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Firm Management

Michael J. Devereux II, CPA, CMP – 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.

Michael Devereux 55f8c9ab98305

Michael J. Devereux II, CPA, CMP – 36

Partner and Director of Manufacturing, Distribution & Plastics Industry Services
Mueller Prost

St. Louis, MO

Twitter: @mikedevereuxii

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

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

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

I am one of our firm’s resident tax geeks. I really enjoy reading about new developments in tax law, then educating our staff and clients on how these new developments can impact their business. I further share knowledge by writing articles, giving speeches, and attending events and conferences. Attending these events allows me to bring back best practices for our firm to consider implementing.
I also find mentoring to be an important part of a person’s professional development. That said, I enjoy taking on that role within our firm and helping improve and challenge staff.
In what ways do you participate in the professional community to change/improve the accounting profession?

  • I teach CPE on a variety of tax and industry-specific topics. Our firm hosts annual CPE fly-ins on a broad range of topics for other CPA firms, and I’ve been asked by other CPA firms to teach various tax topics to their partners and staff.
  • I write about 12-15 articles per year.
  • I speak about 20-25 times per year to educate our clients and prospective clients about changes to tax law and tax incentives available to them.
  • I lead PKF North America’s Community of Practice for R&E tax credits.
  • I serve on Manufacturing CPAs’ Executive Committee.
  • I am a Board Member for the Manufacturing Association for Plastics Processors.
  • When the opportunity arises, I meet with members of Congress and their staff to discuss issues affecting our profession and our clients’ businesses. For instance, I’ve participated in the Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) Plastics Industry Fly-In. This allowed me to discuss pertinent tax issues affecting the plastics industry, such as the R&D tax credit and bonus depreciation.

In what ways do you participate in your local community to help others?
I serve in a leadership role on the Little Flower Catholic Church Finance Committee, help my wife with Little Flower’s annual fundraising events, and coach my children’s soccer team. As a Partner at Mueller Prost, I also support our firm’s policy on volunteerism. As part of this policy, we pay our staff for 16 hours of community service.
What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?
As the world continues to get smaller due to technology, having a “local office” will have less and less impact on our ability to serve clients nationwide. As such, I believe we will see a great deal of specialization, whether that be with respect to an industry niche or a service.
Compounding this trend will be the pending retirement of experienced professionals who possess great knowledge, skill, and personal relationships with our clients and employees. This trend will also create opportunities for those in our profession.
How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?
My hope is to provide an example for others in our profession to follow. I believe that by keeping abreast of the most recent changes in tax law, always looking for new business development opportunities, maintaining a focus on the niches we serve, and putting our clients first, others will recognize our success and want to follow suit.
What is your career philosophy?
My career philosophy if comprised of two parts that I feel keep me balanced as a professional:
            Professional Education: I have always enjoyed tax law, and I enjoy reading about new developments within our profession. I take pride in being one of the first to read and comment on new tax legislation or treasury regulations. This passion for knowing the law has allowed me to be one of the “go-to” people within our firm with respect to recent changes in tax law.
            Constant networking: I rarely pass up an opportunity to speak at a trade association event, write an article for an industry publication, or attend a networking event. In fact, I actively seek out these opportunities.
Focusing on both allows me to identify new opportunities for our clients and our firm.
Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life.
My dad. I grew up working for his CPA firm. The work ethic I learned working there while a teenager has helped shape my personality today. I was also exposed to many different things in our profession ten years before most of my peers (I started working for him at the age of 13). This baseline knowledge of business and taxes was critical to my success once I started working at Mueller Prost (at the age of 20).


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