Meet our Members

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

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Kirk Tibbetts

Kirk TibbettsInspired to be a CPA: I was treasurer for my high school thespian troupe, enjoyed working with numbers and money, and my older brother studied accounting in college. I thought becoming a CPA would give me great insights into a company's business–which, of course, it does.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: Baseball player for the New York Yankees (just like Mickey Mantle).

Your message for young people considering a career as a CPA: There are so many opportunities in accounting at public, private and professional firms and becoming a CPA will provide valuable experiences such that you will have your choice of directions for your career. Get your CPA, get your feet wet, then make a sound decision about your next career move that aligns with your passions.

How has being a member of ISCPA helped you? The opportunities to be a member of a committee provides excellent experiences to be a better team member, to lead a team, set strategy, coordinate efforts with other committees, etc. Not to mention the networking and educational opportunities offered by the ISCPA.

What was a favorite thing about your job? Having the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the company, visit with folks involved in all corners of the company, and knowing that senior management values your thoughts and seriously considers your findings.

Tell us about some of your philosophies and principles toward work and life. When evaluating errors, problems or issues, fix it first, of course, then focus on the root cause(s) and the related solution(s) of the issue versus focusing on placing blame. The evaluation and solution process should not be personal, that will only prolong or prevent solutions from being identified and/or implemented timely.

Some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the profession: The various uses and effectiveness and efficiencies provided through the use of expanded technologies. We can let the tools do the work and we can do more analysis and evaluation of the output. Much more fun … and valuable.

What is your biggest achievement to date? One, being a father to two wonderful children. Two, becoming an audit partner with KPMG.

Something important to you: Variety–the Children's Charity of Iowa. Their mission is to improve the lives of children who are at-risk, underprivileged, critically ill or living with special needs. I have been involved in various roles and committees with Variety for around 40 years. Great charity and associated children's organizations with very passionate people.

People don’t know this about me: I received a congressional appointment to West Point Military Academy and actually attended for a short while before enrolling at the University of Northern Iowa and majoring in accounting.

What influences or inspirations have helped you in life and in work? Work hard, don't ask someone to do more than what you would do yourself, and always try to think steps ahead. What potential future issues need to be considered? What planning needs to be done now to keep things on track for the next week, month, year, and beyond? What will/do things looks like down the road that need attention today, tomorrow, etc.? Of course, these are the things that I can focus on less in retirement. Yes, I am enjoying retirement!

Best vacation: Took an almost two-week vacation to Italy with relatives complete with a private guide.

What my autobiography would be called: "Thankfully it Wasn't Caught on Film." It would be a comedy.

See past Member Spotlight features:

Job: Recently retired from Principal Financial Group

Hometown: Cedar Rapids

Alma mater: University of Northern Iowa

Professional/community activities: ISCPA president 2000-01, Variety - the Children's Charity of Iowa (President 1997-98), Easter Seals of Iowa, Mid-Iowa Council Boy Scouts, Institute of Management Accountants.

First job as a youth: Cedar Rapids Gazette paper carrier
Favorite movie: West Side Story
Favorite vacation spot: Italy
Favorite quote: No pain, no gain
Favorite band: Tower of Power - the R & B band
Go-to karaoke song: "Benny and the Jets," by Elton John. My wife cringes every time I (try) to sing this.
Best concert I’ve been to: Tie between Tom Petty and the Eagles
My hero: My mother and father
Place I’d love to live: Near my kids and grandkids

Kirk and his wife Nan live in Urbandale. Their family includes children, Cameron (Tiffany) and Lizzie (Parker) and grandchildren, Jackson and Nolan.