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Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA, CFE, CVA – 2016 40 Under 40 Honoree

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Danielle Supkis Cheek,  CPA, CFE, CVA

D. Supkis Cheek, PLLC
Houston, TX




Aside from the accounting websites, which blog/website do you consider a must-read?

Houston Business Journal. It is a must read for any business person that operates in the Houston market.

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

I started my firm just over three year ago. I have been extremely fortunate to be in a position to run the firm I have always wanted to run and be recognized for doing so.

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

I started my career at a large firm and have progressively worked my way down to be a small firm. I love being a small firm, and since I’ve had the opportunity to establish and grow a new firm, I have learned how to run a small firm on a boot strap budget while still delivering quality work.

Nothing that I have done has re-invited the practice management wheel, but I’ve been strategic in our processes and I want to pass along what I have learned to other smaller firms. To that end, my efforts have been focused on the American Woman’s Society of CPAs (AWSCPA) and the AICPA’s Private Company Practice Section Technical Issues Committee.

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

Financial literacy across all socioeconomic groups is abysmal. Our society, schools, and community have not emphasized this topic. All of my volunteer efforts have been focused around teaching financial literacy in some form. The focus on teaching financial literacy is even embedded in my Firm’s practice, and is one major reason why we only focus on the accounting, attest, and forensic needs for small-and-medium sized businesses.

I have volunteered my time instructing for these organizations:

–          The Woman’s Resource of Greater Houston, a financial literacy non-profit,
–          OwlSpark, Rice University’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator,
–          TMCx, Texas Medical Center’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator,
–          RedLabs, University of Houston’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator, and as a
–          Adjunct Professor, Lilie Entrepreneurship Institute at Rice University Business School


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

Technology is going to continue to revolutionize how we perform and deliver our forensics, attest, and accounting services to our clients. It’s difficult to predict the future, but I am always on the lookout for secure emerging technology to allow me to work more efficiently and improve the quality of my service.


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

I have been teaching students for a couple of years, but this upcoming semester I get my first experience with teaching accounting masters students. I will be teaching data analytics the inaugural year as an Adjunct Professor for Rice University’s relaunch of their MAcc program. The syllabus I have put together will be a lot of real-world accounting. I am hoping my students will come out with skills sets that can be used on day one and find accounting exciting and interesting.  


What is your career philosophy?

I am a professional service provider, and in service everything is about service to those that support the business. Happy staff lead to happy clients, and happy clients lead to happy staff. I want to surround myself with those that enjoy doing what they do, are of high integrity, and have a good work ethic. I also like surrounding myself with people that don’t think the same way that I do. I teach my entry level staff how to think about problems and come up with solutions, rather than teaching solutions. I want to do things the best way we can for our clients – not just my way. Many times it is my way, but many times it is not my way because one of my staff have a better solution. Those are very proud days for me.


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

I know it is cliché, but my mother. One of my favorite stories to tell is that when I was a kid, I, like many kids, assigned gender roles to jobs based on the stereotypes and trends that we see around us. I hope one day there will no longer be gender associations for positions, but at the time there were. My mother was a partner at a large law firm, and one day when I was in elementary school, her associate, Pat, was coming to drop off documents. I, like always, asked what type of law does she do? Mom corrected me saying that Pat was a boy (short for Patrick not Patricia). I must have looked confused as my mother asked what was wrong, and I told her … “but, an attorney is a WOMAN’S job”. I had only ever met female attorneys through my mother’s networking group. I had never seen anything different.

I have had far fewer barriers in my career than my mother, but as a kid I did not see the barriers that she had to break through to have the career that she did (I was 1 when she made partner). I thought her career path was normal. I was lucky because when I went into the professional world, I did not have as many stereotypes and perceptions of barriers. Since some barriers are often perceived due to upbringing, social norms, etc. and I never saw those- I didn’t have as many perceived barriers and I just kept going. Of course I had barriers of all types along my way and will have many more throughout my career, everyone does. For barriers we do face, my mother taught me to analyze a situation, assess the risks or benefits, plan, and- most importantly- have the courage to take the right action.

Now that I am expecting one of my own, I have had to start working on the details of the logistics of how to keep running the day-to-day operations of my business. I am fortunate that the times (social norms and technology) are more accommodating compared to the logistical issues that my mother likely faced. It makes me even more in awe of what my mother was able to accomplish, and it helps remind me that no matter what monkey wrench life throws at me, I will be able to adjust accordingly and get what needs to be done accomplished.

Thanks Mom!


Learn more about this year’s 40 Under 40 Honorees.