More Accounting Tomorrow Posts

The "badass" CPA: Oxymoron or sign of the times?

June 10, 2013

I’ve got to say…I think the “badass CPA” is a sign of the times. It’s the way the profession is moving in terms of CPAs emerging as creative and progressive. Attending the MACPA Innovation Summit only solidified my opinion on this topic.

I recently returned from the MACPA event where an absolute next-generation CPA is taking the reigns of one of the most progressive state CPA societies in the Union. His name is Byron Patrick, CPA, CITP, and is the new 2013 chairman of MACPA. He graduated from high school in the mid ’90s…around the time Kurt Kobain of Nirvana died. Byron currently runs a cloud hosting company for CPAs, Simplified Innovations, but began his career in a traditional mid-size firm. He got involved in the profession because one of the firm partners had him attend a few events. The relationships he made through MACPA changed his career path and his life.

Over several years, Byron grew into the profession and loved it. Today, he’s emerged as someone who can make real change happen. Some older CPAs might think that he is too nontraditional; they might be upset that he wears shorts to meetings and sports a CPA tattoo with the Maryland flag as a background.

“Nontraditional,” however, is not determined anymore by how one dresses for meetings. I support that Byron is truly “nontraditional” in relation to how far ahead he is of the average CPA and his true desire to serve the profession in which he lives. I believe his talents and his style will soon become the norm as more and more next-generation professionals take on leadership roles. The change is coming. In fact, one of Byron’s peers and good friends, Steve Ursello Jr., CPA, who is the president of the Rhode Island Association of CPAs, shared one of he and Byron’s favorite quotes:  

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently—they’re not fond of rules…You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” (Steve Jobs.)

Here's to the new leadership of the state societies! I'm honored and thrilled to have peers who think like me about where the profession is and where it needs to go. Now, let’s go change the CPA world.


Comments (6)
I think this article highlights how the accounting industry is changing, the image of the accountant with the geeky pocket protector and green visor is going away. Especially now with cloud base accounting software like Xero, accountants and CPA are becoming more of the trusted advisor with access to real time information related to their clients financial performance. I expect this trend to continue as the industry moves to a more real time hands on approach, where clients need real time collaboration with their accountants and CPA.
Joseph Serrone
Polaris Bookkeeping Services
Posted by joeserrone | Monday, June 17 2013 at 3:22PM ET
oops, I meant "wasn't an attempt"
Posted by beancounter_1 | Tuesday, June 11 2013 at 5:02PM ET
Jody, thanks for the kind words!

Anyone questioning, yes it's real and if you want a referral to an artist specializing in CPA tats give me a shout :oP

@Tickslash, the tat was an attempt to be a "Badass" the tat is a tribute to the pride and passion I have for our profession. Among business professionals I consider CPA's to be the Elite or Badass's of business. btw, I don't do reports, but if I did obviously as a CPA you don't really have any choice but to follow "boiler-plate" terminology.

@brookeellen, funny thing is technically I'm not a Millennial based on birth year, however I am an Xer the has many Millennial tendencies.

Anyway, no worries folks, love seeing Jody's post inspire feedback. I can tell you, I'm not the only one out there. My peers around the country are breaking the mold and becoming part of hte leadership of our industry. It's exciting and going to further CPA's as Leaders and the Elite amoung the business world!
Posted by beancounter_1 | Tuesday, June 11 2013 at 4:48PM ET
It will be interesting to see if Byron and his non-traditional contemporaries use "boilerplate" language in their reports, since they apparently are "not fond of rules".

Takes more than ink to be a "badass".
Posted by Tickslash | Tuesday, June 11 2013 at 9:24AM ET
Yes the tattoo is REAL!
Posted by jodypadar | Tuesday, June 11 2013 at 4:04AM ET
The younger generation of millenials is certainly interested in changing up traditional industries to employ more creative thinking and flexible, innovative strategies. Glad to hear about Byron's leadership! I've actually just written about this generation gap and the changes (not specifically for CPA's, but across the board) especially with recent grads entering the workforce with big dreams and meeting traditional mindsets and environments that challenge them.
Thanks for an enlightening post. By the way, the tattoo's not real... is it?
Posted by brookeellen | Monday, June 10 2013 at 3:05PM ET
Add Your Comments:
Not Registered?
You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.
Already registered? Log in here
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.