came out about, you know, just how many accountants left their jobs during the pandemic and immediately afterwards just how many more accountants we're going to need as the need for accountants continues to grow because commerce is growing and there's always regulations and things. And then there's a little sad number, which is here's how many kids are wanting to get into accounting. Yeah. And the two numbers don't add up. There's a pretty big gap between the number of net new jobs that are coming and the number of people who are wanting to come into those roles.
Hannah (00:17:57) - Think the kids say these days the math, math, math, math found that it's not enough for sure.
Dave (00:18:05) - Take your word for that one, Hannah. But yeah, no big pipeline problem. Yeah, for sure. And I know AI CPA got task force and everything like that. So it's a Yeah. Joey I think cut you off but yeah.
Joey (00:18:18) - No, no.
Dave (00:18:19) - Forever if you want.
Joey (00:18:21) - That's where I was and that's where I was going with that is, you know, if you're, if you're trying to make a pitch to, you know, an 18, 19, 20 year old kid who's looking at his or her options in college and saying, well. I'm smart. I have analytical, critical thinking skills. I have all of these things that I can do. And, you know, the world is kind of my oyster in terms of what I would like to go do with my life. Why should that person consider accounting in your mind?
Dave (00:18:50) - Uh, well, money might be a good thing. One, I think, when? Let's go back to Econ 101. We've got supply and demand. Supply shrinks, but demand is still high, so the price is going to go up. Right? So, one, I think you're going to find compensation is going to be very competitive. So let's get that out of the way.
Dave (00:19:11) - I think you're going to find that it's going to pay pretty well. Um, and two, I just think this to the pipeline problem. Yes, fewer people are coming in. So hopefully the profession can really change that. And that's going to go back even to the high schools and colleges to help making this a more intriguing career. But, you know, I've always found that. If you like. There's something for everyone. Let's go back to like, if you're the more analytical type, then you know you can find a niche in your firm to say, This is where I can be a support to the team to make our firm successful by being here. If you're the less analytical type, which kind of like me, where I kind of like being more on the client service and the client delivery type, you can totally find a path for yourself if you've got a little bit of work ethic to say, okay, I know, I know I have to embrace some of these technical aspects.
Dave (00:20:10) - And if you're a CPA, you've got the work ethic to get there. It's going to you know, you're going to find it. And then you just have to have a little bit of initiative to say, Here's what I want to embrace. Throughout my career, I have found that the people are successful. And really, as you Joey, that said, found some joy in their career, have really started to discover what they like out of their career and say, you know, I want to create that path. If you let the world just keep beating you over the head, but this is what you're supposed to do, you're probably going to be miserable what you're doing. But if you start seeing, okay, found that little spark of what I wanted to do and say, you know what, I'm going to dive into that and put in a little extra effort. I think it's going to be awesome. And tax accounting in particular. Read a national newspaper, The Wall Street Journal like two weeks ago, had an opinion that said, like the one profession that has not been impacted like is beating inflation and things like that is tax accounting.
Dave (00:21:10) - Why? Because Congress can't get their crap together and they're just changing all the tax rules all the time. So the work is there. And if you find that spark of saying, you know, I really want to dive into some level of details to understand rules, and I love providing client service and translating these complex topics to my clients, You're going to be a rock star. And I don't know, I just feel like a rock star after I client meetings. I love it. I just. I just I just it's the best part of my job. Some concerts are better than others, but every day I come to work and I feel like a rock star. And if that's what you want. Well, here it is. Joey, do you feel like a rock star? Every day?
Joey (00:21:57) - Sometimes, but not, you know. I was in my mind, I was like, I need to figure out how to work into this conversation that Dave's little, you know, animated. Yes. Caricature that's part of some is him with an open vest and you know.
Joey (00:22:13) - A slash hat up there and Dave's just shredding it on the guitar.
Dave (00:22:16) - Yeah. Guns N Roses is my favorite band. And so and that was like my first day on the job at Summit, Jody comes up to me and says, Well, you got to like, We're going to do a caricature. I'm like, from like a fair. He's like, Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Write a paragraph to this, to this guy. And he does art for like Disney World or something like that. I'm like, Okay, so I wrote this paragraph and do some fun stuff. I'm like, What am I saying? I was like, I don't know. I like Guns N Roses. Like two weeks later, Slash and Kash comes up and they got like, I don't have a shirt on. And then there's like these two groupies and they're, and they're like, Can I have this on the website? I was like, Oh yeah, it's cool. Be fun. I'm like, okay, here we go.
Dave (00:22:58) - Let's start the ride. So, Joey, maybe you'll be like a James Taylor caricature with the energy level I'm feeling. You know.
Joey (00:23:07) - I maybe I just need to grow out my hair and go full Bob Dylan on everybody. There we go. Where? The harmonica around my neck and go from there.
Dave (00:23:15) - Let's go post Malone Let's do that.
Joey (00:23:17) - That with the tattoos.
Dave (00:23:19) - With the right not you know we got something for everyone here so why.
Joey (00:23:22) - Not. Okay. I'm going to tell Robert Minkler that that was your idea, and it's been blessed. Bye Bye. Bye. Upper management director, level top cover.
Dave (00:23:31) - Yes. All right.
Joey (00:23:32) - The thing that I was thinking about when you were talking about kind of that pitch to the younger generation, I thought back a little bit to my career. And I got started coming out of Kansas State. I had a couple of different paths that I could have gone. You know, there's obviously the allure of the big four with Kansas City right there in Denver, not too far away.
Joey (00:23:52) - So plenty of opportunity in Big Four. I went a different route. I chose to go with a mid-sized regional firm based in Manhattan, Kansas. And the thing that I loved about that, that I've kind of constantly told people, like, if you want to go big four, that's fine. That's if that's like if you're like No one, that's what you want to do. And you're like, Man, I really want to grind it and just kind of, you know, work that big four partner track and all that. Like more power to you. It's not a gear that I had. Yeah. What I loved about my first job and I. Oh, the people at Saint Gordon Associates in Manhattan, Kansas, everything for my career because they set me up perfectly for where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. Very first day, day one. Joey, you're working on a tax return. Here's a piece of information from the client. Um. Go see what you can do and try to make it work.
Joey (00:24:44) - And I had plenty of mentorship in leadership there. A guy named Tom Martin who, again, owe a lot to Tom. If you ever listen, Tom, Thank you. Um, but, you know, working with him and the team there, it was like you had so many different places that you can go and just see, oh, here's like actual economic activity. This means something to someone. It's not like my internship was, you know, calculating d-pad, which was a thing in 2012. It's not really a thing anymore. But yeah, what I loved about it was exactly what you're saying. There's exposure to a lot of different things and that's sort of where when I think about where Summit Anders is going and how we're growing as a firm and our strategies for the next few years. There are so many opportunities for someone who, if someone came to you and said, Dave, I don't really know what I want to do, yeah, but I know that I'm going to I'm going to work hard for you and I just want to learn and I want you to teach me everything and we'll see where it goes.
Joey (00:25:40) - I'm positive we can find, yeah, a career path for that person and they can kind of create it themselves with what they like and what they want to do.
Dave (00:25:49) - Yeah, this kind of came with experience. Um, you know, for a few years or probably maybe for more than a few years. I always thought like there was like this sequential step that everyone followed in their life, you know, and this would kind of came down to like relationships, whether that was like, you know what? Everyone has different motivations and that certainly okay, Um, but you know, so think to your original question like, yes, Anders has such a wide swath of directions you can take from technology, health care tax. You know, we and our team, we have a whole like automation and technology department. So, you know, you're. We have to expose our team to these things that are rapidly changing the economy. For one, to make sure that our firm is serving our clients the best way possible because it's a part of what we're seeing in our economy.
Dave (00:26:53) - But two, also, just as people like we have to recognize, you know, we have to expose you to all these different things that are coming from you. You're hearing them from every different angle, your parents, your aunts and uncles, your friends, you know, this other post on LinkedIn. So like we have to prepare our team just as to as people to say, you know, you may not be here forever, but we have to make sure that you're the best, well-rounded professional that you can be. That if you want to stick around, awesome, then you're going to be a perfect. Person to be a part of Anders. But if you do leave and then people do leave, and that's what happens. But they're leaving with a good taste in their mouth of saying, You know what? We got exposed to a lot of good things. And you know what? They, we certainly tried our best to give them the tools to be successful. And the other tip is like not burning bridges, Right.
Dave (00:27:52) - I mean, that was awesome. Joey, how you brought that up? You say, you know what, Tom? Very thankful for how you impacted my career. I had some people that gave me a shot when, you know, they probably shouldn't have, you know, and I'm very thankful for them. So it's, um, yeah, it's just it's a part of maturing through your career of saying, you know, what circumstances change. But I'm taking in all this information from different mentors and coaches that are going to make me the best professional. So hopefully then I can turn around and help someone as they're coming up because. I don't know. It's just to give is better than to receive, right? I mean, that kind of spans all generations that you start feeling like really good when that happens.
