Today, there is more awareness than ever when it comes to ensuring there are more women in leadership positions – the accounting profession is no different. When women are in leadership roles, it helps pave the way for promising female talent to step into similar roles. It’s why we’re thrilled to announce that our very own Amy Vetter has been awarded CPA Practice Advisor’s Most Powerful Women in Accounting award – for the second year running!
In light of the honor, which recognizes women who are having the greatest impact on the tax and accounting field, Amy shared with us some of the lessons she has learned throughout her career, as well as advice for women newer to the profession.
What is the best part about being a woman in the accounting profession?
Technology has opened the door to change the conversation about what’s expected from an accountant and client relationship. It has created the opportunity to become a connected advisor and perform work from anywhere, anytime. With new technology like the cloud, women are able to work more flexible hours, work remotely, and even start their own practices without having to step out of their career because of family demands.
How important is work/life balance and what suggestions do you have for those who are struggling to attain this?
Often, the term work-life balance in itself can cause stress as it can denote enforcing strict boundaries between the two facets of our lives. While it is important to make time for both, I believe it’s healthier and more realistic to strive for work-life harmony. In my book, Business, Balance and Bliss, I detail how it’s possible to have our business and personal lives coexist. By making time for yourself outside of work, be it through physical activity or something that uses the right side of the brain, you not only get the opportunity to disconnect, but you can also plug into this creative side in order to be more innovative at work.
Looking back at your career, what would you do differently given the knowledge you have today and how can women who are entering the benefit from that knowledge?
I have made many mistakes along the way in my career. No one is perfect and we don’t know what we don’t know. However, I have always tried to learn from each experience and adjust for the next one. There is nothing I regret, even at tougher times in my career. The reason being that, if I didn’t have that experience, I wouldn’t have had the next one.
When I started my career in accounting, I was always worried whether I was doing everything right, following the ‘unspoken rules’, and if I was pleasing everyone. One thing you learn over time is that there is no way to please everyone and there are always going to be people, no matter how hard you try, that won’t like you. Seek out the people that do like you and focus on those people, rather than giving the majority of your energy to the people that you will never convince. Focus on what you can control and influence, rather than what you can’t.
What has driven you to be a person who is recognized as a leader in this profession?
I never set out to be a leader in the profession, more to fulfill a purpose of helping small business owners achieve their dreams. Organically, my career has changed and pivoted along the way as new opportunities arose. I have always loved teaching and seeing the light bulb go on for people as new concepts are presented or a new way of thinking is exposed. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, and being one myself, I know how hard it is to keep a business open, keep everyone happy and make money at the end of the day.
My purpose in what I do has always been to provide the lessons that I have learned along the way and share that with others to hopefully help others as well. I am honored to be seen as a leader, but if I didn’t love what I do every day, being a leader alone wouldn’t fulfill me. I am fortunate for all the people that have supported what I have had to say all these years and who still do so today, so that I am able to do what I love. Without that support network I could not continue to do what I do today. My most important piece of advice because of this is to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you and give back to the people that support you along the way. No one can do it alone.
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