Growing up with a CPA financial planner as my dad you might think I knew all along what I was going to do with my life. But as is the case for most young people, my career dreams changed frequently. After starting my college career at Bucknell University in the engineering department, it didn't take long for me to switch to the business school. I took one accounting course and knew right away it was where I belonged. I spent the summer after my junior year as an audit intern for Grant Thornton and quickly realized auditing wasn't for me. Luckily they made me an offer and allowed me to start my career in the tax department. The tax side felt much more like home to me so I went to graduate school at night to get my Master's degree in Taxation from the University of Baltimore, then soon after took and passed the CPA exam (on the first try!)
Over time I came to realize I enjoyed working with our individual clients much more than I did corporations. Grant Thornton allowed me to focus my work on s-corporations, partnerships, and the individual clients related to them. As I worked more in depth with these clients I realized there was more I could help them with aside from just their taxes. I'd seen for years the many areas of personal finance that my dad helped his clients with. I also saw the great relationships he had built with his clients and I wanted to be able to do the same.
In order to further my knowledge in this area I studied for and passed the PFS credential offered by the AICPA. This helped me increase my knowledge in areas where I didn't have as much education like investments, insurance and retirement planning. I really enjoyed this subject matter and knew that I wanted to find a way to work with people to help them in these areas while still using my extensive tax knowledge to bring it all together. This is when I started discussions with my dad about joining his firm.
I have been with L.K. Benson & Company for 6 years now. I still prepare taxes and do tax planning but much more of my time is spent doing comprehensive financial planning. We review investment portfolios, assess insurance needs, evaluate estate plans and prepare retirement projections, among other tasks. Our job is to help people reach their long-term financial goals. I love what I do and I love the clients that I work with. Our clients value and appreciate the work we do for them and that makes for a very fulfilling career.