Hannah (00:28:38) - I know early in my career I beat myself up over the fact that I didn't love the first. The first internship job that I had was dealing with audit and I beat myself up over that for a while, feeling I was like, I don't love this.
Hannah (00:28:52) - I feel like I'm supposed to love this. People tell me I'm supposed to be fulfilled in this and I'm just not. Then I tried something else in the accounting industry and I was like, I don't love this either. Like, this is really hard for me because I feel like everybody is saying that I should. Now, at this point in my career, I wish I could have told that version of myself, Hey, it's okay if you don't love it, try it. See what you learn from it, see what you can gain from that. Because all of those experience led me to where I am now and have helped me so much that I didn't even see the value in at the time for where I am now in my career. But that was something that I really struggled with whenever I was early on in my career, was feeling like I should be loving something, should be fulfilled by something that I just really wasn't. And I think I would say to any young listener who might be feeling that way, it's okay.
Hannah (00:29:45) - It's okay to not love it. It's okay to want to try something new, to shift gears and try something that you do. Because this industry has shifted so much over the past, I would say 15 to 20 years that there truly is something for everyone who loves accounting and is an accountant in this industry to feel fulfilled and find joy in their role. So yes, love that you say like you can come and just learn what you want to learn. If you don't stay forever, like that's okay. Learn and grow and take whatever you do. Learn into your next role in in your career path.
Dave (00:30:23) - Yeah, I totally felt like a failure after auditing didn't work out and it's probably, you know, every generation is different, but this is not I guess it's me patting. I felt like I was successful at everything I had done up until that point. I got good grades in school, you know, I was a good teammate on my team, on my sports teams. Um, I got good grades in college.
I had a great fraternity experience, you know, and things like that. I had good friends. And then this career that just came and just kicked my butt for two years and was like, What is wrong with me? Is this the rest of my life, you know, was like this. It was a pretty I was like, this is this is going to be rough. Um, but so that back to that person that gives you a shot. So I went to a much smaller firm where I was at and that's where I learned the best in that environment. Makes Joey's point. You Big Four might be the place where you learn the best. No, I learned the best by getting a shoebox full of crap and then having to build a balance sheet. And. That's right. That's right. Now, I don't get the shoebox clients anymore and our firm really doesn't have them as much. But that's how I learned. And I just and I recognized, okay, maybe I didn't know as much as I did out of college, but I had to have a level of grace.
Dave (00:31:43) - It took me a few years to finally figure it out, to say, okay, it's okay, Dave, but you got a long life ahead of you. You can pivot, it's okay and move on. And our firm pivots and like our division is super good at letting people pivot if they're transparent enough to say, okay, I'm not being as good. Joey think you started off as like a CFO, but then you owe more to onboarding, You know, like you're like, Hey, I like the beginning of a relationship better. Hannah You did insurance first for a little while and then you're back, right? I mean, so we've had CFOs come back to our tax department to say, Hey, I did tax for a little bit and maybe it wasn't for me. And so I wanted to try some CFO type work. And then they did that for a couple of years. And I said, you know what? Maybe I had it pretty good in the tax world. Well, come on back.
Dave (00:32:35) - We'll welcome you with open arms. You know, So just everyone, including from management and firms, including the CPA or the employee themselves, have to have this level of grace to say, you know what, in a level of humility, to say, hey, this might not be exactly what I want today, but can you help me? That's the hardest question to ask for anyone, especially for people who are go getters. And if you're thinking about getting a CPA or you're on track, you're a go getter, that's like a hard thing to do. And and but that is a super hard question to ask that I have trouble with every day that I ask my like to come up to him and say, hey, I need a little bit of help with this one. But once you ask that, there's this weight that comes off your shoulder that says, okay, I'm feeling better and that can go with your career journey. It can go with the first tax return you're working on and it can go even when you're fixing that plumbing problem in your kitchen.
Dave (00:33:37) - Need a little bit of help. And you know what? People are there to help you out.
Joey (00:33:43) - I think that's probably the piece of advice that I wish I knew at 25 that I now know at 35, which is, you know, now that I've kind of gotten into a management role where I've got some people reporting up to me and kind of working at it from a different angle. There are some times when I think earlier in my career and I have some regrets about some of the choices I made, I kind of yo yoed back and forth between a few things, trying to figure things out. What I hadn't learned at that point was that it's okay to do exactly what you just said. It is okay to go to your boss and say, Hey man, you know, I like working here. I like you, I like the team. This just isn't fulfilling for me. Is there something else I can do? Is there something else that we can do here? Because I'll tell you, as a manager, I would rather someone come to me first and say, Hey, I've got a problem with something.
