Behind the Numbers: Jeannette Marchant

[This is part of our ongoing blog series, “Behind the Numbers,” during which I talk to various individuals in the profession and shine a little light on what they are like when they sign out of the accounting cloud.]

In this Behind the Numbers profile, I spoke with Jeanette Marchant, a 29 year-old CPA and tax consultant for Freed Maxick CPAs, PC in Buffalo, New York. She has a BS in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and is active with the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and AICPA. In her free time, she enjoys dance (hip hop, jazz, tap, ballet, burlesque), spinning and training for obstacle course races (Tough Mudder, Foamfest 5k, The Color Run, etc).

Jeannette is constantly on the move. At her day job, Jeannette reviews tax returns, prepares certain specialized returns, researches tax issues and assists clients with tax planning and IRS examinations. When she packs up for the day, she’s off to a dance class or training for a race.

How did you become an accountant?
When I was in high school, the Army came and administered an aptitude test. My score said that I should be an accountant or librarian. Since my high school offered an accounting class, I decided to take it. I liked the class so I majored in accounting in college. I always thought it was funny that the Army told me what I would be and 10 years later, I tried to join the Army.

I wanted to try something new, so I left work for a short time to join the Army in Feb. 2007. I was discharged because I fractured my pelvic bone twice during basic training. It was a great experience, but apparently my body was not cut out for it. I pushed myself to the limits and I can do a lot of pushups now. The short experience I had changed my life and my mind sight, though. Basic training is rough and it’s probably why I do so much now. I was there and trapped in this place where I couldn't do anything. Now I just want to go out and experience everything. I get bored sitting at home. I can't sit around and do nothing because I’m always wishing I had more time to do more things. 

How do you like to spend your time away from work?
When I’m not at work, I’m working out a lot, usually at a dance studio or gym. I signed up for 10 races this year, including the Tough Mudder. I flew out to Detroit for a 5k obstacle course with foam, mud and an inflatable slide. I think it’s fun that they have all these themed 5k’s. It keeps me going to the gym because I have to prepare for all these races I sign up for. I also take adult dance classes 4-5 days a week. I bought a LivingSocial deal for a studio and ended up continuing to take classes. It’s fun to learn these new styles and I’m really proud of my progression. I never took a dance class until last year and I didn’t know any of the steps or terminology used. It’s been a good challenge outside of work and I’ve made a lot of friends.

If you can believe I have time for anything else, I also take a spinning class on Sundays. It’s a training class to get up to 100 miles on a spinning bike. Each Sunday, we add 15 minutes to our time. We started at an hour and the finale is four hours long. I’m just taking the class to see if I can do it.

Since you spend a lot of time moving, what devices do you use to keep you connected?
I actually don't even have Internet at home. I spend so much time at work in front of a computer that I don't want to be on one at home. I also found that when I did have a computer at home, I lost a lot of time. I do have an iPhone and I use that if I need to get online for anything. I try not to get absorbed in it or bring work home. If I have a lot to do or it’s tax season, I just stay late at the office or go in on weekends. I live like three miles from the office, so it's not a big deal. I can walk to work if I wanted to and the weather’s nice. Maybe I’ll try walking or buying a bike and biking to work.

Do you have children? If so, how many, and what ages?
No. I’m single and I live by myself. That’s another reason why I do so much. My parents and sister live two hours away and they’re the closest family to me. I usually visit about once or twice a month and my parents come to visit me, but I don’t really get homesick. I probably would if I didn’t have all this other stuff going on.

What’s your favorite spot to vacation?
I don’t travel a lot. I just got my passport earlier this year and I’ve only been out of the country to go to Canada. I did go to Vegas as a post tax-season trip. I went with one of my college buddies that I haven’t seen in a while. I also went to a Detroit Tigers game when I went for the race. I have a friend from high school that lives there and ran the race. 

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