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Elizabeth Pittelkow, CPA, CITP, CGMA, DTM – 2016 40 Under 40 Honoree

Elizabeth Pittelkow 55f979c7bf339

Elizabeth Pittelkow, CPA, CITP, CGMA, DTM

Director of Accounting and Compliance
ArrowStream, Inc.
Chicago, IL



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

I am inspired by the life and leadership lessons of Richard Branson. He is an excellent storyteller, enthusiastic adventurer, and successful professional. He loves to share his experiences, and I consider his blog a must-read:

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

I am one of the culture champions for my company. I care about how people are connecting to the company, to our mission, and to each other. I help plan philanthropic events, game nights, and office competitions. My favorite activities are those that facilitate collaboration and communication.

As a member of the management team, I contribute to determining and executing the strategy and vision of the company. Additionally, I promote the development of our people and encourage my colleagues to attend conferences to learn new skills. I lead our ArrowStream Toastmasters club to create an environment where people are comfortable working on their communication and leadership skills.

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

I encourage accounting professionals to become engaged in the profession by seeking leadership roles within their companies and professional associations.

I am proud to represent young accounting professionals and accountants in business and industry. I serve on the Council of the AICPA, the AICPA Business and Industry Executive Committee (BIEC), and the AICPA E.D.G.E. Conference Planning Committee. I also serve on the Illinois CPA Society Board of Directors and the Illinois CPA Society Ethics Committee. I enjoy learning about and influencing the strategic initiatives of these organizations that have significant footprints in the accounting community.

Furthermore, I love to teach and write about the importance of ethics, communication, and leadership skills in the accounting profession.

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

I work with my church and company to help serve others in the community. My passions are for children and the homeless. I volunteer for Cardz for Kidz, Connections for Abused Women and their Children (CAWC), Chicago Food Depository, Street Reach, and By the Hand.

I serve as an Executive Board member for Swing for Kids, which is a program that empowers kids through swing dance. Part of our mission is to build happy kids, successful schools, and stronger communities.

One of my favorite days of the year is Illinois CPA Day of Service. I enjoy applying my accounting and finance knowledge to help others improve their financial literacy through lessons on budgeting, establishing credit, and daily expense management.

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

The accounting profession will become more global in the near future. The AICPA’s joint venture with CIMA represents a body of over 600,000 members, which will be working together to educate and influence regulators and consumers in the international marketplace.

The profession will see more mergers and acquisitions of small to mid-sized accounting firms as Baby Boomers retire and as firms bring in talent and industry expertise through acquisition.

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

I feel strongly about giving back to the accounting profession because of how much I have seen it improve lives. I will be a volunteer and voice of the profession for as long as I am in it.

One of my passions in the profession is promoting diversity and inclusion. I will continue to participate in strategic discussions in the profession to listen and also educate others on the importance of developing and sustaining diverse and inclusive environments in our workplaces.

What is your career philosophy?

My career and life philosophy is to always do the right thing and to continuously better myself while uplifting others.

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

My mom has been an important mentor in my life. She was a loveable spirit who taught me how to celebrate all moments in life – especially the small ones. My mom consistently put our family’s needs before her own. Even when she was sick, she cared most about our physical and emotional health.

Mom taught me how to be grateful, even in the face of death. She appreciated every smile, gentle word, and kindness that she received. She passed away in 2016 with so much grace and love for others, and I strive to emulate these qualities in my own life.



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