For Dr. John Karaffa, rubbing elbows with famous people is just part of his job description. As President of ProSport CPA, he helps professional athletes with their tax, accounting and financial education needs.
He’s got the perfect background for it, too. “I played basketball at Butler University,” he remembers. “Then I ventured overseas to play professional basketball in Germany.” After that, John walked off the court and into the international tax department at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Nine years later, his title was VP of Sports & Entertainment, and today he’s the President of ProSport CPA ("The Tax Pro for the Pros").
Does he miss his playing days? If so, you’d never notice. “I love seeing people make better financial decisions as a result of my help,” he says. What’s more, he gets to hang out in an office covered in sports memorabilia, usually with ESPN or the NFL network playing on his flat screen. John adds that “I can say, with a straight face, that watching sports is part of doing my ‘homework!’”
And his past experiences just make him better at what he does now. “I spend a lot of time prospecting professional athletes,” he says. “Keeping up with my current players and how they're doing.” He also networks with financial advisors about how he can help them with their athlete clients.
He only has one minor regret: “I never realized how much fun being a CPA could really be. Had I known, I’d have hit the books a little harder, and started sooner on becoming a sports accountant.”
So, you tell us. Pro athletes, game tickets, tv-watching-as-homework. Sounds like a pretty good gig, huh?
“I love seeing people make better financial decisions as a result of my help.”
Years as a CPA: 18
Best job: Overseas Professional Basketball Player
Hobbies outside of work: Travel, sports
Words to live by: I love the quote I once heard, "Luck is preparation meeting opportunity."