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Massachusetts Society of CPAs pronounces 2022 Ladies to Watch Awards


The Massachusetts Society of CPAs introduced the seven recipients of the 2022 Ladies to Watch Awards and can honor winners on Wednesday, October 25 on the MassCPAs’ Ladies’s Management Summit.

In partnership with the Affiliation of Worldwide CPAs Ladies’s Initiatives Government Committee, a panel of judges chosen seven feminine leaders based mostly on their contributions to their agency, purchasers and neighborhood, in addition to the accounting career. The awards have been separated into three classes between Rising Leaders, Skilled Leaders and an inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, which was particularly created for this yr’s honoree.

“We’re hoping to provide the career an additional push to acknowledge and rejoice ladies’s achievements, but in addition to carry them to management roles,” mentioned Amy Pitter, president and CEO of MassCPAs. “This can be a group of ladies that I deeply admire, and I am grateful that younger women eager to enter the career will now have function fashions to aspire to.”

Pitter herself joined the accounting trade in 1979, at a time the place there have been virtually no ladies pursuing an accounting diploma and becoming a member of one of many Massive 4. She mentioned that the Ladies’s Initiatives Government Committee got here from a want of ladies to advance in a male-dominated trade, and that feminine leaders joined forces in 2009 to create the collective. 20 years later, the variety of functions for the Ladies to Watch Awards is as excessive as ever, and the committee obtained greater than 35 nominations this yr.

The CEO believes it is as a result of ladies’s issues have slowly turn out to be human rights points, and that extra individuals now need to prioritize their households. Pitter says that wanting an actual work-life stability was an obstacle again within the Nineteen Eighties, and that males have been extra simply promoted as a result of they have been anticipated to work longer hours. Ladies now make up 61.7% of the accounting workforce, and the variety of ladies attaining management positions grew by 6% since 2014, particularly since sure companies allowed companions to work part-time

“The career ought to replicate {the marketplace} and its purchasers, however the career appears to be having a number of hassle selling ladies at senior ranges,” mentioned Pitter. “It has been very irritating to observe the numbers stagnate for thus a few years, however we lastly reached 25% [for women in leadership roles]and I feel it occurs due to initiatives just like the Ladies to Watch awards.”

Merrill Puopolo, CPA, CGMA, managing director, CBIZ & MHM

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Merrill Puopolo, who obtained the Life Achievement Award, went towards the chances when she turned a accomplice at 33. She watched in frustration as she noticed proficient ladies leaving for different industries, and Puopolo believes that gaps within the accounting trade are responsible. The managing director says that the 150 hours requirement is a expensive and discriminatory barrier to these wishing to turn out to be an accountant, particularly ladies. Puopolo says that many feminine professionals juggling their household, certification and work life develop disgusted with the self-discipline and depart the agency after a yr.

Now a chairperson at MassCPAs after working on the group for 15 years, Puopolo is able to retire and was nominated by members of the Ladies’s Initiatives Government Committee for her lifelong dedication to the accounting career. Certainly one of her most placing recollections of her was when she first joined the board of MassCPAs and was one of many few ladies on the desk. She bought observed that day for daring to ask a query whereas the chairman was going by means of the agenda, and that is when Puopolo knew that being daring all the time introduced outcomes.

“You needn’t come as a know-it-all, however as somebody who may give again to their group,” mentioned Puopolo. “Technically, you may get round with fundamental information, however the distinction is getting concerned, utilizing your voice, and asking a number of questions.”


Kayla Ducharme, CPA, senior affiliate, Audit Asset Administration Apply, KPMG LLP

Kayla Ducharme, 26, has been following the awards since she was pursuing an accounting diploma at Bentley College. After taking the CPA examination, Ducharme moved to KPMG the place she at the moment works as a senior affiliate in audit asset administration follow. A member of the KPMG Community of Ladies and Management Council who strengthens alliances between ladies throughout the agency, Ducharme was chosen as one of many Rising Leaders.

The audit senior affiliate is a multitasker who volunteers on the Malden Warming Heart, which supplies shelter for the homeless in wintertime, and leads a ebook membership as a co-chair, the place ladies from a number of industries or advisories come to speak. Just lately promoted, Ducharme attributes most of her success from her to her mentors and enterprise useful resource teams, which allowed her to achieve out to professionals at affiliate ranges and strategy her from her first submitting season as a supervisor. She believes {that a} true chief is somebody who can encourage their group and talk successfully whereas remaining genuine.

For Janine Danielson, who gained the Skilled Chief award, it is about giving greater than you get, striving for enchancment, assembly staff the place they’re and getting the information. However largely, it is all about individuals.

“I attribute all my success to the assist of my household, buddies, colleagues, companions and friends,” mentioned Danielson. “I’ve a beautiful group of buddies in my career from Bentley College together with my accomplice group and our Rockstar group members at LGA who’ve made an enormous distinction in my profession. To proceed to provide again to this group and our purchasers, supplies great satisfaction to me.”

Janine Danielson

Janine Danielson, CPA, Associate, Managing Director of Outsourced Administration Accounting, LGA, LLP

Danielson turned a CPA in 1989 to hitch LGA LLP, a 140-people agency in Woburn, Massachusetts. Now a managing director of outsourced administration accounting, Danielson did not know that she was a Ladies to Watch honoree till she was notified, which comes as an excellent reward after a 30-year profession. She says that she all the time gravitated round numbers and that it was an accounting professor in highschool who launched her to the career, earlier than she gained an excellent assist system at Bentley College.

Nonetheless, it is at LGA that Danielson blossomed and located individuals who helped her turn out to be a greater skilled. Her dedication to the agency additionally comes from the agency’s dedication to selling gender variety with present plans of motion, not solely phrases, and Danielson believes that is what is going to really assist ladies obtain their targets. For instance, the corporate’s ladies’s affinity group features a male member who wished to take part and assist discover options.

“It was a male-dominated career again then, however it did not discourage me,” mentioned Danielson. “We simply wanted ladies to imagine in themselves and for all to assist and imagine in them. If men and women work collectively to strengthen the variety of our career, we will proceed this dialog to make nice strides in strengthening the way forward for our career. “


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