ISCPA Member Spotlight
This feature spotlights members of ISCPA, their career path, and some fun and favorite things about them.
What do you like about working at CLA? I love that we are a top 10 national firm made up of numerous small/medium size offices to give that small firm feel. I am proud of our culture, flexibility, industry specialization, and the fact that we are the largest firm that focuses on privately held businesses and their owners. Plus, I not only get to help my clients, I also get the opportunity to have a great relationship with them as well.
Your wife is a CPA, so you have that in common. How are you most different? She delivered our children and I did NOT! (Ha, j/k!) We are very similar but the main difference is that I cannot handle unread emails. It makes me anxious and I am always reading and answering them. My wife can definitely unplug when she needs to. I sure hope to be like her someday!
Biggest issue you see facing the profession: Finding talented and qualified staff. This leads to another issue which is constantly adapting to technological changes. Since we foresee having issues with the first issue, the industry is rapidly implementing the second.
Do you have a mentor who has impacted you? I have had a handful of great mentors, one of whom retired from the firm a year ago – Pete Jacobs. I always admired his excellent client service, his calmness when dealing with issues, and most of all how he dropped everything to take the time to interact with employees and clients.
What message do you have for young adults about a CPA career? It can be very rewarding. If you choose public accounting make sure it is the right move for you. It is very fast paced and always changing. When looking for a job, we are not just hiring you based on your GPA, we are also hiring you for your communication and personal skills since you will be in front of our clients. You can be the smartest person in your class, but if you can’t hold a conversation and create a relationship with our clients, they are not going to want to work with you. On the flip side, you can have a great personality but if you are not technical they will not turn to you for help when needed.
What is something important to you outside of work? Participating in Project SAFE of the Cedar River Corridor Area. The organization focuses on suicide awareness, education, and ending the stigma around mental illness and suicide.
Justin and his wife Sarah live in Cedar Rapids with their son Jordan (9) and daugher Jaydan (5).
See past Member Spotlight features: