With tax season coming up, the VSCPA is touching base with its tax practitioners to determine what makes them tick and what they’d like to see change in the tax field. Our latest spotlight is Tony Kingry, CPA, senior tax accountant at PBMares in Richmond.
VSCPA: What made you decide to specialize in tax?
Tony Kingry: It pretty much picked me. I earned my accounting degree during the recession and was fortunate enough to land a position as a U.S. Internal Revenue Service Agent in 2010 and worked there until I entered public accounting in 2016. My prior experience in financial sales management coupled with my experience at the IRS has made it a great fit for my skill set.
VSCPA: How much did you know about busy season when you made that decision?
TK: I had a bit of an insider’s view as my second cousin is a retired CPA and owned a firm in Richmond while I was back at Virginia Commonwealth University completing my accounting certificate. I worked there part time during a busy season before entering the accounting profession.
VSCPA: What’s been the biggest change in tax since you started your career?
TK: I think employers have become more flexible and allow their employees to participate in things like work from home programs outside of busy season. I also feel hours have decreased during busy season as I remember hearing stories of 70–80 hour work weeks during tax season. We have long hours, but over 60 seems to be outside the norm these days.
VSCPA: What are your top three ways to stay sane during busy season?
TK: I try to stay active and healthy during busy season to keep stress levels at bay. I watch my diet and try to avoid the “goodies” around the office and fast-food stops on the way home. I participate in activities like cycling, running, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu year round and try to maintain that during busy season. I am married and have a 4-year-old daughter, so we also try to do something fun every Saturday after work, and I spend Sunday with them.
VSCPA: What’s your favorite part about being a tax professional?
TK: I really enjoy learning new things and helping people. If you think about it, we can add more value to an individual or business in tax savings in a lot of situations than investment advisors can, and if you can advise your client to invest those tax savings, you can really add value. I also like to solve problems for people as a trusted advisor, and I’m big on business development and belong to a couple of business networking groups in the Richmond area.
VSCPA: If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
TK: I would love it if there was a way to even out the work over the year a bit as opposed to having 90 percent of the work during 4 months of the year. I do enjoy the flexibility outside of busy season, though, as it affords us the ability to expand our skills to better serve clients. I also try to focus on business development and forming new relationships with referral partners outside of busy season.