From the Nov. 2009 Issue
New technologies continue to shape professional accounting practices in ways that would have been impossible to comprehend or might even have seemed insane only a few decades ago. Take the accounting firm of James J. Matousek, CPA Ltd. (www.matousekconsulting.com) in the Chicago suburb of Mt. Prospect, Illinois.
While the practice may seem traditional at first glance, offering business consulting, tax compliance, payroll and other services, its similarity to most other firms ends there. Run by the father-daughter CPA team of Jim Matousek and Jody Padar, the practice has applied modern mobile and remote work technologies in unique ways that allow each of the principles to work from where they choose. For Jody, this means sharing office space and resources with another accounting practice, while father Jim uses an office a few blocks away.
While many professionals have worked from home offices for years and have recently started taking increasing advantage of mobile work technologies, Jody and her father have built a firm based on these capabilities, enabling each to office remotely, but using mostly web-based professional programs that allow them to perform client engagements, share data as needed and collaborate in other ways, whether in the office, at a client’s location or while spending time at the family’s vacation home in Door County, Wisconsin.
Of course, all of this was impossible when James started his consulting practice in 1969, before his daughter (who is also one of this year’s 40 Under 40 Honorees – www.CPATechAdvisor.com/40under40/2009ebook) was even born. He began working in the corporate taxation division for Midas International. As with many corporate tax professionals, he also offered tax compliance services on nights and weekends during tax season, slowly growing the client base he served through his business and tax consultancy.
While he had considered striking out on his own a few years later, the arrival of a newborn daughter made the security of corporate employment much more desirable, so Jim continued his evening and weekend seasonal practice while staying at Midas for 35 years. He eventually reached the level of director of taxation, before retiring in 2001.
For daughter Jody, growing up in a house that doubled as a workplace after school and on the weekends was essentially a long-term internship. With clients calling or visiting the house during the tax season, she naturally eased into a support role, providing assistance to her dad and learning the profession from the ground up. Instead of heading to the beach or the mountains for spring break, Jody navigated mountains of 1040s, supporting schedules and worksheets for her father’s engagements.
It seems quite natural then, that when Jody attended Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, she majored in accounting as an undergraduate and then earned a Master’s of Science in Taxation from Northern Illinois University. She entered the professional field working first for PricewaterhouseCoopers in its tax technology group and then joined Sam Zell’s Equity Group Investments, which controls a multi-billion dollar mix of private and public, domestic and foreign businesses.