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Business Graduates

Michael Gould, CPA, CITP, CGMA

What I do now:
I am a partner at Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC which is a Top 20 CPA firm with offices throughout the South.

My work/job consists of:
I specialize in providing audit and attest services to my clients. I work with my team to perform audits, reviews, compilations, agreed-upon procedures, and consulting services.

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present):
While attending LSUS, I started bookkeeping for Don Crawley Remodeling and Kitchens and Baths by Crawley after class, while also taking night and weekend shifts at my previous convenience store job. My bookkeeping experience helped me get an entry level position at Roberts, Cherry and Company. I worked my way from staff accountant to manager with Roberts, Cherry and Company by the time they merged with Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC in 2012. I was promoted to partner in the fall of 2014.

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS):
I went to a small, private university in Texas where I made a series of bad choices that led to a withdrawal of my scholarships. Being from Shreveport, I was aware of the excellent reputation of the College of Business at LSUS. Because of my poor prior performance, I was granted admission, but immediately placed on academic probation. I appreciated that LSUS was willing to take a chance on me, so I turned my academic life around.

Fond memories of LSUS:
I vividly remember the accessibility of the professors and their willingness to help students succeed. Students were not nameless faces in a crowd, and there was a genuine desire to share knowledge and the joy of learning.

LSUS faculty who helped me:
A huge debt of gratitude goes out to my accounting professors for imparting their passion: Dr. Wampler, Dr. Smolinksi, Prof. Parker, and Prof. Wren. My Money, Banking, and Monetary policy class was the most helpful non-accounting class that helped with the CPA exam, and I remember clearly Dr. Vines telling me that a D in that class stood for Diploma. Dr. John S. Vassar helped me better appreciate the humanities.

How LSUS helped me succeed:
When I enrolled at LSUS, I had made many poor choices that had the potential to derail my future. I did a lot of growing up at LSUS in the three years I spent finishing my degree. The professors were all wonderful, and they gladly shared their knowledge any time.

Advice to college-bound students:
I have a daughter who recently graduated high school and is college-bound. I told her that academics are her job for the next four years, and to treat it as such. Future employers will be able to see the story of how seriously she took college when they review her transcript. Go to class every day, take good notes, study for tests, and do all of the no-brainer things, and success will follow.

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field:
Work hard, pay attention, listen more than you talk, and accept that the accounting profession operates on the apprenticeship model. Someone who has just received a degree has an excellent foundation on which the specific knowledge of accounting will be built over their career. Understand that you will not have all of the answers and that you will make mistakes. Take ownership of your failures and work to achieve consistent improvement.

Tips on choosing a major or career:
My only advice is trite, and has been reduced to a soundbite, but doing something that you love and enjoy is the best thing to do.

My toughest professional challenge:
I learned very early in my career that growth does not occur when we are comfortable. Working my way up to partner at CRI meant constantly being placed in situations where I felt out of my depth. When certain tasks became routine, I was forced out my comfort zone again so that I could grow and develop. Even now, every day is challenging, but it is reassuring to know that I am still growing.

My toughest personal challenge:
I have five children aged 1 - 18, and my youngest has Down syndrome. Being responsible for raising children is extremely challenging. All of my children are very different, which is exciting and interesting to see, but it also means we are constantly being dealt curveballs.

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:
My biggest success are my wonderful kids. I am so proud of all of them. My oldest just graduated Magna Cum Laude from Caddo Magnet High. I have one at Caddo Middle Magnet and two at Fairfield Elementary Magnet. My youngest has Down syndrome, and he brightens my day every time I see him. They are all unique, fantastic kids.

I've learned this from life:
"Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway." Sydney J. Harris

What I'd be doing if I had all the time in the world:
I would travel with my family. It's my plan for retirement, but by then it will only be my wife and me, and likely our son with Down syndrome.

 
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