Los Angeles, CA
Dan Dehner thinks CPAs need to set things straight. “To this day, most people ask me about doing taxes,” he says, “and when I tell them what I actually do they’re fascinated.” He believes that if more people knew what CPAs really do, they’d look at the profession in a new light.
Dan took to accounting in college, where he realized that an accounting career would open doors. “I learned that a career in accounting would open many doors” he says. “Most young people who want to be in business don’t know what discipline they are truly interested in. Starting in accounting will expose you to every aspect of how a business operates, giving you the best opportunity to discover who you are as a person and a professional.”
Dan started at one of the Big 4 accounting firms, where he was exposed to all types of industries and companies. From there, he moved to a smaller forensic accounting firm, where he’s able to combine the skills of an auditor and a trained investigator. “Every day in forensic accounting is different,” he says. “That’s because every investigation is unique. Some days I’ll be at a client site, digging into their financial information, and others I’ll be working with our team here in the office to solve complex fraud-related issues. There’s never a dull moment.”
“I help clients through really difficult periods – usually fraud investigations,” he says. “My work as a CPA is extremely rewarding” (and it’s not at all what most people think). “What I really love about my job is the opportunity to give back to students and other young professionals, to help inspire the next generation of CPAs. I had great mentors that helped me get to this point.” Dan hopes he can do the same for someone else.
“What I really love about my job is the opportunity to give back to students and other young professionals.”
Years as a CPA: 11
Best job: Caddy at a golf club
Worst job: Retail (Abercrombie)
Hobbies outside of work: Golf, skiing, travel
Pets: Pomeranian/Maltese named Bella
Words to live by: "No matter how hard it gets, stick your chest out, keep your head up and handle it."