Nathaniel Goldman, CPA, CFE
Senior Tax Accountant
Aside from the accounting websites, which blog/website do you consider a must-read?
Podcasts are my medium of choice for consuming news and information. The podcasts I listen to most are Clark Howard, Freakonomics, Responsa Radio, and This American Life.
In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it better?
I have worked at multiple Big Four accounting firms. Using this experience, I am able to bring different perspectives and procedures from each of these firms to enhance and promote best practices at my current company.
I attended the AICPA Leadership Academy for Future Leaders in the Profession, “an exclusive group in the accounting profession to learn strategic planning techniques and develop personal success skills for handling complex management challenges.” I am now integrating these skills into my daily work with colleagues at PwC.
At a previous company, I worked on staff development, helping to retain professional staff with disabilities. I remain devoted to this cause.
In what ways do you participate in the professional community to change/improve the accounting profession?
I am working to improve the profession through the Business Leaders Development Fellowship (BLD), a scholarship and mentoring program founded by myself and two colleagues. BLD introduces a new model of professional development, instructing students on successful business behaviors, not included in the traditional college curriculum.
BLD provides students with a three-fold preparation for obtaining a professional position after graduation: First, BLD offers students a monetary scholarship; Second, BLD pairs the student with an alumni mentor who has achieved success in the business arena; and Third, the participant completes a pre-established interactive program designed to provide the student with the informal “know-how” needed to join the professional world. The material learned centers around professional behaviors that guide the student to success, rather than on the academic content taught in the traditional college curriculum.
In what ways do you participate in your local community to help others?
I recently completed ‘LEAD Atlanta’, a program of educational workshops, community projects, and interaction with key city decision-makers. From ride-alongs with Atlanta Fire and Emergency First Responders, to being mentored by Atlanta’s commercial and political stars, this program is designed to turn young professionals into Atlanta’s future leaders.
I serve as Co-Chair of ACCESS Atlanta, the American Jewish Committee’s Young Leadership division, which prepares the next generation of leaders to engage the key issues facing the global Jewish community.
I have also volunteered for several years with the Atlanta Black-Jewish Coalition, and the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. This year I am participating in the Glass Leadership Institute of the Anti-Defamation League. I recently returned from a ‘Third Generation Initiative’ trip to Berlin, Germany. Along with ten young American professionals, I joined ten young German professionals ‘to explore modern Germany and its history’ with the goal of promoting American-German relations.
What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?
Investors previously directed their capital based on financial data alone. Today, they are interested in other factors, such as the firm’s contribution to human enrichment through its effect on the environment, innovation, or public health. This “Social Performance Accounting” will involve new metrics reflecting such variables as pollution impact and energy efficiencies. The accounting profession will acquire new competencies and develop new qualitative and quantitative metrics to provide accountability and comparability in social performance.
Umbrella Services and Conflict of Interest:
The financial services provided by the accounting profession will also continue to expand beyond auditing and regulatory compliance, to offering greater coaching and consulting services. Areas such as wealth creation, financial brokering, risk management, strategic planning and others may come under the accounting umbrella. Accountants will come closer to being client agents and further from being independent opinion-givers. This shift will bring conflict between the goals of users of information (full disclosure, transparency, and availability of information) and the goals of providers of information (security, confidentiality, and intellectual property rights).
Increasing globalization will continue to focus attention on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). As more countries move to IFRS, the challenge of who will govern and monitor compliance with IFRS will also need to be faced. The philosophical battle between rules-based and principles-based accounting will continue. Accountants will face pressure to expand their knowledge base to include foreign languages, cultures, and communication channels. In addition, as locations become more fluid, accounting data and systems will migrate toward cloud computing, accessible to anyone, from anywhere. Competency in cloud computing along with the accompanying demands for security will take on greater priority in the profession.
How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?
My short term goal is to serve as a productive member of the profession while I continue to obtain experience. Longer term, I hope to strengthen my personal skills to be effective in a profession moving toward social accounting; advisory accounting; and global accounting.
What is your career philosophy?
My career philosophy is “Dream Big, but Balance the Books”
Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life.
In 1970, Toby was one of the first two females hired by a Big 8 accounting firm in Atlanta, GA to serve on the professional staff. The other 278 professionals were male. She eventually worked for two of the Big 8 firms, studying and then teaching accounting and law at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She also served as the Vice-President of Legal and Administrative Affairs of a major Atlanta printing company.
Early in my life, Toby convinced me of the importance of Accounting to every aspect of commercial, governmental, and not-for-profit enterprises. She holds the profession in high regard and her words encouraged me to pursue this career path. I am fortunate to have had her as my mentor—and also my mother.