Accounting & Audit
Lindsay Stevenson, CPA, CGMA – 2019 Most Powerful Women in Accounting
Jun. 12, 2019
Lindsay Stevenson, CPA, CGMA
2019 Most Powerful Women in Accounting
Vice President – Finance & Tax, 1st Financial Bank USA
B.A. Accounting, Gonzaga University
What advice would you give to female college students about the opportunities for women in the accounting profession?
The great thing about the accounting profession is that possibilities are limitless to anyone willing to dream big, be bold and stretch themselves. Although we recognize that there is always work to be done in developing leadership opportunities, current leaders in the profession are committed to creating an inclusive pathway so that we can leverage ALL talent in growing the profession. I would tell female college students to allow themselves the time and space to envision a career that fulfills them in every way that feels important to them and then share that with their employers. Leaders in the profession are ready to listen, helping young women grow into leadership roles that make sense and are true to their goals.
What would you suggest to accounting firms that are interested in retaining and advancing more qualified female staff?
Let yourselves be vulnerable. Allowing the firm to uncover what may be limiting opportunities for young women in their organization is an important step to determining how the firm can better retain their top performing women. I believe that unconscious bias plays a role in all of our efforts. If we can have a transparent conversation (without judgment) about how those biases may be hindering the development of our best assets – our people – we can begin to intentionally shift our practices to allow for the retention and advancement of our best team members, including our young women.
Why did you choose to work in – and stay in – the accounting field?
Yikes, choosing to work in accounting is kind of a long story! Suffice it to say that accounting made sense (eventually anyway) and the people in this profession have inspired, encouraged and engaged me in ways I could have never imagined. I often find that some of the most meaningful moments in my life (beyond my husband and children) have been with colleagues (and honestly friends) in the accounting profession. I found a home in accounting where I feel valued, challenged, and inspired on a regular basis. You can’t ask for much more than that in your professional life.
What book(s), blog(s), podcast(s) do you recommend?
I could probably list 100, but these are my favorites right now:
- “Start With Why” – Simon Sinek
- “The Big Leap” – Gay Hendricks
- Intend2Lead Blog – Sarah Elliott and Brian Kush
- beBetter blog – Joey Havens
- Where Accountants Go podcast – Mark Goldman
- Strength in the Numbers podcast – Andrew Codd
- Go Beyond Disruption podcast – AICPA
What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?
To be honest, I have no idea. And that is pretty dang cool! Think about where we were 5 years ago…could you imagine that we would be talking about RPA and AI as a normal tool to be leveraged in our daily tasks? I believe that our focus on human intelligence skills will continue to be critical to our long-term success in advising our clients and business partners. I believe that tech will continue to drive our ability to be strategic partners and we will be able to do so much more in the same amount of time. What really excites me is the opportunity we have to define our new role in protecting the public interest while leveraging our current expertise. It is going to be #amazeballs!
How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?
I believe each of us has the opportunity to participate because collaboration is so much easier now with access to tools like Skype and Zoom and Google Drive. We can all be active in the discussion of our future profession if we choose to be and I want to be part of that. I plan to continue volunteering in ways that allow me to have a voice and a seat at the table. I can’t put into words the benefit I see in giving my time to the profession. I have learned so much from the incredible people I have been on committees with and they are almost like a personal Board of Directors for me. It is like having family, friends and mentors all rolled into one. So, I will keep volunteering to make sure I am an active participant in shaping the future of the profession and I invite every other woman out there to join me!
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.
It is really difficult to choose just one as I have been fortunate enough to have a great number of mentors who have been vital in shaping my professional life. There is one woman who has been a mentor, friend, coach and encourager to me for a number of years. She inspires me with her ability to see the possibilities in every person she meets. Not only does she tirelessly work as an entrepreneur, wife and mother – she spends so much of her energy to support other women entrepreneurs through immersion sessions and online masterminds. I am grateful for her in so many ways and she makes me strive to be the best version of myself.
Please share a personal rule or principle that you follow.
Finding the positive is the only way to get through the day. I believe that there is always something that makes whatever is happening worth while. It can take me a while to find it and I have definitely struggled without seeing it at first, but the moment I figure out the positive possibility, moving forward becomes much more realistic.
Learn more about the 2019 Most Powerful Women in Accounting.