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Meet Our Members

This feature spotlights members of ISCPA, their career path and some fun and favorite things about them.

Max Miller

JOB: CPA specializing in tax with McGowen & Associates PLLC, Clive
Hometown: Independence and now residing in West Des Moines
Alma mater: Central College
Community & Society activities: ISCPA LEAP Committee, Taxation Committee, Everybody Wins Iowa board member.

Some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the profession: Technology is advancing faster than a lot of clients can adapt to. I think CPAs are in an important role to help their clients get up to speed and stay current.
My favorite thing about my job: Our firm works with a lot of family-owned businesses, and I enjoy seeing our clients’ hard work pay off. Sometimes we get to help them transition their business to the next generation or possibly sell and it is rewarding to assist them through that process.
I am passionate about: Youth literacy. I have been involved both as a volunteer mentor and board member with Everybody Wins Iowa for the past 10 or so years. The program pairs local mentors with students in Central Iowa who need extra help when it comes to reading. You meet with your student once per week during the school year. I have been fortunate to have worked with a couple of students for several years and it is amazing to see their progress. You may not know it, but there are students of all ages in every school that could benefit from extra time and attention from mentors.
Message for high school and college students considering a career as a CPA: Probably redundant, but being a CPA opens up a lot of opportunities. You don’t have to know what you want to do for the rest of your life, but getting your CPA will give you more options down the road. I would also say to take opportunities as they come to you. Be open to saying “yes.”
Some of my philosophies and principles toward work and life: There is no substitute for hard work. I also try to focus on the big picture and build long-term relationships with clients and colleagues rather than worry about short-term issues and chasing dollars.
How has your background and experience shaped who you are today? I spent a few years working as a trust officer at a bank. During that time, I learned a lot about the estate planning process which is becoming increasingly more important and prevalent when working with clients. I also completed “trust school” and became a CTFA (Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor). Being able to help clients from both a tax perspective and wealth/estate planning perspective has been beneficial.
When I have free time, I prefer to: Golf and go for bike rides. I still play in a league with my college golf teammates.
People don’t know this about me, but I: Recently started DJ-ing events (mainly weddings for close friends). The pay is low (mainly food and drink), but I get to choose the songs.

First job as a teen: Golf course maintenance
What I wanted to be when I grew up: Garbage man
TV show I’m currently obsessed with: Survivor
Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite movie: Lost in Translation
Favorite app: Spotify
Favorite vacation: Japan
Favorite quote: “The buck stops here.”
Best concert I’ve been to: Lorde

Famous person I would most like to meet: Tiger Woods
Favorite band: Grateful Dead
Go-to karaoke song: Regulate (I sing both parts- Warren G and Nate Dogg)

See past Member Spotlight features: