Welcome to our new In the Spotlight series, where we’ll 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!
To kick off the series, we’ve interviewed Brian Kitchen, a director in our Tax Strategies group. Brian joined Kreischer Miller in 2010 after working as a senior tax accountant at The Fairman Group in Berwyn, PA. He has a B.S. in Finance and Accounting from West Chester University and a Master’s in Taxation from Villanova University. When he’s not at work helping his clients navigate complex tax matters, you can find Brian running and spending time with his two year old daughter.
Take it away, Brian!
What was your first job?
My first job was at a supermarket, where I worked from the age of 16 all the way up through sophomore year of college. During my tenure at the supermarket, I went from bagger, to cashier, to customer service, to the deli counter, and then to the dairy section. I was often doing almost all of these tasks during the week, and sometimes all in one day. This job helped me understand the importance of hard work and relating to customers.
Why did you choose a career in public accounting?
I chose a career in public accounting as I believed it would satisfy my thirst for lifelong learning and offer opportunities and variety that would challenge me, yet provide me with more overt and direct feedback. My personality is such that I welcome diversity and the ability to work on multiple projects throughout the day.
During my college career, I had a couple of internships. One was at a financial institution and it was primarily a desk job where I mostly worked with Excel files. The other was a tax internship, where I was able to experience my first tax busy season. It was after that tax internship that I knew I was definitely going to go the public accounting route, but more importantly, focus in the tax accounting arena.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I have several projects going on. I have three clients under audit from various state and local jurisdictions. There are three prospective clients I am following up with to obtain their business for the following tax year. Another of my clients is planning to exit his business, so I am assisting him with tax strategies as well as projecting out cash flow upon the sale as well as during retirement. In addition, I have several accounts for which we prepare the tax returns over the summer.
What’s your routine before work?
My typical routine is as follows:
4:30AM – Wake up
4:45-5:45AM – Go for a run
5:45 – 6:30AM – Shower, change, and eat breakfast
6:30AM/6:45AM – Take my daughter to school (daycare)
7:00AM – Drive to work and listen to a book on Audible while I sit in traffic
8:00AM – Arrive at work
Do you have any tips for how to achieve a good work/life balance?
Through the first six or so years of my career, I was heavily focused on passing the CPA exam, obtaining my master’s degree, learning as much as I could, and working on a variety of projects to keep my curiosity satisfied. My work/life balance was a somewhat lower priority on the totem pole.
Over the past five or six years, I’ve started to set more time aside for my friends and family. That can mean leaving earlier in the evening during tax season, or coming in later in the morning, or even taking a Saturday off during tax season. This has helped dramatically decrease stress and improve my relationships. The offset is that, on some days, I have to put in a little extra effort or even wake up early on a Sunday and get some work done from home. Regardless, my overall work/life balance is much more in line with what my ideals are and my only regret is that I wish I had made the sacrifices earlier to achieve my current balance.
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