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Sandra Wiley, SPHR, PHR – 2016 Most Powerful Women in Accounting


Sandra Wiley, SPHR, PHR

President, Boomer Consulting, Inc.
BS Human Resource Management


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

Read the book “lean in” and then DO IT! We must stop waiting for opportunities to come to us, and we simply must find our voice and then lean in when those opportunities are in front of us.       It is a wonderful time to be a woman. It is also a wonderful time to be in accounting. Sounds like a huge opportunity to me!

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

This may sound odd, but I tell some of my male clients to go and sit in an executive meeting with a full room of powerful women for a few days.       Experience what it feels like to be the only person in the room that is different. Experience what it feels like to hear the difference in the conversations, the difference in how conversations are held and the difference in how decisions are made. I believe the experience and conversation will begin to truly change the profession.  

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

I love smart, motivated and forward thinking people. I found them here!

What are you currently reading?

  • Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Sutherland
  • Business is Business by Kathy Kolbe and Amy Bruske (I have a pre-publication copy. It will be on amazon in January)
  • Joe Dillard book series by Scott Pratt. I’m hooked!

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

  • Far more work in advisory services
  • Hiring of individuals within niches who are not CPA’s, but they are terrific business leaders.
  • A more diverse leadership team. Women, Culture, Age – will not be a surprise!

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

I hope I have carved a path for others. I believe there are far more individuals out there that are like me. We may not fit the stereotypical role of a CPA Profession leader, but we have carved a path that brings tremendous value to our firms and the profession as a whole. I have a desire to leave a legacy by encouraging and promoting others.

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.

Gary Boomer. Gary mentors by pushing individuals to excel, even when they don’t necessarily feel like they have the ability. I simply would not be who I am today without his encouragement, and the opportunity he afforded me. I will be forever grateful.

Please share a personal rule or principle that you follow.

I have a sign on my desk that says “She Designed A Life She Loved”. I try every day to make sure I not only feel it – I live it!      

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