Edi Osborne, CSPM, CPVA, CPBA
CEO, Mentor Plus
Carmel Valley, CA
Education: City College, San Francisco
Professional Associations: Target Training International Associate, Member Consulting Accountants’ Round Table; Member, CPA Practice Advisor Thought Leader Symposium
Click here to see the other honorees
of the 2014 “Most Powerful Women
in Accounting” awards.
- What advice would you give to female college students about the opportunities for women in the accounting profession?
The sky’s the limit! There’s never been a time to design the career of your dreams. As the profession moves toward a multi-disciplined approach to serving clients, you have both a rock solid foundation as an accountant and the opportunity to expand your area of expertise in so many non-traditional areas such as advisory work, technology, financial services, etc.
- What advice would you give accounting firms on things they could do to better retain and advance more qualified female staff?
I believe the profession needs to provide a more flexible path to partnership. One that allows for part-time leadership roles during a woman’s family focus years.
- 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?
The millennial generation is gender neutral. They seem to have a much better grasp on the concept of diversity. It will take time, but we will eventually get there as the younger staff take on more leadership positions.
- How have you managed to balance your professional and personal life obligations, whether that includes family, etc?
A good marriage and/or support structure. You can’t have it all at one time, but you can find a balance if your firm is supportive and you have a supportive husband/partner.
- How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance?
I am completely mobile. I am able to conduct business from anywhere/anytime.
- What single piece of technology could you absolutely not live without, and why?
My laptop is still my workhorse. Although I see a lot of people being able to function on a tablet, I still like the full keyboard and larger screen. Yes, it gets a bit heavy, but that’s what rolling cases are for.
- What is your favorite professional mobile app, and why?
I am a big fan of Evernote because it helps me organize research documents on the fly.