ISCPA Member Spotlight

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

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Jessica ParkerJessica Parker

Have you mentored any younger CPAs or other young business people in your community? I am currently an e-mentor with ISCPA for several college students who wish to pursue a career as a CPA.

What message do you have for high school and college kids about a career as a CPA? While technical skills are important, a career as a CPA is not all related to numbers. It is equally important, or perhaps more im­portant, to have good communication skills. It is common in public accounting, even early in our careers to speak with, and build relationships with high-level executives. It’s important to be able to clearly communicate, understand and listen during these conversations.

What is your biggest achievement to date? Being a working mother. I am thankful for a firm who strongly encourages us to have a balance and provides us with the flexibility in our schedule to achieve success in my career as a public accountant, and as a mother.

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the profession? The biggest change I have seen in my 14 years in public accounting is the use of technology, which has led our teams to be more efficient and effective in how we audit. We strive to be paperless and are able to maintain our audit work electronically in databases that we can all connect to from anywhere.

What is most rewarding about your job? Not only is it rewarding to provide high quality service to our clients and be an advisor to them on all their audit, tax or consulting needs, but it is just as rewarding to watch and help our people grow and progress through their career.

What is a dream, goal, or bucket list item at the top of your list? Going on a family vacation to Hawaii to celebrate my 40th birthday. My kids recently asked how old I am so they could figure out how soon we would be going. They weren’t quite as excited to learn we have several years before our Hawaii trip would become a reality. I like to plan ahead, so planning years in advance is not uncommon for me!

Jessica and her husband Cooper reside in Cedar Falls with son Raleigh (8) and daughter Jovie (7).

See past Member Spotlight features:

Job: Assurance senior manager, RSM US LLP, Waterloo

Hometown: Fort Dodge

Alma mater: University of Northern Iowa

First job as a kid: Softball complex concession stand.

What I wanted to be as a kid when I grew up: Veterinarian

Best advice I received: 80 percent is good enough!

I am passionate about My family.

Three words that best describe me: Organized, engaged, team player

Last book I read: “The Power of Moments” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

Favorite movie: "Dirty Dancing." My favorite Christmas movie is “Elf” - I even named my daughter after the main female character.

Currently obsessed with this on tv: “Manifest,” “A Million Little Things,” “Grey’s Anatomy.” (I have watched this show since the first episode.)

Most important skill I have developed in my career: To collaborate with the talented individuals throughout my firm as we are not expected to know all the answers.

Best concert I have been to: Tina Turner in Des Moines about 15 years ago.

Best vacation: Disney World! I just went over Thanksgiving with my family, my brother’s family and my parents.

I laughed so hard I cried when: I attended an RSM conference, which required flying to the destination for most participants. After we all arrived, one of my coworkers shared a funny story about being on a conference call in his car when he arrived at the airport, and he only grabbed his computer bag and went through security. He didn’t realize until after security check that he didn’t have his suitcase. Needless to say, he had to buy some clothes to wear when he got to the conference. The best part is, this has happened to him more than once!