Shauna Roche, CPA has spent her entire working-life in the accounting industry. Determined to propel her career forward, she pursued her CPA designation as a non-traditional student and found success as Managing Partner at Chandler & Co. in Farmington. When Shauna is not working, you can either find her with her grandchildren, or perfecting her swing on the golf course. We recently had the opportunity to speak to Shauna about her experience as a CPA, and learned about the defining moment that led to her return to Farmington, NM.

 Shauna Roche

Shauna Roche, CPA

I’m a CPA because…

I was a non-traditional student. That being said, I am a CPA because I worked in accounting my whole life and decided that if I was going to be successful in the profession, I needed to get my CPA designation to move forward.

If I weren’t a CPA, I’d like to be a _______________________.

Residential real estate agent.

I am passionate about…

I am passionate about my family. Professionally speaking, I am passionate about providing a good work product and a good work environment for my employees. I want my employees to be happy and feel fulfilled, so I give them opportunities to better themselves and their careers.

When I am not working, you can find me…

You can find me golfing. I would love to be more of an avid golfer, but I play as much as I can. I also spend my free time playing with my grandkids who moved here about a year ago from Phoenix; my oldest grandchild is five-years-old and the youngest is two-years-old.

What have you enjoyed most about working in the profession?

I have truly enjoyed meeting so many different people and having the opportunity to work in so many different businesses and industries. Public accounting offers you so much variety that you never get bored because you are constantly learning new things.

I can’t live without …

The peanut M&Ms in my partner’s office!

What keeps you up at night?

Thinking I forgot something or forgot to file something timely. Also, the puzzles where I can’t quite figure out what the problem is. Sometimes, it’s the sheer volume of work that keeps me up.

Looking back on your career, what is the professional accomplishment you are most proud of?

Becoming a partner at Chandler & Co. and Mr. Chandler instilling his trust in me to take care of the firm like he did. Also, growing the firm is an accomplishment I am proud of; we have grown tremendously thanks to a great staff and I have great partners who make things happen.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I had my kids very young and although looking back everything has worked out, I would tell my younger self to be patient and wait.

People don’t know this but…What is something (personal or funny) that people would be surprised to find out about you?

I was a teen mom to twin girls and was able to overcome the challenges I faced because of that. Being a young mother forced me to be disciplined and made it so that I had to work a little harder than everyone else which has helped me in this profession.

Work-life balance?

First, I have a very supportive spouse who helps out when I need help at home and doesn’t get upset when I need to work late and is understanding about how this industry works. If you don’t have a supportive family at home it is hard to have any kind of balance. With my staff, hearing some of the issues they have, that seems to be a reoccurring theme. You sometimes have to force yourself to take some time off. The work will be there when you leave and when you get back; just work hard when you get back. I think this goes back to being a late starter in the CPA profession. I was able to just focus on my career since I didn’t have small kids at home. My husband owns two businesses, so he is pretty busy too, which makes it even more challenging to balance our lives.

Are you a Farmington, NM native?

I am actually a Colorado native. We moved to New Mexico when I was in Jr. High. After I got married, we moved every few years due to my husband’s job. My husband and I have lived all over the country and then we had an opportunity to move back to Farmington where my family is. September 11 proved to be a very defining moment and had a lot to do with the decision to move back. The day that it happened, we were visiting my family in New Mexico and I thought to myself that if the world was going to come to an end, this is where I wanted and needed to be.

If you were given a “do-over” for a mistake you made in the past, would you take it, and why?

Yes, I would take a do-over. The mistake I made was talking to a staff person in a way that did not make them feel very good. I was trying to be funny and it wasn’t funny to her, so I still wish I could take it back and would have handled the situation better if given a do-over. Fortunately, she is still a very good friend of mine despite my mistake.

What is next for you, professionally?

Retirement! I would like to be able to start cutting back in a few years and I am working to train our staff to take over more of the day to day responsibilities. One of the greatest challenges in the rural areas is finding qualified people and getting them to stay long-term; we have a wonderful, loyal staff, and I am hoping they take advantage of everything our firm and this profession offers.