As Dona Ana Chapter President and Tax Manager of Beasley, Mitchell & Co in Las Cruces, Lori Sharp realized her childhood dream of becoming a CPA and, as a result, exudes passion for the CPA profession. Lori embodies the "trusted advisor" with her calming presence, positive attitude, and eagerness to help clients. We recently had the chance to interview Lori about her career and learned about what lead her to pursue the CPA designation.
Lori Sharp, CPA, CGMA
I am passionate about…
I am passionate about my work and my family.
I never leave home without…
My cell phone.
I’m a CPA because…
Being a CPA just seemed like so much fun. When I was going to school, my mom worked at a CPA office and it seemed like the greatest job in the world; she started working there when I was in 4th grade. When I was a senior in high school, I needed a job and the CPA firm my mom worked for hired me for tax season and I worked there through college. I started out making copies, filing, assembling the returns, and then I moved on to the computer department. At that time, bookkeepers would hand write their journal entries and we would enter them into the computer and print out reports for them. During tax season, I would input information for returns and print them out; this was back when the office had mini-computers and only three people had access to them.
If I weren’t a CPA, I’d like to be a _______________________.
An elementary school teacher because I like molding young minds.
What keeps you up at night?
Other than coffee, not a whole lot. Occasionally deadlines and my kids will keep me up at night, but my kids are all grown up and off on their own now.
Looking back on your career, what is the professional accomplishment you are most proud of?
Getting my CPA was a big deal, but that was a long time ago. Being made Tax Manager was a big deal. I recently became President of Dona Ana Chapter and that puts me on the NMSCPA Board.
People don’t know this but…What is something (personal or funny) that people would be surprised to find out about you?
I used to do online gaming; I don’t anymore. What appealed to me was that we had our little community and were on teams. I am still in contact with some of these people today through Facebook.
What have you enjoyed most about working in the profession?
Working with the clients and helping them. Clients have these problems that they think are the end of the world. They get in a panic and worry that they will be arrested and that the IRS is going to come pounding on their door. Our clients are so appreciative; it makes me feel good that I was able to help them.
What advice would you give someone starting out about choosing a career path?
I would advise them to do their first year or two in public accounting so that they get their CPA and exposure to tax, finance, payroll, bookkeeping, etc. When you are working in public accounting, you get to see all the different industries and I believe it broadens your horizons.