These days, one of my favorite moments is when I tell a prospective client or a fellow health practitioner that I was a Certified Public Accountant for more than a decade. Peoples’ reactions range from a jaw-drop to comments about how I don’t look like an accountant to unabashed dismissal. As the character Holly Golightly once said, “It’s useful being the top banana in the shock department.”
People commonly assume that CPAs only do taxes. Not true. I was a CPA who got my start in troubled debt restructuring and bankruptcy for one of the largest global firms. Basically, a failing company’s leadership called us when the financial shit hit the proverbial fan. Then, a team of us would arrive to interview people, triage the situation, attempt to stop the cash flow hemorrhaging, functionally look at what may have caused the problem and create a plan to control the chaos.