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Firm Management

Brian C. Friedman, CPA.CITP – 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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Brian C. Friedman. CPA.CITP – 38

Division Sales Manager, Northeast
Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting US
Manalapan, NJ


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

A recent book that resonated with me is “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose” by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. Tony speaks to the importance of company culture as his number one priority and customer service as the responsibility of everyone – not just one department. I have found that these two core principles can be applied to almost any business and have a tremendous impact.

In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it better?

Throughout my career, I have been able to challenge the status quo and identify areas where we can enhance our client offerings. I strive to create an atmosphere for learning and coaching clients and associates on how to run their business more efficiently. Whenever possible, I employ a cross-functional approach focused on growing our business and driving towards exceeding our client’s expectations.

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

I invest my time and energy in growing future leaders. For two years I have been the Sales sponsor of CCH’s Emerging Leader program at our CCH Connections User Conference. Each year we select those individuals nominated by their firms as rising stars to participate in our Business Acumen Program. This program has proven to be a tremendous success with those participating and very well received by accounting firms around the country. Additionally, over the years I have hosted a number of professional user groups to help firms improve their use of technology. Most recently I facilitated a session of 40 accounting firms which included roundtable discussions, keynote speakers, and technology improvements.

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

We participate in a number of charitable and philanthropic events to help those less fortunate and in need. This past year I have personally been involved with Delete Blood Cancer by becoming a bone marrow donor. As a family we have assisted local foundations aimed at providing backpacks filled with school supplies so every student has a fair chance to succeed despite their economic circumstances.

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

I expect to see continued cloud migration by firms of all sizes. This will enable firms to focus more on their core expertise and less on having to worry about IT infrastructure. In addition, tools that allow firms to become more productive and efficient by reducing redundant tasks and duplicative work will help to drive increases in profit margins.

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

I keep my finger on the pulse on the current state of the industry as well as future trends by meeting with accounting firms on a regular basis. I actively bring my findings back to my organization to ensure our products and services are pushing the envelope. My goal is to anticipate our clients’ needs now and in the future.

What is your career philosophy?

I believe in challenging myself and empowering others to reach their full potential by being resourceful, encouraging teamwork, being an active listener and bringing valuable insight to those with whom we engage.
Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life.

My mentor challenged me to expand my thought process around decision making and how it impacts not only those immediately surrounding me but to look at it from an organizational perspective. My mentor did not always provide me with answers, however encouraged me to arrive at my own conclusions. This gave me the confidence to be a stronger leader.


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