Menlo Hosts CPA Firms’ Partners Panel Discussion

By Vicky Schultz

On Wednesday, April 2, Menlo College welcomed executive partners from five leading public accounting firms as part of the CPA Firms’ Partners Panel Discussion. Students were able to get a broader insight into the life of a senior accountant and learn that accounting is not just about debits and credits, and spreadsheets.

Five people from accounting firms including three from the Big Four talked about their career paths in finance and discussed job opportunities in the Silicon Valley. The representatives included Ernie Cortes from Ernst & Young, David Hering from KPMG, Tina Knauss from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Allan Smith from Grant Thornton, and Stephanie Tsiagkas from Sensiba San Filippo.

“Many people believe accounting is just 'number crunching' and doesn’t involve interaction with people,” said Professor Janis Zaima, Ph.D. who organized the event with the help of Student Accounting Officers Catherine Gonzalez, Elizabeth Guzman, and Patrick McNamara.  “While accountants do have an analytical mind, people skills are very important in this profession. They spend many hours with clients communicating about the work and more importantly, establishing a relationship with them.”