So you know how you’ll read about someone in real life who sounds really cool and then you meet them and you’re so disappointed because that’s not at all how you imagined they were like? That’s not at all what happened when I met the next person in our Getting To Know You Tuesday series.
I’ve been following Jody Padar on Twitter for a bit now. She comes across online as smart and funny and committed to changing the accounting profession (for the better). In real life, she’s exactly the same way. I met up with her in Vegas this summer (I’ll just say that there were blue drinks, feather boas and the delightful Kasey Bayne involved) and really enjoyed chatting with her about tax, accounting and running a business. I’ve learned even more from her interview responses. It turns out that we have a lot in common: we both attended women’s colleges, opened our own businesses and drink more coffee than the law should allow (though, Jody, cream, really?). Here’s what Jody had to say:
1. Where are you now?
At this moment, I’m on a plane bound for Maryland where I will take part in the CCH Listening Tour hosted by the Maryland Association of CPAs. Immediately after the close of the Listening Tour, my family will be joining me in Maryland for a week of relaxation and fun in Ocean City. I will experience a two-day interruption in my vacation to facilitate a session on New-age Tax Firms at a Maryland-based seminar. I often have to integrate my personal and work lives—create balance as best that I can. It’s part of the job.
2. What’s your official title and what does it mean?
Officially, I am CEO and principal of New Vision CPA Group. These titles are straightforward, indicating executive oversight and ownership. However, I feel I am more to my firm than these perfunctory titles represent. Over the past few years, I’ve emerged as a thought leader in my profession—armed with a clear vision on operating a highly efficient and profitable firm via application of advanced technology and best practices. Equally as important, I also fill the role as “feeling” leader—always in tune with the culture of my firm and working to ensure a positive, healthy work environment through education, training, praise, and keeping staff challenged and engaged. I understand the positive ripple effect: a healthy culture means happier employees, which means happier clients. “CEO” and “principal” encompass all of this.
In regards to credentials, I am a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and have earned my MST (Masters degree in Taxation).
3. What books are on your nightstand?
“50 Shades of Grey” by E.L. James and “Healing Leadership” by Howard Hansen and Steven Geske.
4. If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be?
My dream job would be serving as a full-time professor at Saint Mary’s College (my Alma Mater). I would love to teach on the subject of tax and spend my days on campus where learning is constant. I also love the idea of teaching at a women’s college. The ability to lead and help develop young women into the next generation of accounting professionals would be awesome.
And if this dream job fell through, I would settle for just making people happy. And there is no better way to accomplish that than to operate a chocolate covered strawberry cart.
5. What’s the last movie that you saw (DVD or in the theatre)?
“Man of Valor”
6. Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest?
I love working with flow-thru entities—S corps and Partnerships. I have a passion for helping clients see the big picture and providing sound financial direction for entities with multiple individuals with multiple flow-thru entities. Throw in some multi-state returns and I’m in heaven. The opportunities for tax planning are endless. Call me crazy, but this is where the fun is.
7. What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you?
The best advice I ever received was simple and straightforward: Tax planning doesn’t cost, it pays.
8. Coffee or tea?
Coffee, always! And don’t bother me with a small cup either. I need the extra-large from Dunkin Donuts—cream only…I’m sweet enough.
9. Name five artists on your iPod (or mp3 player).
I’m honestly not that into music. In fact, my iPod music library is governed by my twelve-year-old daughter—and that means lots of Taylor Swift and other Top 40 artists.
10. What would I be surprised to know about you?
I’m a Masters swimmer. I’m not that fast yet, so I try to make it to practice a few times a week.
I love to swim Individual Medley (I.M.) and distance freestyle.
11. What college did you attend (in what subject)?
Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana. I earned a BBA with a concentration in Accounting.
12. If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax code tomorrow – an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever – what would it be?
I would give a credit for private school education. I think people should have a choice and that there should be a credit for those who elect to send their children to private schools.
13. What’s the best thing on TV right now?
HBO’s, “Dexter”; I love shows about serial killers.
(Editor’s note: Don’t get on Jody’s bad side.)
14. What do you think Congress will repeal first: estate tax or AMT?
The Estate Tax. AMT is too confusing. I don’t think Congress would know how to repeal it.
15. If Uncle Sam handed you a huge refund check right now, what would you do with it?
No question: I would invest it back into my firm. There is so much more I want to do in order to grow my business. I also want to be integral in revolutionizing the CPA profession…lead by example… and that takes funding.
16. Biggest tax newsmaker: Obama, Bloomberg, or Buffett?
The answer is secret choice “D”: The Supreme Court. Healthcare tax is where it’s at!
17. And, other than taxgirl, what’s your favorite tax-related web site?
AccountingToday.com. Okay, so that’s a bit of a plug for my own blog that runs every other Monday as part of Accounting Tomorrow, but it’s also a fabulous resource.
There are a couple of exceptional tax-related sites out there that offer timely and helpful information to the profession, including:
IRS Inside Blog on CPA Practice Advisor website—The author is Jim Buttonow, CPA, 20-year veteran of the IRS, and an expert in IRS practice and procedure. He is now the co-founder of Beyond415 (an IRS response solution vendor) and writes a regular Tax Update newsletter, which was recently picked back up in CPA Practice Advisor.
Avalara.com—As State and Local tax are becoming bigger issues, I find this site helpful in making sense of all the crazy filings.
Freshbooks.com and Xero – From an accounting perspective, these sites are hot with my clients…helping them move away from the shoebox and get organized for tax season.
Thanks, Jody! You can follow Jody on twitter @jodypadarcpa.
If you’d like to recommend a tax pro to be featured send your suggestions to inquiry (at) taxgirl (dot) com. Self-nominations are totally okay and, in fact, encouraged!