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Danielle Supkis Cheek – 2014 40 Under 40 Honoree


Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA, CFE, CVA – 30

President, D. Supkis Cheek, PLLC
Houston, TX


What are the key areas of your firm that have seen the greatest change/challenge in workflow over the past few years? (Or, what are the key challenges you see firms facing?)

I have been very fortunate to be a Native Houstonian living in Houston. Our economy has not suffered like the rest of the country. However, with prosperity comes some first world problems. While I hear many of my counterparts around the country talking about how hard it is to find talented staff; it is even more competitive in Houston.
To what extent have you and your practice/company embraced cloud computing?

I have seen the good and the bad of the cloud. I have been at a firm where we were fully in the cloud with hosted desktops, and I have been at firms where nothing is in the cloud. I have selected secure technologies for my growing business that allow me to work no matter the conditions and the cloud is a huge component of that. Also as a small firm, the cloud has been integral in breaking down the barriers to entry. Because of the cloud, I can have the infrastructure that used to be only reserved for Fortune 500 companies, and I can do it on a bootstrap budget if I have to.

In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it a better place?

I started my firm just over one year ago. I have been extremely fortunate to be in a position to run the firm I have always wanted to run.

In what ways do you participate in either the professional community or your local community to help others?
I am passionate about teaching financial literacy. Financial literacy across all socioeconomic groups is abysmal. Our society, schools, and community have not emphasized this topic. In my volunteer efforts with organizations such as the Woman’s Resource of Greater Houston (a financial literacy non-profit), I’ve tried to overcome peoples’ fear of mathematics and perceived taboo over talking about money.
What major changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?

Technology is going to continue to revolutionize how we perform and deliver our services to our clients. It’s difficult to predict the future, but I am always on the lookout for secure emerging technology to allow me to work more efficiently and improve the quality of my service.

How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?

My clients are exclusively small and medium-sized businesses and non-profits. I hope to contribute to the profession by teaching businesses accounting, financial literacy, and internal controls. I want to represent small and medium-sized businesses nationally. I want to be a voice for their limitations in accounting resources, and keep financial statements cost effective and meaningful.
What is your career philosophy?

I am a professional service provider, and in service everything is about service to those that support the business. Happy staff lead to happy clients, and happy clients lead to happy staff. I want to surround myself with those that enjoy doing what they do, are of high integrity, and have a good work ethic. I also like surrounding myself with people that don’t think the same way that I do. I teach my entry level staff how to think about problems and come up with solutions, rather than teaching solutions. I want to do things the best way we can for our clients- not just my way. Many times it is my way, but many times it is not my way because one of my staff have a better solution. Those are very proud days for me.

Not including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why?

NASA in the 1960s and early 1970s. Both of my grandfathers moved to the Houston area for NASA. They were there during the Gemini and Apollo years. What NASA was able accomplish and innovate given the technology available at the time is beyond impressive. I work with companies all of the time with limited resources, and I think limited resources force innovation, and I believe that innovation is the engine of the economy and the future.

Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life.

I know it is cliché, but my mother. One of my favorite stories to tell is that when I was a kid, I, like many kids, assigned gender roles to jobs based on the stereotypes and trends that we see around us. I hope one day there will no longer be gender associations for positions, but at the time there were. My mother was a partner at a large law firm, and one day when I was in elementary school, her associate, Pat, was coming to drop off documents. I, like always, asked what type of law does she do? Mom corrected me saying that Pat was a boy (short for Patrick not Patricia). I must have looked confused as my mother asked what was wrong, and I told her … “but, an attorney is a WOMAN’S job”. I had only ever met female attorneys through my mother’s networking group. I had never seen anything different.

I have had far fewer barriers in my career than my mother, but as a kid I did not see the barriers that she had to break through to have the career that she did (I was 1 when she made partner). I thought her career path was normal. I was lucky because when I went into the professional world, I did not have as many stereotypes and perceptions of barriers. Since some barriers are often perceived due to upbringing, social norms, etc. and I never saw those- I didn’t have as many perceived barriers and I just kept going. Of course I had barriers of all types along my way and will have many more throughout my career, everyone does. For barriers we do face, my mother taught me to analyze a situation, assess the risks or benefits, plan, and- most importantly- have the courage to take the right action.


Read more about this year’s 40 Under 40 Honorees.