How much has the profession changed in the last 16 years? Teresa Mackintosh has had one of the most unique front row seats during this time, serving in public practice as a CPA, as well as in various leadership roles with two of the largest technology companies serving tax and accounting professionals.
Over the past decade, much has been said about the nearly generation-wide gap that resulted from several educational trends, including changes in credit hour requirements for the CPA credential during the early 1990s.
The accounting profession has more than rebounded since, and has returned to one of the most desired career pursuits by college students. Yet, those changes combined to create what has been called “the graying of the profession,” a phenomena in which a disproportionate percentage of practitioners were in senior ranks. This left fewer professionals with mid-career experience who were prepared to move into leadership positions, but provided a valuable opportunity for exceptional younger professionals who were ready for the challenge.
At about the same time, rapid advances in technology, small business management and workflow practices made it critical for firms to maintain a high level of flexibility and willingness to adapt to changes that may be driven by competitive needs, the expectations of younger professional staff, and even the needs of a new generation of younger and more mobile business clients.
Over the past eight years, our annual “40 Under 40” program has sought to recognize those in professional practice and at technology vendors who are emerging as the next generation of trail blazers for the profession. One of the most notable alumna of this program is Teresa Mackintosh, a CPA who has been honored with that recognition since the program’s inception.
In April of this year, Mackintosh joined CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business, as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Tax, the largest business unit for CCH, and a position recently created to oversee all aspects of the technology vendor’s tax-related offerings to public practitioners. Mackintosh’s new position is focused on giving firms the resources to advance their business overall, by helping them with internal processes, client collaboration, tax cycle issues and other factors.
Mackintosh served for 16 years at Thomson before that, which became Thomson Reuters in 2008, moving through progressively senior roles in various areas of the organization, including product management, strategic marketing and product development, ultimately becoming general manager and senior vice president of Thomson Reuters’ Indirect, Property and Trust Tax division, working from the company’s Carrolton, Texas, office. She also spent three years as a tax consultant with PriceWaterhouse after earning the CPA credential in 1996.
“I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with many practice areas and learn from a lot of people,” Mackintosh said of her experience with Thomson Reuters. She specifically cites Jack LaRue as a key mentor and valued colleague whom she worked for and alongside in various capacities over the years. LaRue, is currently the general manager of one of the Thomson Reuters’ professional payroll systems.
“Jack’s real purpose and drive is to be a professor of marketing. He cares deeply about the theory and academics and fun of marketing, how to make it work, but also how to be a student of it. Above all, he taught me that the market is constantly changing and evolving, and that we have to do the same. Jack is a very thoughtful and caring individual who actively works to develop his team.”
In her new position with CCH, Mackintosh returns to a role that keeps her in daily contact with tax and accounting professionals in public practice.
“I’m excited to return to working directly with the profession and individual practices,” she said. “There’s a sense of validation from helping tax and accounting professionals, because it’s personal to them, it’s about helping them succeed and build for success. For me, it’s a much more collegial and family-like environment.”