President & CEO
Keller Advisors, LLC
Education: BS in Business Administration, Magna Cum Laude – St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.
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? I would (and I do) tell them that they have made a wise choice in selecting accounting as a major and as a career. I believe there is way too many negative thoughts ad comments being written and talked about for women in the accounting profession. I like to convey that an accounting career can be flexible, educational, interesting and financially rewarding.
- That advice would you give accounting firms on things they could do to better retain and advance more qualified female staff?
I urge CPA firm leaders to make it easy for females to speak-up and communicate their wants and needs. I believe females often keep silent and that men (leaders of the firm) interpret their silence meaning they are happy and content. Often I have heard male leaders say, “I wish she would have told me!”…. or she should have said something. So, I advise leaders to furnish the forum for women to be heard – mentoring or counseling sessions, roundtables, women’s initiatives (that include males in some of the discussions).
- 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?
Sorry to report that I believe there is still somewhat of a glass ceiling. It is difficult to change a lifetime of assumptions ingrained in male CPA leaders. I would like to see more CPE sessions on the topic of “helping women advance in CPA firms” directed toward males. When I give presentations on this topic, rarely are there male leaders in attendance. While I focus on helping women in business understand male attitudes (they don’t mean harm, they just don’t know what there doing is misguided), I think men should also be open to learning more of why women do what they do and how to co-exist better (for the benefit of the firm and the clients).
- How have you managed to balance your professional and personal life obligations, whether that includes family, etc?
You must have help on the home front. I agree with Sheryl Sandberg when she says choose your partner wisely. In the early years of my career, I was fortunate to have my son’s grandparents nearby to help fill the gaps. As my career advanced, my husband continually became more supportive. I find that some young husbands are often resentful when their wives gradually become more successful (meaning they bring home more money than the husband). I have seen young women with great potential in the CPA profession drop out because of this reason.
- How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance?
I love being mobile! I am able to work from anywhere. Most of my “in the office” work consists of writing, researching and telephone coaching. My clients never need to know I am sitting on a balcony in Hilton Head or in my home office in Ohio. As far as mobile devices and apps – I use many and love them. I always say I couldn’t run my business without Google and Apple. I have an iPhone, iPad Air, Macbook Air and iPod nano (I use it mostly to track my daily steps via the pedometer). I am very active on social media: I blog every business day – just completing 9 years… so I have a lot of content “out there.” I tweet daily, I post on my business Facebook page, my personal Facebook page, I use Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. Working solo, as a consultant to CPA firm leaders, I am able to control my own calendar, thus providing as much work/life balance as I need.
- What single piece of technology could you absolutely not live without, and why?
I couldn’t survive without my iPhone. It is my main business phone and resource device. Recently, I visited Australia and did not pay the extra cost to have international access. It wasn’t the phone part I missed the most, it was tweeting, GPS, maps Google, etc. I could only use it via wifi and wifi isn’t that prevalent in Australia!
- What is your favorite professional mobile app, and why?
My favorite mobile app is Twitter – I get my news and professional updates via following A FEW people/sites on Twitter. I also update my followers often via Twitter. I try to get my clients (CPAs) to use Twitter but have little success – – it can actually be a time saver not a time waster.