Do what’s right. Was it right to quit a secure, rewarding, high-paying job, with a fantastic global company? Most would think not. Do you believe it’s right follow your values and your passions and to live a life that is joyful, fulfilling, grateful, and that provides balance and allows you to give back in a meaningful manner? That’s what I believe, so, yes, it was right to walk away from that dream job.
Twenty-five years of accounting experience tells you that the story that follows is about that long. Bear with me.
I went to college immediately after graduating from high school. I planned to study business. I can’t tell you why; my mom wanted me to be a nurse and my dad just wanted me to do the right thing and to have opportunities; so, finish college.
My first semester, I took Principles of Accounting. I hated it. It made zero sense. Recording things twice, once in one ledger, again in another, but backwards. Debits on the left, credits on the right. I dropped the class. Twice more I tried, twice more, I quit. I changed my major.
I graduated from Sac State with a B.S. in Criminal Justice with no plans of going into law enforcement. I was interested in law, but knew I’d never want to be a criminal attorney, and knew I’d never want to litigate. The classes about fraud and white-collar crime were my favorite, though, for all the good THAT would do.
I worked my way through the last several years of college (What? So I took my time and savored the experience). I worked for an allergist, in the front office, answering phones, recording charges and receipts on the “pegboard”, and filing patient files away. I’d taken a couple of classes over the summer in computer software (WordPerfect and Lotus123, this was a long, long, time ago, remember?). So, when the doctor decided to computerize, I had way more experience than anyone else; I was “volun-told” to do the data entry for the migration. It was this act that made it all CLICK, no pun intended; this was accounting, these were debits and credits, and now, the ledgers were all in one place, on the computer and not in a stack of dusty old journals!
I went back to school, at night, after work, and took every accounting class they offered after 6:00 PM. I built a career in accounting, I worked for private companies, public companies, I even helped take a company public. I worked for CPA firms, very large and very, very, small. I’ve worn every accounting hat from accounts payable clerk to Controller, bookkeeper to Audit Manager, and finally those fraud and white-collar crime classes paid off! I’ve been the auditor and the auditee!
I’ve been told, the best way to learn, is to teach; for eight years I traveled all over the country and taught CPAs and other accounting professionals how to organize their workpapers and supporting documents electronically, I taught them how to utilize specialized software to help them create “linked” financial statements. I taught them how to be more efficient and more effective. I even taught CPAs how to audit, in theory and in practice. I learned so much!
Making it count. And then I walked away. What I learned most, in those eight years, was that life is meant to be lived consistent with your values. My values were living a healthy lifestyle, family, friends, and volunteering. My values weren’t on the back burner, they weren’t even on the stove, as I worked long days, long weeks, and on long flights from coast to coast and back. I’d been moving so fast and working so hard, life was getting away from me. I haven’t been able to volunteer for many years. I lost my balance. I took some time to reflect on my values and my passions, and I decided to take all my experience and offer it to you, to devote some of my time and energy to volunteer opportunities, and live a life of good health, balance, joy and vitality. And with all my knowledge, experience, energy, enthusiasm, and efficiency, you’ll not only have tidy bookkeeping records and timely financial statements, but you, too, will have more time to follow your passions, to enjoy life, to seek balance! Win! Win!
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