Joey (00:34:30) - Can you help me fix it? Instead of someone coming to say, Hey, yeah, I didn't really like it. I'm going to bounce out of here in like a month. It's been great, but I got to go try something different. And it's like, Man, you didn't even give me a chance to fix it. Yeah, that's right. And I've been on the giving end of that and I have so many regrets about it because I just didn't know that that was okay. Like I thought, No, no, no. The management's big. They're scary. Like, this is not. This is not something that I can go do. No, you can totally do that. And it's okay. And managers prefer it if you give them a chance to fix it.
Dave (00:35:02) - It's 100% correct, Joey. And I want to expand on it, but you said it really well. But just the ability to go in and say, I need some help here and whether it's. And guess what? Newsflash, management knows that not everyone is going to love and be perfect in every role.
Dave (00:35:27) - Okay. So, you know, it's and it's okay. It's totally okay. But give us a chance to say, all right, hey, you gave it the old college try. That's amazing. But let's give you a runway to find where you can be successful. And that's the sign of a great firm to work for when they say, we want you to be successful and we're going to give you every chance tool to be successful. And that's, you know, Anders, I'd like to say we're working really hard and think we're really good at being there. That's why our merger happened. Now we have this awesome remote ability work ability to work remotely. And to have this VCFO department. Okay. And you know what? If you want to go back to go to be more in office, then we have that too. So it's. We are as a part of the economy, we have to give people choices. And the responsibility of the person is to say, I have this awesome opportunity with all these choices, so let's be mature about it and have the courage to ask for help when we need it and the courage to ask for change in a very responsible and mature way.
Dave (00:36:45) - Boy, I think it's a great opportunity for someone.
Hannah (00:36:49) - I think one wise thing to do whenever you're considering choices certainly is to weigh all of your options and compare and contrast. So how would you say that our tax department is different than other tax departments? What makes us different in what you're trying to build and what this role especially is?
Dave (00:37:11) - Yeah. So I'm the director of the tax department, so we support our clients and that's a little bit different from a more traditional firm in the fact that when you're in our department, you'll work with 45 to 55 CFO client relationships and that's what you're responsible for. And you have the responsibility to help cultivate that relationship both with the client and with the VCFO. So I think that's where we have a different structure in that case. So I think it provides a great opportunity to build client relationships and also the opportunity to be more consultative because you know a little bit more about where this client's been and where they're going because we're always in with our clients.
Dave (00:38:00) - So I think that's the first way that we're different, Um, you know. It's hard being a tax CPA because, one, you have to be technically proficient, you know, but it's also building the skill that you're going to have. Um, and what I'm trying to get at there is to say once you've mastered these technical skills and have these client relationships and you're gonna have these wonderful consulting calls with your clients that to me, as I said this before, feeds that joy that I get out of it. Um, we try to keep things under 55 hours during tax season when you have deadlines popped on you by Congress, there's naturally going to be some level of deadline driven work. But guess what? Tax accountants. That's kind of what it's going to be for a little bit. I wish I could magically go away, but it's not. But at least you have a consistent viewpoint of what your workload is going to be. And if you schedule your own work with your own autonomy, then you can think make it less strenuous than you might see when was saying like this, 80 hour weeks.
Joey (00:39:13) - Well, I think I think I've seen that in working with your team. How there's a level of, you know, some I've known tax managers on your team who've been able to take vacation, you know.
Dave (00:39:25) - During tax season.
Joey (00:39:26) - During tax season at a time when, you know, I mean, I remember back in my tax career, I missed my college roommates wedding because they got married on April 10th, I think. Sorry, Britton, if I got your anniversary date wrong, if it was around the 15th of April. Yeah. But, you know, it was like and we had a guy quit, like two days before, and my boss was like, Hey, man, sorry, you can't. I need you here. And the thing that I've enjoyed watching again as a recovering tax accountant and we're always in a little bit of recovery from the tax world. But, you know, looking at your team and the flexibility and and just how much I think autonomy is a great word.
Joey (00:40:05) - Like you're set very clear expectations with your tax managers, but you're expecting them to kind of say, hey, you're you're a professional. I'm going to get out of your way. I'm here to support you. I'm not going to throw you into the deep end with an anchor on you and see if you can swim. But, you know, you give them runway to go out there and handle the engagement and work directly with the CFOs. And it seems like a very I mean, I hate to use the word different vibe, but it's a different vibe than any place I've seen from the tax realm. And I think that's a credit to you, but also to summit Anders for allowing that, you know, environment to exist.
