I pursued my bachelor’s degree in accounting at DeVry University, graduating with honors in February 1999. In an impressive achievement, I passed all four parts of the CPA exam in November 2000 on my first try, a feat accomplished by less than 10% of my peers.
Early Career and Specializations
I started my accounting career in August 1998, while still a student at DeVry. For seven years, I worked at small CPA firms, primarily assisting small businesses and individual clients. My role encompassed preparing corporate tax returns, generating and reviewing financial reports, and advising on tax deductions. Additionally, I provided training and support for QuickBooks software and helped new company clients with federal, state, and local business setups.
Transition to Corporate Finance
After years at small CPA firms, I sought a change and became the CFO of a local construction company in June 2005. This role allowed me to lay the groundwork for my own CPA firm, taking advantage of slower business periods to prepare tax returns. As CFO, I was responsible for budgeting, cost reporting, and negotiations with vendors and bankers, enhancing the company’s financial health.
Establishing My Own CPA Firm
In December 2007, the construction company closed, giving me more time to focus on building my CPA firm in Kansas. To supplement my income, I worked part-time at another construction company, handling similar financial responsibilities. By April 2009, my CPA firm had grown significantly, necessitating the hire of a part-time assistant, Beth Watters, in September 2009. The part-time job ended in January 2009, allowing me to fully dedicate myself to the success of Kenneth R. Strough, CPA PA.