Earlier this month, we highlighted our partnership with the Missouri Society of CPAs (MSCPA) to create the Learning Center Program: an in-class person workshop consisting of 3 sessions that guided CPA Exam candidates through the process of applying and studying for the CPA Exam. We interviewed Kathy Meyer, CPA and CFO of MSCPA who gave us detailed information about why it's so crucial to provide these types of resources to CPA Exam candidates to ensure they pass within the 18 month window.
In today's article, we continue our conversation with Kathy Meyer who tells us a little bit about her background and why she thinks the CPA designation is so important.
What made you decide to become a CPA?
I was in college when I started considering accounting as a career. But, the thought of becoming a CPA never even crossed my mind. After graduation, I worked in private industry for six years. During that time, I saw other people progressing. I began to understand the true value of becoming a CPA through the two people I worked most closely with. One was a woman who was the controller for the organization and a CPA. The other was doing the same job as me, didn’t have a college degree and saw no chance for advancement. There are a lot of people out there who don’t immediately see the value of the CPA designation. Like me, they think, “I’m done with school, so that’s plenty.” But as I worked and had a family, I wanted more. I had the start to a good career but desired to take it to the next level.
My family encouraged me to pursue a CPA license. However, I had been out of school for six years. I thought I’d never be able to pass the exam without taking a CPA review course, so I chose one to help me study. I was on my way!
How did you get your current position as CFO of the MSCPA?
I was working for a small company, and one of our staff members left and went on to work for the Missouri Society of CPAs. She reached out to me, and let me know that the MSCPA’s controller position was available. In all honesty, I was not looking to move. I liked my company and the people I worked with. However, I knew it was a good opportunity, so in 1990 I went to work for the MSCPA.
Over the past 26 years, I’ve realized the wide variety of opportunities that having the CPA designation provides. You’re not doing the same bookkeeping job day after day. Having a CPA license not only makes a statement about your qualifications, but it also increases your confidence, which in itself is an added benefit in many ways.
What do you love about your job?
I love that this is my profession. It’s especially rewarding to work for an organization that serves CPAs and protects my very own credential. It was a big change going from corporate accounting to the not-for-profit world, but my CPA credential better prepared me for the transition. As a CPA, I have a strong and trusted voice in the company that I don’t think I would otherwise have.
I’m the only CPA in our office, which is often the case for CPAs working in private industry. It can be challenging when you don’t have peers at work to bounce ideas off. I’m lucky that on a daily basis, I’m able to talk to many other CPAs—our members—in business and industry, public accounting and education. The MSCPA provides this same perk to other CPAs by offering opportunities for them to connect on committees and chapters, and at educational events. This can be especially important for young professionals who are looking for mentors to guide them as they advance in their careers. At the MSCPA, there are a lot of opportunities to meet like-minded and interesting people, like I do every day.
We'd like to thank Kathy Meyer for her time and insight. We hope this gives you all a little bit of extra motivation to attain your CPA license!