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Kelly O’Neil – 2014 40 Under 40 Honoree


Kelly O’Neil, CPA, IFRS

Lead Managing Director
CBIZ MHM, LLC & Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C.
Los Angeles


To what extent have you and your practice/company embraced cloud computing?

Our number one concern as accountants and auditors of large companies’ financial data is security. We utilize portal to securely transmit documents and communicate important engagement deadlines and milestones. The Hub™ client portal is a secure, online service management tool that simplifies the entire process of the financial service engagement. The Hub™ minimizes the inefficiencies typically associated with gathering documents, keeping schedules and managing workload among the Company’s team. It also streamlines communications with our team, thereby freeing up everyone’s valuable time.
In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it a better place?

My goal as Attest Practice Leader is to empower and provide the necessary tools/ resources for my team to grow professionally, develop positive business relationships as well as to contribute value to their community. As an Executive Board Member of CBIZ Women’s Advantage (CWA) I provide mentorship, training, development, recognition and career enhancement to our women professionals, as well as bring these same elements to women in our various business communities through different educational and networking events. In 2014, our firm employees collectively voted us as the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Best Places to Work which was a huge honor.
In what ways do you participate in either the professional community or your local community to help others?

I serve on the planning committee for the Los Angeles chapter of Kidsave, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children around the globe. Kidsave works to create change so older forgotten orphanage and foster kids grow up in families and are connected with caring adults.
As an Executive Board Member of CWA, we aim to celebrate the uniqueness of the woman business professional. Internally, I direct the development of our women professionals through focused leadership, mentoring, and networking. Externally, we provide women decision makers access to a network of highly skilled, seasoned, professional women to assist their every business need. We are “CBIZ Women Helping Women Succeed in Business.”       

As a result of CWA’s National philanthropic focus to support Dress for Success, eight CBIZ women currently serve on DFS Boards of Directors across the country. CBIZ offices across the country raise funds, collect clothing and accessory donations and create awareness to support DFS. Some of our CBIZ offices hold fundraisers such as jeans days, raffles, auctions, and ice cream socials. CBIZ Corporate also provides a $20,000 maximum donation to local offices of DFS. With the generosity of our employees and the corporate contribution, CBIZ donated over $51,000 to DFS last year! The Los Angeles office raised $8000 during just one event earlier this year for Dress for Success Worldwide West, based in Los Angeles.

What major changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?

Accounting guidance is constantly evolving, and I expect this to continue in the next 3-5 years with changes to the rules for private companies proposed by the Private Company Council as well as continued shifts towards the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards. (IFRS). Clients will need a team of professionals who understand the rules and will provide timely advice and services.

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

I strive to mentor and involve my team in all aspects of growing our practice, and hope/anticipate they will achieve the same successes I have. Public accounting is not always as easy path, however it offers great rewards and accomplishments. I work hard to maintain a work-life balance and continue to improve upon what that means for me as a leader and a mother!

What is your career philosophy?

Have fun with what you do!

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

     The Honest Company. They started with an idea to create affordable, eco-friendly baby products. The result has been amazing and they truly have created a one-stop shop for a busy mom who wants the best for their kiddos.

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

My dad. He taught me to keep my head down, work hard and never give up. He has been my biggest fan since day one and has contributed significantly to my success as a person.

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