ISCPA Member Spotlight

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

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Tim WilliamsTim Williams

You achieved a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the CPA exam and were one of the top four Iowa candidates in 2013. What have you learned since then about being a CPA that you had no clue about five years ago? The technical accounting knowledge that resulted in those scores on the CPA exam was a fantastic foundation upon which to build my career, but so much of what leads to a successful career as a CPA lies in the intangibles. For myself, this has included leadership skills, effective interpersonal communication, curiosity about business and a constant desire to learn.

What message do you have for high school and college students about a career as a CPA? If you are hesitant to pursue a career as a CPA because you are afraid it will be boring to work with numbers all day, you need to take a closer look at all the career options available to CPAs. Our profession is so much more than crunching numbers, and as our technologically-driven world increases in complexity, the breadth of career opportunities available to CPAs – trusted advisors to help navigate complex scenarios – is only going to increase.

What influences or inspirations have helped you in life and in work? As a Christian, I look to Jesus as the perfect example of leadership: A humble servant. I find it incredibly exciting – though not surprising – that so much business research suggests that servant leadership is the most effective way to lead an organization. For example, read about the level 5 leadership concept in Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great.”

Any interesting stories in your work or life that you would like to share? People say you learn more from your failures than your achievements. That has certainly been the case in my professional life. Less than six months into my first managerial role, an employee quit because they thought I was a bad manager. Nothing has catalyzed more growth in my interpersonal skills and leadership development than that single event. I am happy to report that in the two years since then, no one else has left due to my lack of leadership skills.


Tim and his wife Shelby reside in Dubuque with their son Emery (2), daughter Fiona (8 mos) and Bernese mountain dog Piper.


See past Member Spotlight features:

Job: Assistant controller, Foodliner, Dubuque

Hometown: Dubuque

Alma mater: University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls

Professional/community activities: Community group leader and premarital counselor at my church.

What or who inspired you to become a CPA? During my junior year at UNI, I attended an event hosted by RSM where they shared stories about the type of work CPAs do. I don’t recall any particulars about the event, but I remember going in thinking I’m not really sure what a CPA does and leaving thinking yeah, I could really see myself doing that!

First job as a kid: Paper route

What I wanted to be as a kid when I grew up: Professional baseball player

If I weren't a CPA, you might find me: Being a teacher/coach.

I am passionate about Mentoring and coaching others.

Favorite food: Pizza

Three words that best describe me: Analytical, curious, communicator

People don't know this about me, but: I was in a hard rock band in high school.

When I have free time, I prefer to: I don’t have much free time with two kids age two and younger, but when I do I usually read or spend time with friends.

Last book I read: “Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars” by Patrick Lencioni and “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Favorite app: Currently, Yahoo fantasy football.

Most recent Netflix addiction: The Great British Baking Show.

Favorite quote: “Life is a story. Why do we die? Because we live. Why do we live? Because our Maker opened His mouth and began to tell a story.” - N.D. Wilson, “Death by Living.”