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Lindsey Curley, CPA, CGMA – 2016 40 Under 40 Honoree

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Lindsey Curley, CPA, CGMA

Senior Technical Manager, Firm Services



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

I must admit that I’m old school and much prefer a book in my hand rather than a blog or website. However, Momastery and Jen Hatmater’s blog are two that frequently grab my attention. Strong, bold, transparent, hilarious, hardworking, faith centered women inspire me to be a better wife, daughter, sister, and friend. In what sometimes seems like a chaotic world, these blogs provide words of love, positivity, honesty and truth that keep me going.

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

My first project at the AICPA was coordinating the AICPA’s involvement in the Veteran Fast Launch Initiative, a program that connects veterans with CPAs across the country who are willing to offer five hours of free financial advice. This was the perfect fit for me, as volunteer work is one of my greatest passions and we now have hundreds of CPA volunteers involved in this initiative. Since then, I’ve revamped the popular PCPS Trusted Client Advisor Workshop and related tools which encourages practitioners to move beyond core accounting services to better serve their clients and grow their firms. In addition, I lead the annual Emerging Partner Training Forum and encourage alumni of this event to stay engaged through monthly coaching calls.

This two day training helps new and emerging partners elevate their career by teaching key leadership skills. In alignment with my desire to assist young professionals like myself, I also established a new national networking group for young firm owners in solo and small firms. This group provides a forum for transparent, in-depth, practice management discussions with like-minded peers. Most recently, I created the PCPS Firm inMotion e-toolkit while leveraging ideas from a task force of enthusiastic, forward thinking professionals. This toolkit was created to help practitioners find their way through the latest trends on the horizon while embracing generational differences and continuing to meet client needs and expectations.

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

AICPA gives me the unique and amazing opportunity to travel around the country for various meetings, conferences, and events and speak with practitioners from all firm sizes. Giving these CPAs a voice within the walls of AICPA is so important to me. Spending time with real-life practitioners and creating a collaborative environment is critical to ensuring AICPA delivers solutions that will truly have an impact.

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

My husband and I are active in our local church and various community events, but I feel like it’s difficult to only assist those locally when our world is so quickly becoming more global. I have such a passion for international mission work. I’ve been to Kenya three times and most recently to Haiti for various building projects, educational support, and medical assistance. Traveling to poverty stricken countries leaves me so appreciate of the abundant blessings available to those in the US and leaves me constantly striving to find ways to help those with less.

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

The profession is evolving at a staggering pace. In the next three to five years, I anticipate a huge shift in workplace culture. Flexible and virtual work arrangements that meet the changing needs of the workforce will be vital to strengthen employee engagement and retain top talent. I also expect that advances in technology and the complexity of the business landscape will require firms to enhance their value proposition by moving beyond core accounting services and finding an area of specialization or a niche market. In essence, I believe that those firms unwilling to change and adapt in the coming years, will be unable to remain relevant, compete in the changing market, and recruit and retain those star employees necessary for successful firm growth and succession.

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

My hope is that I can continue to be a voice in the profession and help shape initiatives that will enable practitioners to thrive in the future. I want to continue to be involved in conversations that provide strategies, resources and tools for CPAs to stay on the forefront of the constantly changing profession.

What is your career philosophy?

Work hard and love people.

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

Sam M. Underwood, CPA, a sole practitioner in my hometown, gave me an opportunity in his firm when I was looking for a part-time job in high school. I only knew that I enjoyed math, but had no idea how that translated into a career. Working for Sam after high school and on summer breaks throughout college, truly solidified my path into the accounting field. Sam’s ability to constantly provide teachable moments, have fun, deeply care for his employees and clients, and manage a very successful CPA firm gave me so much inspiration. I would not be in the accounting profession today if it wasn’t for Sam’s guidance and encouragement. I would also be remiss to not mention my parents. They both taught and clearly exhibited the importance and value of hard work, honesty, and determination. These are key workplace characteristics that I’ll carry with me throughout my life.



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