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Michelle L. Long, CPA – 2016 Most Powerful Women in Accounting

Michelle L. Long, CPA

Owner, Long for Success, LLC



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

With so many opportunities available, the challenge is finding what you enjoy and your passion. Focus on doing what you enjoy and find interesting.

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

Provide assignments and work that offers a variety of experience and challenges. Offer equal opportunities for advancement and specialization in areas of interest.

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

Honestly, I choose accounting because I was good at it and there were plenty of job opportunities in virtually every city. I decided to stay in accounting because I discovered I could specialize in areas of interest to me. Many years later and I still really enjoy my work!

What are you currently reading?

Unfortunately nothing since I’m currently traveling a lot during the busy ‘training season.’

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

I work primarily with small—mid-sized firms and I think the primary changes will continue to be due to changes in technology. I think firms must continue to modify our operations to utilize the latest technology which allows us to operate more efficiently and profitably. In addition, this leads to the need to change billing practices to eliminate hourly billing and adopt value pricing.

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

I plan to continue helping accounting professionals learn more about the latest technology and how to implement it for our firms and our clients. Plus, many accountants still need to learn more about using social media effectively and implementing value pricing.

In addition, I’d like to spend more time connecting with accounting students or those new to the profession. Frequently I get emails with various questions about the profession and opportunities in accounting. I enjoy providing them with my opinions and additional resources or contacts to help them on their professional journey.

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.

While it is difficult to pick just one, I would have to say Professor Leon Robertson. He challenged me to quit doing things I didn’t enjoy and focus on my passion and pursue it. He helped me identify opportunities and paths to pursue my interests and continue advancing.

Please share a personal rule or principle that you follow.

When you make a mistake—own it, accept responsibility, sincerely apologize, make it right and create a plan so it doesn’t happen again.



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