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Kelley J. Grace, CPA – 2016 40 Under 40 Honoree

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Kelley J. Grace, CPA

Tax Partner
Eide Bailly LLP
Norman, OK



  1. Aside from the accounting websites, which blog/website do you consider a must-read?
  • The Skimm
  • In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it better?
    • I have been able to contribute to my firm, Eide Bailly LLP, in several ways. I think that being a young female Partner allows me to offer a perspective that is different from many of my Partners. I have had the opportunity to serve on the CEO selection committee. I am a committee member of our First Focus committee. Until recently I was the Co-Director of Dealerships for the Firm.
    • In my office I serve as a Career Advisor and mentor for the staff.       I guide them to become involved in the community. Business development is a scary area for many young accountants. It is not a natural thing, so I try to help introduce them to business development with both existing clients, in the business community and in our local community.
  • In what ways do you participate in the professional community to change/improve the accounting profession?
    • I participate in the professional community to help change and improve the accounting profession by participating in different committees for the Oklahoma Society of CPAs. I am also on the Board of Advisors for the Michael F. Price College of Business Steed School of Accounting (see below).       Additionally, I have regularly given presentations on the Affordable Care Act.
  • In what ways do you participate in your local community to help others?
    • I truly enjoy the opportunity to participate in my local community, Norman, Oklahoma. Norman is a college town with around 115,000 residents. We have so many great organizations that do so much for the community. I have had the privilege of serving on the board of the United Way of Norman which supports many of our local non-profits. I am the Immediate Past-President of the Norman Chamber of Commerce, where we were just able to help pass a $209 million qualify of life package. I have served on several other non-profit boards and committees as well as being involved in various capacities at the University of Oklahoma.
  • What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?
    • I wish I had a Magic 8 Ball to be able to see into the future to answer what I see as the changes to our profession in the next three to five years. I certainly think with increased technology we can become more efficient, and we can provide our clients with better data in any area they would like.
    • I also see a change with the younger generation. The younger generation works hard, but they would typically like more time away from the office. This can be a challenge when there are clients from different eras.
  • How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?
    • I see myself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession in two ways. First, I am on the Board of Advisors for the University of Oklahoma, Michael F. Price College of Business, Steed School of Accounting. In this capacity I have the opportunity to work with other professionals, as well as the College leadership and Professors, on the direction of the school.
    • Additionally, in the firm, I am on our First Focus Committee.       Per the Eide Bailly website, First Focus seeks to nurture a Firmwide culture where women are as likely to succeed as men.  Since starting this initiative, Eide Bailly has considerably raised the number of women partners and created a positive, empowering environment for all professionals. This is a wonderful initiative, that I am very passionate about, that engages the topics important to women in public accounting.
  • What is your career philosophy?
    • My career philosophy revolves around relationships.       Public accounting is so much about relationships. Any firm can prepare a tax return, but do your clients have the confidence and by-in which allows you to be their trusted advisor?
  • Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life.
    • It is hard to just pick one person who has been an important mentor to me. So many of my partners and colleagues have always offered me so much support and encouragement. If I had to pick one, I would say it is my Partner, Steve Corley. He is the person who hired me. He has been my advocate in both community and firm involvement. He is a great example in how he works with his clients and how he balances his family life with his work life. He has been instrumental in helping me achieve many things in my career.




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