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Jan Haugo – 2016 Most Powerful Women in Accounting

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Jan Haugo         

FICB (Felllow – Institute of Certified Bookkeepers)
Bachelors of Science in Accounting / Arizona State University



What advice would you give to female college students about the opportunities for women in the accounting profession?

Don’t be intimidated to try something new in the industry as it is changing rapidly and there is always room for new ideas and opportunities.

What would you suggest to accounting firms that are interested in retaining and advancing more qualified female staff?

Continual education is needed as this is no longer a stagnant industry. The accounting profession particularly bookkeeping needs to keep up with the changes in technology to service clients and to help with the various amounts of shift the government will impose in the future. Additionally, your firm may stay local but your clients will not. A global economy is in the imminent future and education and diversity will enhance your firm.

Why did you choose to work in – and stay in – the accounting field?

I chose computers and accounting. The focus moved to accounting as I could earn a living as I was going through school. I enjoyed helping my customers and training. I truly enjoy working with and helping my peers.

What are you currently reading?

Essentialism – by Greg McKeown

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

Government utilizing technology to make compliance work easier to streamline their industry. Bookkeeping moving to the forefront as the interaction with the clients becomes increasingly important. The role for the bookkeeper will be essential as there will a be a greater need for the small business to navigate technology and financial forecasting & interpretation.

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

I have always been an early adopter and recognized opportunities presented. My early adoption to the cloud and moving my clients before the technology and accounting workflows were in place has helped me to understand when you see something believe in that vision. When ICB was presented to the USA I immediately saw an opportunity to help with enhancing the value of the accounting profession. Increasing the importance of the marginalized role and seeing the critical need in the future makes me believe even more that the industry needs a shift in recognizing and validating the skills of the bookkeeper.

Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped shape the direction or focus of your professional life.

I didn’t have one person but three people. Joe Verdi, CEO of a nonprofit Co-Op, taught me about the value of relationships. Never to undermined or devalue any relationship as they and the people you interact with are priceless. Charles Keating Jr, developer, carried that mentorship forward and taught me how to convert those relationships into a productive gain. Without these two gentlemen I would not have on the job learning in business acumen.

My husband Dan Vuicich, he has taught me to be honest with people and to treat people with business respect. So many times in the industry things become personal. As a woman you have to learn to act more with a business attitude and move through and achieve your goal.

Please share a personal rule or principle that you follow. My personal principle actually comes from a Successories picture from a while ago.

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed…every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle…when the sun comes up, you’d better be running



See the other recipients of the 2016 Most Powerful Women in Accounting award.