PCPS Member Since 2016
Sarah Elliott, ACC, CPA – Principal and Co-Founder
Shaping the Profession through Leadership Development
One question that’s come up for me throughout my career in public accounting - ”Is it possible to create the success we want in our careers without having to strive so hard?”
I believe this is a very exciting time in our profession because the answer to this question is a resounding, “Yes!” It is possible. I see people doing it now. It thrills me to witness young leaders creating success on their own terms. They are being more intentional in their careers and their lives. They are asking themselves questions like, “How can I create the success I want, in a way that feels right for me?”
I enjoyed an exciting (and oftentimes challenging!) career as an auditor for over 14 years. I spent 10 years at a Big Four firm before transitioning to a smaller, regional firm where I eventually became the National Audit Partner-in-Charge.
Throughout my public accounting career, my passion was always the same – developing people. I feel most energized when I am connecting with and empowering others to create positive change in their careers, lives and organizations.
In 2012, I attended the AICPA Emerging Partner Training Forum, which was my first real exposure to the Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) and the practice management resources they had available. The next year, I was invited to be a part of the PCPS Firm inMotion task force. Working on this task force opened my eyes to the challenges facing the profession, especially related to leadership succession and generational differences. Once I realized quickly and constantly the landscape of the profession is changing, I knew there was tremendous opportunity to expand the coaching and development I was doing at my firm to the profession as a whole. I took a leap of faith in 2014 to venture out on my own and support the profession in a bigger way…to develop other CPAs the way I wish I had been developed.
Joining Forces to Create Sustainable Change
After leaving public accounting, I went back to school to become a leadership coach and started building a coaching practice supporting emerging leaders in the CPA profession. At the AICPA EDGE conference in 2015, I was introduced to Brian Kush, a CPA who was also a certified coach and shared my passion for developing leaders. Brian and I knew we could expand our impact by joining forces, so we co-founded Intend2Lead in early 2016.
Intend2lead offers three core services: leadership coaching (for individuals and small groups), leadership development consulting and training. We enjoy partnering with organizations (typically larger CPA firms or CPA firm associations) to co-create innovative, customized leadership development solutions that translate the firm’s vision into reality.
Why I Joined PCPS
Though we don’t use PCPS resources directly in our business (since we’re not a CPA firm), I believe in their value to the profession. We maintain membership, and I stay active by working with the PCPS Forum. I often speak on behalf of PCPS and highlight the availability of their tools and resources to other practitioners. I often recommend PCPS resources to my colleagues to assist with their various challenges.
I may be biased, but my favorite resource is the Firm inMotion toolkit. It is an excellent accumulation of resources to help firms navigate our profession’s challenges. The Human Capital Center also has great content and tools, especially in the area of performance management. PCPS has a wealth of resources available at an incredible value for firms.