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Firm Management

Dawn W. Brolin, CPA – 2014 Most Powerful Women in Accounting


Dawn W. Brolin, CPA

Managing Member
Powerful Accounting, LLC

Education:  BA, Accounting, Eastern Connecticut State University, MBA, Accounting, Eastern Connecticut State University
Professional Associations:  AICPA member, CSCPA Member, Intuit’s ProAdvisor Program Member

Click here to see the other honorees
of the 2014 “Most Powerful Women
in Accounting” awards.

  1. What advice would you give to female college students about the opportunities for women in the accounting profession?

    The accounting profession has so much to offer female college students. The industry as a whole is looking and needing young professionals.
  2. What advice would you give accounting firms on things they could do to better retain and advance more qualified female staff?

    I would recommend considering remote and a flexible work schedules. Keeping the client work on task while allowing a female staff member to handle their personal responsibilities will make a happy work relationship.

  3. Do you think that there is still a glass ceiling in accounting firm senior management and partner levels, or that the profession has moved to a mostly gender neutral state?

    Inever believe there is a ceiling in any capacity. Anyone can do whatever it is they work hard enough to achieve. The only thing that holds people back is themselves. I am not saying that there isn’t potentially a firm that won’t allow for senior females on staff or that there aren’t situations where there may be a ceiling created. What you have to remember is that you have to make a move in another direction when you see there may be a challenge where you are at that time. I do not believe that there are true ceilings.

  4. How have you managed to balance your professional and personal life obligations, whether that includes family, etc?

    Anyone who says this is an easy task is flat out lying. The balance between not only getting work done, but also running a company as well as fulfilling the personal responsibilities is difficult. You must understand that there will always be sacrifice on both sides. There will be days that the family will sacrifice, the work will sacrifice, and the professional themselves will have personal sacrifice. Eating healthy, sleeping, exercise, and simply…a break are warranted in order to keep this all together.
  5. How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance?

    I am 100% mobile. I am able to work anytime and anywhere. I always say that my clients don’t care where I am getting their work done, but that I am getting the work done. This has allowed me to travel more with my family, be more of a global accountant because I can be on a business trip and conduct un-related business constantly. I truly believe without the advances in technology and mobility, work-life balance would be very difficult. Unfortunately, there are still firms out there that are still struggling with allowing people to work remote and not require a body in the office. Those firms will suffer long term.

  6. What single piece of technology could you absolutely not live without, and why?

    Icould not live without UniData, our hosting solution. My ability to work anytime anywhere and on any of my devices (MacBook, iPad, laptop, and PC) keeps me productive anytime and anywhere. This is important as we maximize Windows based software and rely on anytime access.

  7. What is your favorite professional mobile app, and why?

    TSheets is absolutely my favorite mobile application. I am able to have my staff sign in and sign out easily allowing for the best accountability to me as the employer as well as the client who will be billed for their time. I love that I can log in on my computer and see at any moment who might be on the clock and working on what project. The reporting allows me for real time analysis of a client, a period of time, and the employees themselves. These analytics are critical to me as the business owner.