Ben Pechan, CPA, CCIFP
Professional Credentials (CPA, EA, MBA, etc if any): CPA, CCIFP
Employer: Smith & Gesteland, LLP
Title: Chief Financial Officer
City/State: Madison, Wisconsin
WICPA (Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants)– Accounting Careers Board Member
CFMA (Construction Financial Management Association) – Vice President, Membership
My career began at Baker Tilly (then Virchow Krause) as an accountant in the construction & real estate group. From there I had the good fortune to become the controller for a large national general contractor based in southeast Wisconsin. That experience allowed me grow into the professional I am today. When an opportunity came up to move back to Madison, WI and become the CFO of our firm I jumped at the chance. In my current role I have many responsibilities ranging from strategic planning to financial statements and budgeting. However, my ultimate goal is to make Smith & Gesteland the employer of choice for young accounting professionals in Madison. We’re building a pretty special culture and I’m lucky to be a part of it.
Currently I serve on the boards of the American Red Cross and March of Dimes. My role is focused on fundraising and organization of local events. The stories and struggles of so many have inspired me to do more at the local level and raise awareness for causes I’m passionate about. I was recently elected as the Chair Elect of the University of Wisconsin Whitewater Accounting Advisory Board. I’m privileged to work with a lot of successful and driven individuals to help shape future curriculum and allow that program to stay ahead of future anticipated changes in our profession.
Favorite influencer(s) (authors, bloggers, mentors, speakers, etc.) –
Tom Hood, Allan Koltin, Tony Robbins, and Warren Buffet are among the top of my LinkedIn posts that I follow. I’ve been blessed with so many great mentors and influencers throughout my young career and it would be difficult to single anyone out. However, our firm managing partner Bill Pellino has taken me under his wing and showed me the ropes of CPA firm administration and strategy which has really helped me springboard and accelerate my learning in my current role.