Robert has been an HCJ team member since 2017. He currently serves as a Client Accounting Services (CAS) manager at the firm’s Rogers office, providing both CAS and tax preparation and planning services to small business entities and their partners or shareholders.  

Read on to see what Robert says about his reason for pursuing a career in accounting, what he does to unwind, and the best career advice he’s received.  

What inspired you to pursue a career in accounting?  

Working as a bookkeeper for my father’s lumber business during college – I learned bookkeeping in the 1980s on ledger paper.  My father knew the financial details of his business operations extremely well, and I was able to see how that enabled him to make decisions faster and better than his competitors. 

What role has mentorship played in your career? Who has been a mentor to you? How have you mentored others? 

Paul Osborn has been the most significant mentor for me at HCJ, and he has helped me work through some complex tax situations with different clients.  His support has enabled me to service clients in ways I would never have dreamed of being able to do. 

Not sure I’ve mentored anyone else since I am in the Rogers office – but I do try to help everyone has much as I can.  I’m always trying to pay it forward and do what Paul has done for me. 

What are the favorite parts of your job? 

Working directly with clients – client interaction.  Helping clients learn and understand the financial details of their businesses so they can make better and faster business decisions. 

How has HCJ specifically played a role in your career? What about the firm has kept you here over the years? 

HCJ has provided me the opportunity to experience what it is like to work with wonderful colleagues – colleagues that are both great at their job and just the nicest people you will ever meet.  People who are willing to help out at any time with anything.  HCJ demonstrates the power of a great company culture. 

I’ve been working in the professional business world for over 30 years – Karen Garrett is unquestionably the best leader I have ever worked for.  With Karen in the lead, there is no reason to look for work elsewhere. 

What do you do to unwind? 

Rock Climbing – safe rock climbing with ropes, harness, and belay partners! 

What is the best career advice you’ve received? 

Create your own work/life balance. Your employer will never tell you that you are working too much and need to go home on time each day. Any employer will take all the effort you are willing to give it. Therefore, it is up to me to set the right boundaries. 

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the accounting profession? 

Focus on the ways you can and do help your clients make better decisions – anyone can fill out boxes in a software program. Get to know the needs of your clients and focus on helping address those needs. Don’t just make it about the numbers.