CPA Dish featuring Abby Rich

Serving up advice for those working towards a career as a CPA.

February 2024


Abby Rich, CPA 
Sr. Manager Accounting

KyCPA member 

What was your educational path and why?    

I started at the University of Kentucky unsure of the degree I wanted to pursue. After testing a couple different paths, I discovered I was really enjoying my accounting and business classes and was doing well. Through resources at UK, I learned more about becoming a CPA as well as the Masters program. The MSAcc program seemed to be the most beneficial way to complete my 150 credit hours, while gaining more accounting knowledge to prepare for the CPA exams.  I adjusted my schedule to complete my undergrad in 3.5 years so I could do an assurance internship with PwC during the spring semester. I returned to UK in the fall for the MSAcc and began taking the CPA exams in the winter. I started full time with PwC upon graduating.

What is your favorite thing about your current position? 

In my current position as the Senior Accounting Manager at Ervin Cable Construction, I enjoy learning more about our business everyday. We install fiber optic cable for high-speed internet, which is a growing industry. We work all over the country and it is interesting to learn about the various aspects of construction and our business. While I get to be a leader in accounting and financial reporting, I also get the opportunity to learn more about our specific customers and projects and be involved in some of our operations. My job is never the same day-to-day and there are always opportunities to learn more and improve our processes. 

What advice would you give someone wanting to become a CPA? 

Make a plan to use a semester to intern and learn more about the profession. I think the biggest advice I have is don't hesitate in taking the exams. Whether you are double-majoring to get your required hours, or pursuing a Masters, do your best to get started on the exams before you begin working full-time. Once you are out of school, it is easy to lose study habits and life only gets busier. 
What reasons would you provide to encourage others to become a CPA? 

There is a wide variety of career paths to choose from once you have your CPA. The knowledge you gain earning your degree and your credentials is beneficial not only in the accounting world, but also business. You have a solid foundation to pursue various career paths, which I especially see moving from public accounting to industry. Employers know the dedication it takes to become a CPA, which can only help your future.  

What attributes, skills are good to have as a CPA? 

Analytical skills are very important. You want to fully understand the background so you can apply it instead of simply doing the "routine." Communication skills are also a great asset, whether that be with your client, customer, manager, or employees. Of course, strong ethics are on the top of the list as well.