Stacy I. Kildal
Professional Certifications: Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
Owner/Operator: Kildal Services LLC
Co-Founder/Co-Host: Radio Free QuickBooks
Social Media: Twitter: @StacyKildal and @RadioFreeQB ; www.linkedin.com/in/kildalservices
Professional Associations/Memberships: Intuit Trainer and Writer Network
Hobbies: Biking, reading.
Click here to see the other honorees
of the 2012 "Most Powerful Women
in Accounting" awards.
Studies show that more women than ever are graduating with accounting degrees, but few are pursuing, or staying in, public practice careers. What do you think may be causing them to think public accounting careers are not as attractive as other careers?
I would say it has a lot to do with the long hours, the years it takes to advance in a large firm. The ones I’ve talked to have only put in their time at public firm long enough to get the hours required for their license; then either hang out their own shingle or move on to private industry.
What advice would you give to these college students about the opportunities for women in the accounting profession?
It’s one of the few industries that are almost recession proof- during this last economic downturn, my revenue for Kildal Services LLC grew by an average of 12% year over year. Every business needs an accountant, a bookkeeper, someone to consult and setup their accounting and office systems and procedures.
Accounting isn’t defined by a specific region, like the auto industry. Being from southeast Michigan, I know all too well: if you’re a car designer and you lose your job, there aren’t too many other places in the country you can go to look for work. As an accounting professional? You can go almost anywhere.
If you were asked as a consultant to give advice to firms, would you have any recommendations on things they could do to better retain and advance more qualified female staff?
I do get asked this often, about staff in general - regardless of gender - and my first suggestion is always schedule flexibility. Unless there is absolute, rock solid reason that someone HAS to sit at a desk in an office for a set amount of hours, on certain days of the week – the more flexible you can be with scheduling, the more likely you’ll be to recruit and retain quality employees.
My project manager Mia knows that as long as she gets her work done correctly and on time, I don’t care when she works – we both work from home and meet weekly to make sure we’re on track with our client assignments.
Do you think being a woman in the accounting profession has made career advancement more challenging than it might have been for a male in the same situation?
I have honestly, not for one minute of my life, ever considered that being a woman would ever make advancement in my career more challenging. My gender doesn’t have anything to do with my ability to help a client decide what version of QuickBooks best suits their business, or what applications we can find to help their office be more productive.
What solutions have you found successful in managing work-life integration. The balancing of your career with your personal, family and social life?.
I don’t have any “solutions” – I just do it.
How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance? (Spending less time in the office?)
I rarely actually work in my office – it’s in my basement with no windows. I’m generally in my dining room, or meeting my PM out someplace with wifi. I can work from pretty much any place I can get a cell signal, whether it’s the bus stop, or my backyard.
What single piece of technology could you absolutely not live without, and why?
My iPhone – I can do almost everything on it. Make calls, listen to music, access all of my client data, play games, do payroll. And it still fits in my pocket.