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Firm Management

Erica Lynn Brown, CPA – 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.

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Erica Lynn Brown, CPA – 36

Senior Audit Manager, Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs. P.A.
Hickory, NC


What is the name of one book that has been a great influence to you?
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Habit #1: Be Proactive has given me the ability to consciously choose how to respond to any situation I encounter.

In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it better?
I am an advocate for coaching, advising and supporting co-workers in meeting and exceeding professional and personal expectations. Mentoring is a passion of mine. I strive to pass my knowledge to others and assist them in bettering themselves both personally and professionally.   

In what ways do you participate in the professional community to change/improve the accounting profession?
As the financial literacy coordinator for the NCACPA Catawba Valley Chapter I have planned and participated in many financial literacy events. I am passionate about teaching children early about everyday skills such as earning, spending and saving money. These skills are key to developing them into our future leaders.

In what ways do you participate in your local community to help others?
For the past 3 years I have participated in a local lunch buddy program, which is designed to help reach students who would benefit from having additional role models in their lives.

What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?
In the next 3-5 years the accounting profession will need to continue to embrace change. Rapid changes in technology as well as the growth of millennials entering the workforce will continue to challenge the profession.

How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?
I see myself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession by leading by example and adapting and embracing changes that are necessary to keep the profession attractive to future accountants. I will focus on encouraging recent college graduates to sit for the CPA exam and to engage themselves in the profession through participating in professional organizations.

What is your career philosophy?
“Work Hard – Play Hard” Time management, commitment, dedication and loyalty are key to success in life.

Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life.
My Grandfather, Lt. Col in the US Airforce George E. Huss was an important mentor to me. He was an amazing man who guided me to my love of Accounting. He was loving and kind, fair and giving, he valued integrity and honesty, was loyal and trustworthy and always had a positive attitude. So often in life things happen that are out of our control – the quote “Sometimes you have to just stop worrying, wondering and doubting. Have faith that things will work out, maybe not how you planned but just how they are meant to be” summarizes what my grandfather taught me.  Along with my mom and dad and so many others along the way, he was an amazing person who influenced me early on in life and empowered me to be the person I am today.