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Firm Management

Adam Burnett – 2015 40 Under 40 Honoree

This year’s 40 Under 40 honorees are among the best and brightest talent in the accounting profession. They are all active in the professional community, as well as in their local communities, where many are small business owners and employers.

Adam Burnett 55f97f5e29613

Adam Burnett – 35

Director, Solution Design
Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting US
Eagan, MN


What is the name of one book that has been a great influence to you?      

“Three Deep Breaths” by Thomas Crum gave me valuable insight on how to maintain clarity and purpose in even the most stressful situations. While not a traditional business book, it’s a quick read and one that can have an immediate impact on anyone who reads it. I read it for the first time about five years ago and make sure to reread it once a year.
In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it better?

I created a learning series for the employees of our company called the Friday Learning Club. It’s a series of one hour seminars/podcasts that I host each week to help the various teams at Wolters Kluwer learn more about the accounting profession and the solutions we provide to support it. The response from the attendee base has been tremendous. As people better understand our customers and are better able to support the work they do, their own job satisfaction increases.

In what ways do you participate in the professional community to change/improve the accounting profession?

Over the years I have held a variety of leadership roles in our CCH Connections User Conference. The conference provides professionals across the industry the opportunity to network with peers, learn from experts, gain insight around industry and technology trends as well as share best practices. From contributing as a speaker to designing entire content tracks, I have had (and continue to have) my hands in many of the facets of this conference that has provided countless professionals with a competitive advantage.

In what ways do you participate in your local community to help others?

I am a big advocate of giving time to help others. I have participated in volunteer events with Habitat for Humanity, Project C.U.R.E., Kaboom and a mentor program for developmentally disabled adults through Denver Options.

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

I foresee the profession continuing to expand its reliance on technology to manage the ever-growing complexity of compliance work coupled with the growing risk around data security. I also see a push for more automation within the work done as we continue to see downward pressure on fees with the usual rising labor costs.

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

Working for a technology provider, the biggest impact I will have is continuing to help my company develop and provide solutions that will shape the way accountants work. Whether it’s being more mobile or have a more integrated and automated process, the technology will continue to insert itself into our daily lives and I know that I have a big opportunity to really shape what it becomes.

What is your career philosophy?

Be passionate about what you do and work very hard at it.

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

My father, Mike Burnett, a CPA in San Antonio, has had a tremendous impact on my life and my profession. Growing up, he coached many of my soccer teams and I was able to witness, first hand, his ability to coach, mentor and motivate many of the players on my team. To this day I apply many of those lessons learned when managing my teams today. The apple does not fall far from the tree, I guess.

I also believe that my passion for the accounting industry comes from having observed the work that he has done through the years. Our discussions about what he is experiencing and where he sees things headed has a profound effect on my view of the industry and how I can identify new ways to help.


See all of the “40 Under 40” honorees for 2015.