In our In the Spotlight series, we periodically introduce you to one of Kreischer Miller’s team members by interviewing them about a variety of topics. We hope you enjoy this firsthand look into lives of our team members – both inside and outside of the office!
For this post we’ve interviewed Vanessa Zang, Director, Audit & Accounting. Vanessa joined Kreischer Miller in 2007 upon her graduation from West Chester University. When she's not at work, Vanessa enjoys travelling to new places!
Watch Vanessa's interview here:
Why did you choose a career in public accounting?
My brother suggested I major in accounting because he thought it was the best of the business degrees. I was 17 when I started college and hadn’t really given much thought to what sort of job that would lead to, but I figured I’d always be employable with an accounting degree. As firms interviewed on campus, we were encouraged to start our careers in public accounting as opposed to private, so that we could gain a wide range of experience working with a variety of clients and industries. So here I am, 12 years later. I began working for Kreischer Miller right upon graduation from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
What was your most memorable class in college?
Yoga was my most memorable class. It was three hours on Thursday nights from 7pm to 10pm. It was particularly memorable because I spent the entire semester making up missed Thursday night classes at the professor’s yoga studio. For every missed class, I had to go three times to the yoga studio. I’ve disliked yoga ever since!
What was your first job?
I worked as a buser (clearing plates from tables) at a private country club’s restaurant when I was 13 years old. I later became a server and worked there throughout high school with my three best friends!
What experience or skills help you be successful in your current role?
Organization, time management, and written/verbal communication skills.
What’s the most important advice you could give to someone embarking on his/her accounting career?
Never stop asking questions.
What are your responsibilities at Kreischer Miller?
I am a director responsible for multiple attest engagements with a focus in the employee benefit plan industry.
What does a typical day look like for you?
The only thing typical about my days is that they all start with a to-do list. More times than not, my day takes an unexpected turn where I’m unable to get to all the items on my list.
What are you currently working on?
About 40 benefit plan audits that are due by 10/15.
What are some of the challenges you face as a director on a daily basis?
Not having enough time in the day to accomplish everything I’d like to.
What aspects of your job do you like most?
Training other KM team members while on the job is really enjoyable and rewarding. I love answering questions and seeing fellow teammates have an “ah-ha” moment where something clicks and they understand. I also love helping clients. It’s fulfilling when they reach out to me with a question or problem and I’m able to provide them with assistance in resolving that issue or getting their question answered. Lastly, I love that no two days are the same for me. There is constant change and variety in what I do each day.
Why did you initially decide to work at Kreischer Miller as opposed to a Big Four?
I was turned off to Big Four during the interview process when the person showing me to my three interviews had never met any of the people I was speaking with. I realized I wanted to work somewhere with a closer knit workforce.
Who was your most important mentor?
My father. He was a great role model in every way and showed me what it means to be a hard worker. From an early age he taught my brothers and me about the value of money, the importance of saving it for a rainy day, how to budget, and countless other life lessons. Much of my success is directly attributable to the values my father instilled in me.
What do you think other team members would say about you when you’re not in the room?
Hopefully they would say that I’m fair. I have high expectations of my engagement teams, but I hold everyone to the same standard.
What’s your routine before work?
Every day starts with my alarm ringing several times and me hitting the snooze button. After the last alarm that gets me out of bed goes off, I take my dog, Gracie, outside. This involves me locating a Chuck-it Ball somewhere in the house so that she’ll chase the ball and do her business. Without the ball, it’s almost impossible to get Gracie out the door. I feed her, make my tea for my caffeine fix and get ready for work. I always eat breakfast before leaving the house and try to get Gracie out again for another few Chuck-it-Ball runs before I leave for the day.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of the office?
I love travelling to new places.
What’s your favorite app on your phone?
If you could be famous for a day, who would you be and why?
I don’t like attention, so the idea of being famous has zero appeal to me.
What would surprise people about you?
I contemplated entering college as a fine arts major with a concentration in photography before ultimately deciding to apply as an accounting major.
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