CPA Dish featuring Lauren Smart

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

September 2023

Lauren Smart

Lauren Smart, CPA 
Assurance Specialist

KyCPA member 

Why did you decide to become a CPA? If there was a defining moment, tell us about it.

I always knew I wanted to go into accounting. I decided on becoming a CPA when I realized the certification would allow me a great deal of professional freedom if I ever wanted to change jobs. That freedom proved itself as I just recently had an incredibly easy transition from governmental to public accounting.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

Working at a large firm, I have the opportunity to pick what industries I want to specialize in. After gaining experience in a variety of fields, the coal, construction, and higher education industries have become my main areas of concentration. Having the flexibility to select fields that match my interests brings entertainment into my daily routine.

What are your long-term goals related to you career?

I hope to progress upwards into a leadership role where I have the most potential to make a positive impact on both my co-workers and my clients. I also have a passion for smaller non-profit groups, and I see my future including a board member or service-led position where I can leave an impactful footprint on my community.

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

Don’t be deterred by its difficulty. You are capable. You know you best. Trust your study methods, trust your timing, trust your ability. Believe in yourself!

Set serious yet obtainable goals and have the self-discipline to meet them.
Throughout the exam and your career, utilize your support system. Being a CPA will be consuming at times. Lean on those around you that understand and support the road to your success.

What was your educational path like?

I attended Georgetown College where I received dual bachelor degrees in Accounting and Sociology. I was accepted into Oxford University my junior year at Georgetown where I completed my sociology degree at Oxford in the fall of 2019. I graduated in 2020 with more than the 150-hour requirement, so I started studying automatically for the exams.

What are some of your personal hobbies?

Tennis, sand volleyball, cooking, reading, kickboxing

What’s a fun fact about you that would be fun to share?

While in college, I competed and won the first ever national championship for forensic accounting at the 2019 Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas. On my way home, airport security flagged my suitcase and TSA tried to confiscate my trophy because of its shape and size.

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