Dave (00:40:44) - Yeah, that's right. Yeah, we're. We want to change the way the world looks at accounting. That was, you know, one of our vision statements about eight years ago. And so, yes, we've tried to revision what a tax department looks like by, you know, we're a remote team, so we have the tools to be successful remotely.
Dave (00:41:06) - And and so we don't want to put you in a position to fail, but we think we have a good formula right now to say, you know, this can be a really fruitful career in tax accounting that is a little different. Right? And so we really encourage people that are looking to for a different option of what tax accounting to look like is to look at the VCFO division of Anders to say, oh, I can do tax accounting in a different way. Well, hey, you know, we're here and we're growing and we think it's a great place to work.
Joey (00:41:46) - Well, we've got about 2 or 3 minutes left here on the podcast. I told you it's going to go faster than you think it is.
Dave (00:41:52) - Wow, this is crazy.
Joey (00:41:53) - Yeah, is there anything else that we'd like to do? I know. Just in case you couldn't pick it up from the context. We are actively hiring. We are. It feels like we're always actively hiring across the entire company, which is from.
Joey (00:42:06) - From an employee perspective. It feels really great, right? Yeah. We're always looking for good people. What are some things that you'd like potential applicants or folks to know about not just this position you're hiring for, but also anything generally related to the company that you'd like us to know?
Dave (00:42:23) - Well, I just want to reiterate that I think there's going to be a level of consistency when you're working in our tax department. You know, you know, you have your set amount of clients. Yeah. And those are the ones you're going to work in year in and year out. And, you know, some are going to. So I think that level of consistency is nice. You're not just throwing in all these random projects all the time. Um, so I think that's something that's a little bit different that I think people are going to would thrive in our tax department. Um. That's all. Yeah, that's. That's the one thing think I would take away from this is to say it's just a little bit different on how you don't have to bill that's another good thing too because we have this our weekly billing so think that would be a lovely thing for people.
Joey (00:43:10) - Um, but, and it feels like there's also a difference there where you're not actively looking for your managers to go out and cultivate new relationships. We've got a separate sales department that goes in there and does a lot of the selling for us, which on the CFO side is nice too. Yeah, yeah. It's happy to go out and find new clients, which is good.
Dave (00:43:27) - Yeah, that's right. Yeah. There's no like growing a book of business expectation. Um, you know, some people are really good salespeople, you know, and they've clearly created a position in our firm to say, Hey, I'm the sales guy. That's awesome. But for some, for our tax team, there is not that expectation is not there. So that's a really good point. Joey, thanks for bringing that up.
Joey (00:43:54) - And then in terms of where they can go to find details not just about the open positions, but about you. I know you mentioned that your networking is fantastic. It's a skill that I'm still trying to learn.
Joey (00:44:05) - Where can we find out more about you, Dave?
Dave (00:44:07) - Here's where my YouTube skills are going to come into play. You can find the link down here in the comments below. So I guess we should put it there. Now go to anderscpa.com open positions. You'll see that we have VCFO tax engagement manager positions that are open. So, you know, I think for our listeners would be pretty easy to find if not hit me up on LinkedIn.
Joey (00:44:34) - Cool.
Hannah (00:44:35) - Awesome. Let's end with something on a little bit lighter note, Dave. Okay, Tell us one piece of advice that you'd like to give a young professional that you've picked up throughout your career.
Dave (00:44:49) - Oh goodness. Um. Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land amongst the stars. Uh, no. Well, no, don't. That's great. I don't know anyone who you know that is, of all the successful people that I know that are awesome CPAs in our success in their careers, there's just a recognition that they're.
Dave (00:45:18) - There's nothing that's given to you. All right? So you have to put in a little bit of initiative to say, how can I give back to other people on my team to be successful and then you're going to find success. The more you give to it, the more you're going to get out of it.
Hannah (00:45:37) - Absolutely love it.
Dave (00:45:40) - Land amongst the stars.
Joey (00:45:44) - Well, Dave, thank you so much for joining us today. Hannah, thank you for co-hosting, as always. And we're looking forward to catch you all in the next show. All right.
Dave (00:45:51) - It's awesome to be here.
intro (00:45:54) - If you're a young CPA looking to develop in their careers, we're always looking for great people. Visit our website for remote work opportunities with Summit Virtual CFO or find all our open positions at Anders CPAs and advisors.