Meet Will Smith, one of our extraordinary Senior Auditors!
Despite his title and impressive work history, Will did not originally plan to be an accountant. Instead, he strived for a career in pharmacy; however, those fateful chemistry classes did not go as planned. Unsure of the next steps, Will leaned on the advice of a former teacher. The mentor initially suggested accounting, to which Will replied, “no way.” But then his teacher said the words that would change the entire trajectory of Will’s life, “don’t do tax, look at auditing.” Will changed his major and graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word with his Master of Science in Accounting and jumped straight into the industry.
There were many things about audit that caught Will’s attention. First, “you will never learn everything.” The world of accounting and auditing is constantly updated to reflect new rules and regulations. Because of this, auditors like Will must constantly be on their toes and prepared to make changes and learn new skills. Second, Will likes to meet new people and see new places. Auditing requires maintaining close client relationships as well as traveling to onsite jobs. This frequent change in pace and scenery ensures that every day looks a little bit different and keeps Will passionate about his career!
Searching for a new adventure, Will left a small firm, and joined ADKF in 2021. When talking about his experience here, he chose to highlight the people stating, “I would have never completed my CPA without the support of this team.” To Will, the work environment is everything and although this industry can be stressful, surrounding oneself with the right people makes it manageable, which in turn reduces the likelihood of burnout. Additionally, when people are surrounded by successful professionals, it is nothing short of inspiring! At ADKF, Will feels motivated and supported to strive for growth and success in his career.
Will was asked about his greatest professional achievement thus far, and unsurprisingly, he named the CPA exam, which he passed in November of 2022. His biggest piece of advice for those looking to take the exam is to do it immediately after finishing school. The further you get away from the studying and test taking mindset, the harder it gets. Once again, Will took a moment to reflect on the encouragement and support of his coworkers while studying. Everyone was “understanding if I needed to leave work early to study and makeup my hours later at night.” This type of flexibility, understanding, and support was exactly what Will needed to achieve his CPA, and is the same mentality that allows for continuous personal and professional growth now!
Despite his many hours spent in the office and onsite with clients, Will maintains an ideal work-life balance! You can find him in the gym lifting weights, in the garage working on his 1995 Volvo Station Wagon (a hobby he picked up in high school) or traveling around the U.S. with his wife! True to his adventurous spirit, Will prefers to travel without an itinerary. Making plans on the fly is his specialty and has led to some amazing memories with his family!