Meet our Members

This feature spotlights members of ISCPA, their career path, and some fun and favorite things about them. These siblings all followed a path to CPA careers and are with one firm.

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Dakota Hageman

Dakota HagemanI was inspired to be a CPA after I started keeping a record book for my 4-H projects. I started keeping track of my income and expenses and reported back to my dad. After reviewing my work, I realized there was always room for improvement. I started having more to keep track of as I entered high school and got more involved in the family farm. I realized I enjoyed organizing, analyzing and presenting information. From there, I decided to attend UNI for accounting and eventually decided to take the CPA exam along with earning my master’s degree in accounting.

If I weren't a CPA, you might find me: Working as a software engineer of some sort. I enjoy the logic that goes into designing computer software and coming up with formulas/statements that solve a problem or automate a decision.

The best advice I have ever received: You get out of it what you put into it. I firmly believe that everything must be done with intention and some sort of goal in mind. It is ok to make iterative decisions and go towards a goal slowly, but you must keep moving in the right direction and put forth effort if you want to get something out of a situation.

My favorite part about my job: It seems like I am always learning something new or having to apply my knowledge in a different way. I have always been a fast learner and I enjoy having a new problem to solve most days.

A message that I have for high school or college kids about a career as a CPA: CPAs get a unique perspective on many different businesses and government organizations. I think this perspective combined with some ambition can create a well-rounded professional that can help clients work through problems and achieve success. Ultimately, this is what is going to keep the profession relevant as our clients look to us for sound information that they can use to make better decisions more quickly.

Something important to me outside of work: Volunteering with the South Winn Area Community Group as a pyrotechnician. We usually organize two local firework displays each year. Our Fourth of July display lasts close to 30 minutes and is completely choreographed to music. I have helped with everything from picking out the fireworks to pushing the buttons to shoot the fireworks. The group has many great volunteers that have taught me a lot and have years of experience setting up the shoots. It takes hundreds of hours of planning and set up for the Fourth of July display, but the front row seat at show time and the fun memories make it all worth it. I am very grateful for all the members that have taken time to teach me and help me over the last two years of my involvement.


See past Member Spotlight features:

Job: Staff accountant, Hacker, Nelson & Co. P.C., Decorah.

Hometown: Decorah

Alma mater: University of Northern Iowa

Professional and community activities: Iowa Society of CPAs, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, South Winn Area Community Group

I never leave home without: My watch. I never used to wear a watch until I got a smart watch a few years ago. Now, I only go without it for a few hours at night when it needs to be charged every couple days.

Favorite food: It has to be steak. I have worked with beef cattle my entire life and I have had more than my fair share of steak, but it never gets old.

Last book I read: “Dichotomy of Leadership” by Jocko Willink

Favorite movie: Lone Survivor

Favorite vacation spot: Near Black River Falls, Wis. My friends and I camp out for the weekend and ride ATV trails with four-wheelers.