Longtime SCACPA members know that a regular feature of the Association’s quarterly magazine is “How I Work.” In every issue of South Carolina CPA Report, we strive to showcase the different tools of their trade members are using and how South Carolina CPAs create a productive and enjoyable work environment.
At the end of February, SCACPA heard back from a variety of early career CPAs at Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, and we were looking forward to scheduling their stories into our rotation in the magazine and on our blog for the coming months.
But once March started, everyone’s “How I Work” environment over the coming weeks quickly turned out to be … well, you know.
Fortunately, the BPS CPAs we had just been in contact with – Chelsea Wessinger, CPA, Danielle Wilcox, CPA, and Sean P. Battle, CPA – found some time during their “work from home” environment to give us “compare and contrast” examples about their new experiences.
SCACPA salutes all our members who adjusted their work situations to serve their firms and clients.
If you have a “How I Work – From Home!” story you’d like to share with SCACPA, please contact Content Strategist Gregory Hardy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe, and SCACPA hopes all our members are adjusting and creating the work environment that works best.
HOW I WORK – FROM HOME
Meet three CPAs from the Columbia office of Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, PA
Chelsea Wessinger, CPA
Member since 2018
Current gig: Senior Tax Associate
Current mobile device: “An iPhone 8 Plus, but I’m hoping to upgrade soon. I like having the most up-to-date technology.”
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “Hakuna matata!”
One word that describes how you work [February answer]: “Vertically. I love my stand-up desk!
May update: “I am wishing I brought my stand-up desk home with me. At one point, I created a makeshift version out of shipping boxes and put my mouse and keyboard on top.”
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? [February answer] “Google Sheets. I love that I can access it from anywhere and share with other people if needed. I use it for things like budgeting, scheduling meals for the week and planning vacations.”
May update: “Google Teams and Zoom have both been lifesavers while working from home. Zoom has allowed for virtual meetings, and Teams has given our staff the opportunity to chat and share screens when needed.”
What is your workspace like? [February answer] “It’s clean and organized when I get to the office first thing in the morning and when I leave for the day, but I can’t say that for the time in between. My desk is normally covered with folders, notepads and loose pieces of paper during the day.”
May update: “Instead of being covered with folders and paper, my workspace is covered with puppy toys. My boyfriend and I decided this would be the perfect time to get a puppy now that we are both working from home!”
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? [February answer] “Making the perfect cup of coffee to start the day.”
May update: “I still think I make a great cup of coffee, but I have come to realize that I’m really good at finding recipes and planning meals. Because a lot of restaurants have been closed, I have been cooking more than usual and hunting down new recipes to try.”
What’s your sleep routine like? [February answer] “I’m normally in bed by 9 p.m. and my alarm is set for 5:30 a.m. Sometimes I go to work out and sometimes I hit snooze and sleep in, depending on how tired I am.”
May update: “There is a lot more of the snoozing and sleeping in now that my gym is closed. As much as I miss the gym, I can’t complain about the extra sleep I’m getting!”
Danielle Wilcox, CPA | Member since 2018
Current gig: Senior Associate
Current mobile device: iPhone 7
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “Always perform and prepare work like it’s going straight to the partner without another person’s review.”
What is your workspace like? [February answer] “Organized.”
May update: “Plain! Since COVID-19, my at-home workspace is just a portable fold-up table, nothing exciting.”
Besides your phone and your computer, what gadget can’t you live without? [February answer] “FitBit – it’s like the accountability friend you always need to remind you not to be lazy!”
May update: “Fun fact: I’ve learned I get more steps and am more active when I work at home versus working in the office.”
What do you listen to while you work? [February answer] “Spotify. Mostly country, but it depends on what I’m feeling from day-to-day.”
May update: “Surprisingly, ever since I began working from home I find I don’t listen to music very often while working. There’s not as much background noise to drown out when working at home!”
What’s your sleep routine like? [February answer] “Whatever Bowman (my dog) allows it to be. Generally, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. to whenever Bowman wakes me up on weekends.”
May update: “Ever since COVID-19 and working from home began, I’ve found myself in bed by 9:30 and up to begin work around 7:30 every morning. No morning commute equals more sleep or more time to work!”
Sean P. Battle, CPA
Member since 2016
Current gig: Audit Supervisor
Current mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy S9+
One word that describes how you work: “Team Player. I come from a background of living in a team environment and understand that the whole has to be more than the sum of its parts. I attempt to fit the role that’s needed given team dynamics, whether this be executer, researcher, leader or happy hour planner.”
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? [February answer] “Headphones are the easy answer for work. After that, travel apps. I find these make traveling for personal trips and work a much easier experience and limits paper usage.”
May update: “Travel Apps are out, Zoom is in.”
What is your workspace like? [February answer] “Monitors, lots of monitors. When I got a standing desk, I had to go down to three monitors, but I’m looking into a way to get back to four.”
May update: “I’ve now got three monitors in my apartment.”
What is your best time-saving trick? [February answer] “The thing that saves me the most time is meditation, being even more important during busy season.”
May update: “Meditation might be the only thing keeping me sane stuck in my apartment.”
What is your favorite to-do list manager? [February answer] “Combination of paper and Outlook inbox. I make a priority list by month, week, and then each day to make sure long-term goals and priorities are coming first, with my inbox keeping open to-dos until I complete them.”
May update: “My dog scratching at the door every two hours to go outside.”
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? [February answer] “Learning and adapting on the fly. Being a part of a growing firm there are many situations that require learning in a short period of time to provide a client with audit or consulting services. I enjoy these situations immensely and find them to be the most rewarding.”
May update: “Scratching my dog at the same time as typing.”
What are you currently reading/binge-watching/podcast-listening? Currently re-reading “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz, MD, FICS, which I highly recommend. While running and on the way into work I have been using Audible to listen to “Principles Life and Work” by Ray Dalio, and on the way home I listen to some hockey podcasts.”
May update: “’The Great British Baking Show.’ I wish I could say my wife forced me, but it’s oddly comforting. Finished ‘Principles Life and Work,’ now listening to ‘Why We Sleep,’ by Matthew Walker, PhD.”
What do you listen to while you work? “Mix of EDM, House and other types of electronic music. The less words the better to help me focus on the task at hand.”
May update: “My upstairs neighbor’s washing machine, and my dog whining at other dogs.”
Look for more “How I Work – From Home” details from Chelsea, Danielle and Sean in the upcoming Q2 2020 edition of South Carolina CPA Report.