Blazing a Trail for Women with Kim Forrester CPA EP: 33
Kim Forrester, CPA, didn’t start out to be a trailblazer; but as the first female partner at her accounting firm, Levine Jacobs and Company, she is a role model for women coming up the ranks in accounting.
She credits her success to fully understanding the needs of her clients---primarily doctors, dentists, and small businesses.
GRABBING OPPORTUNITY WHEN IT COMES KNOCKING
The timing of Kim’s career move to public accounting wasn’t totally planned. Listen as she describes her work at a Fortune 100 company and what motivated her to obtain her accounting degree. “Frankly,” she says, “I was downsized out of my position.” That’s what ultimately got her to move. “The company was going public and it had to reduce its headcount.” I bet many of us can relate to that.
When Kim joined her firm, she was more “seasoned” than some of the other new accountants. It’s all in your perspective, Kim offers. Where some might have seen a challenge, she found opportunity. If you’ve ever faced a similar career challenge, you’ll be encouraged by her story.
GRANDMA AS CLASSROOM MOM
While Kim was completing her degree in accounting, she was also working full time and a single mom raising her young son. Like many women, she was fortunate to have friends and family to help her along the way with childcare and other “mom” duties. Listen as she lovingly describes how her mom became classroom mom for Kim’s son.
“WE’RE SERVICE PROVIDERS”
As like many of her clients, Kim ultimately considers herself a service provider. And she is well aware of the competition out there for accountants. She admits that you need to distinguish yourself in the marketplace. In this episode she shares her philosophy on how to succeed at this.
GET OUT THERE AND NETWORK
As her firm’s first female partner, growing her client list and the firm takes time and consistency. “You have to put yourself out there on a regular basis and meet new people,” she says. At first, she admits, networking was tough. She advises young accountants to just get out there and do it: it will become easier with time and practice.
And in order to get the ball rolling when she meets a business owner: “It’s important to have an elevator pitch,” she says. And it can be something as simple as, “How satisfied are you with the service provided by your current accountant?” You need to ask questions and you need to dig deep and understand the prospect’s business needs, she continues.
How does Kim balance rainmaking and servicing clients? Listen in to learn how!
BEST CAREER ADVICE SHE EVER RECEIVED?
Especially in accounting, she says, you have to keep organized. She admits this can be a challenge when juggling a business, clients’ needs, family and growing an accounting practice. She shares her tips about how to stay on top of it all.
WORDS OF WISDOM TO YOUNGER WOMEN
Accounting is a great career for women, Kim says, and with many men retiring from the profession, opportunities abound. But will you like it? If you think you might have an interest in accounting, she advises, take a course or two in bookkeeping or basic accounting. Even if it turns out you don’t want to pursue an accounting degree, you’ll still have useful skills for whatever career you chose.
About Kim E. Forrester
Kim has over twenty-five years of experience and specializes in audit, business accounting and taxes (corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships including doctors, dentists, funeral homes and wholesale distributors). She focuses her practice by working directly with clients on the efficient organization of their accounting records in order to analyze their company’s strengths and weaknesses as well as to prepare their business filings. Kim is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA). Additionally, she is a Member of the Starlight Chapter of the Eastern Star organization. Community minded, Kim has served the First Memorial Presbyterian Church of Dover in various capacities; Chime Master, Member of The Nominating Committee, the Trustee Committee and is a Teaching Assistant for their Sunday School program.
To reach Kim: