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Firm Management

Kacee Johnson – 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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Kacee Johnson – 35

Founder, Blue Ocean Principles
San Diego, California

Twitter: @KaceeBOP

What is the name of one book that has been a great influence to you?
Blue Ocean Strategy, it is the book that led me to my company name and the principles that I deploy with each client that I work with.

In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it better?
I started this firm a little less than a year ago after getting out of the vendor role and I absolutely love it. Working with firms, and the solution providers to the accounting profession, is so much more rewarding than I could have ever hoped for. I can see tangible results with each client, and knowing that we helped their business grow is the definition of success for me.

In what ways do you participate in the professional community to change/improve the accounting profession?
Speaking at conferences, working with the vendors to better understand the profession and improve the user experience, as well as collaborate with different thought leaders to help build better solutions.

In what ways do you participate in your local community to help others?
We adopted Solana Beach in Northern San Diego this past May and do a quarterly beach cleanup. Doing our part to keep wildlife and the environment safe as well is clean is something very near and dear to my heart.

What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?
With all the great SaaS applications readily available to accountants and their clients, not only is the hourly billing model going to be obsolete but so are the more traditional ways that Accountants engage with clients. The demand is changing and so will the firms; I believe the accounting profession will see a big change in service offerings to be more focused on predictive financial analysis to offer higher value to the client.

How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?
I am committed to helping firms build better brands while strategically planning for the future. Defining themselves outside the regular boundaries and differentiating their practice so they can charge for value and not worry about price wars. I also hope to help the app developers have a better understanding of the unique needs of the users in this community. We need to listen more and value the client perspective.

What is your career philosophy?
Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, focus on your strengths (whether that be as a company or as an individual) and your star will shine brighter than the rest.

Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life.
Picking one is tough, I have been really lucky to have three great mentors in this profession that I still learn from regularly and that’s Doug Sleeter, Greg LaFollette and Randy Johnston. All brilliant and truly great men.


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