We recently sat down and asked with one of our Senior Accountants, Annamaria, to find out about her professional development and what inspires her in her work.

Annamaria Dugan joined Cook CPA in the fall of 2013.  Her progression in the firm has allowed her an expanded role as she works with our clients in a variety of projects from tax return preparation, account reconciliations, and helping on audit engagements.  She also identifies ways for business to improve processes and assist business owners embrace technology to understand their financial picture better as part of our Virtual CFO services.  Her legal background as a paralegal also provides a unique resource to clients.

Annamaria is a graduate of the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics.  In her spare time, she enjoys attending theatrical productions, hiking or skiing at Tahoe, and eating sushi.  And since joining Cook CPA, she has acquired two adorable shelties, Bishop and Ziva!

What made you want to be a CPA?

In high school, I took an elective vocational courses, scoring 100% on the exit exam and winning an award for it!  I didn’t know it at the time, but the accounting language and related tasks came to me as common sense.  Since then, while working as a paralegal, I’ve always gravitated toward tax, estate planning, and related projects.  I seem to have taken the long route to get to this point, but it was certainly meant to be!

What kinds of clients do you like helping?

Not sure how to answer this.  I enjoy what I do, and really like helping all clients who have a need for accounting/consulting assistance.  If I can assist in making their businesses more profitable and less stressful, then I’m in!

Please provide your favorite story where you helped a client.

My most favorite experience was working with a husband and wife team with a very demanding business.  The wife was charged with the bookkeeping, and after taking courses and working this way for years, it still seemed like a foreign language.  Working with her, I set up some practical templates to use weekly.  For instance a consistent template for posting payroll journal entries which reconcile to the bank account to connect the dots on what was missing from her book knowledge to the flow through the accounting software.  This gave her an understanding of where the figures came from and how they are traced through the entire process.  I established the template so that when everything agreed, it highlighted a cell in green telling her “Good Job!”.  Even though it seemed slightly cheesey at the time when I was setting up the template, she comments every month when she reconciles payroll, it’s her goal to get that green Good Job on the first try, like she has a built in cheerleader.  She is also able to understand and explain how the complex payroll post works.  That was very rewarding, and continues to be in every challenge she has and we tackle together. 

What is the most common type of issue that your clients encounter?

The most common type of issue seems to be simply, clients do not know what they do not know.  Often times, clients are distressed over what they contemplate is overwhelming or will create major accounting issues.  More than likely there are solutions that the clients are not aware of, because they do not know.  

What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a small business?

Delegation!  With any small business, the focus of the business owner is running the business.  Focusing on the services, products and managing their team.  Often times, small business owners try to take everything on, which may work short-term, but most successful small business owners immediately understand and leverage the value of delegating those projects which can take time and cause frustration (like accounting!).  There is absolutely nothing wrong with partnering or hiring someone to take on weaknesses, so they can focus on their strengths in the business.

CPA Services in Roseville and Sacramento, CA

To learn more about how Annamaria or other members of our dedicated accounting team can assist your Roseville-area business, call Cook CPA Group at (916) 724-1665 for a free legal consultation. Services we provide include tax audit services in Roseville, bookkeeping, business consulting, CFO services, estate planning, small business accounting, tax preparation services, and more.