Byron Patrick, a CPA whose career has been built in technology, joined us for this episode of Life In Accounting, a podcast production of Where Accountants Go.
Learning Accounting through Monopoly!
Byron’s was initially influenced to pursue accounting as a profession like many of us were – by taking a high school level accounting course. He also tells the story of one of his earliest memories regarding accounting – playing a game of Monopoly and actually creating financial statements as a part of the game. Through this experience, as well as becoming involved with Future Business Leaders of America, he realized he had a definite interest in the profession.
Becoming the IT guy
Byron’s career was just starting in the late 1990’s when computer systems were becoming more than just a single machine that was used for basic computations. Systems were being connected and integrated, and he had a natural talent for being able to troubleshoot office computer issues as well as understand how to structure those early networks. As he got more and more involved in systems work, it left less time for the core audit work that he had initially been hired for. Through a transition to a new firm, and that firm recognizing both his talent and their need, he became the full-time IT Director at a regional CPA practice.
The Early Cloud
Byron’s interest in systems led him to co-found a business called Simplified Innovations where they focused on installing systems in other accounting firms. Over an 8-year period, they grew the business to be servicing over 650 end users with only four internal staff members. The infrastructure they built to do this was a predecessor to what we refer to as the cloud in today’s terminology.
Botkeeper and The Future
After a great run with his own firm, he decided to sell his interest to his partner and move on to new challenges. Most recently, Byron has joined botkeeper, a fast-growing accounting technology company that just received additional funding from the Google organization. One of the items you need to make sure you listen closely for in the audio interview is our discussion of what the future accountant looks like from a day-to-day perspective. Our profession definitely isn’t going away by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, we are becoming more and more important as businesses need individuals not to just prepare the numbers, but to help interpret them as well. We are becoming more of the translators, or advisors, that we all strive to be in the first place, as opposed to having to handle the more mundane duties such as data entry and other similar tasks. It is a great and exciting time to be in the profession.
And if that wasn’t enough, we also get into a short discussion of Byron’s CPA tattoo… that was a first for the show!
If you enjoy this episode, make sure you also check out: Jody Padar and Donny Shimamoto
To listen in, please click on the player below: