The Kentucky CPA Journal

KyCPA member spotlights

Issue 1
February 12, 2020


Say hello to Emily Donovan, CPA, a staff accountant at Atria Senior Living since January of 2018. Donovan became a CPA in July 2019. She spent the first two-thirds of her life in Maryland but has lived in Louisville for the past seven years. Donovan graduated from the University of Louisville in 2018 with her accounting degree, along with a music minor. When she is not working, she enjoys playing the violin, being involved with her church, and reading.

What influenced your decision to become a CPA?

I have always enjoyed organizing, figuring out problems and doing projects of any kind. My dad is also a controller for a nonprofit. I started working with him my senior year of high school and decided that I liked both the orderliness and complexity of accounting. I went into college knowing that I wanted to be a CPA - I pursued my CPA as a way to give me credibility in the professional world and to help me stay informed about current accounting issues. I'm grateful that multiple professors (not to mention my dad!) encouraged me to get my CPA license as soon as I could before life got in the way.

What's the best aspect of your job?

The variety of things I get to do. In the course of a day, I could be preparing a lease schedule in compliance with the new leasing standards, training interns, figuring out how to account for property damage claims or calling a utility company to investigate why bills are unusually high. People sometimes think of accounting as stagnant, but there's always something new to figure out.

Being a CPA, what opportunities did this career path open for you?

Being a CPA has given me the opportunity to always be learning and to share my knowledge with others. As a CPA in industry, I'm able to stay updated on current issues that affect my company through KyCPA and AICPA publications. The CPA license connects me with a whole community of people that I can learn from, whether through formal CPE or informal networking. Being a CPA also encourages me to share what I know with others. I have been able to share my journey of becoming a CPA with several career development classes at U of L and will be doing this again in a few weeks.

How has the KyCPA committee that you have served on influenced the profession?

I recently joined the Accounting Career Opportunities (ACO) committee. The committee seeks to increase college student involvement in KyCPA and encourages students to obtain the CPA designation.

How has being a KyCPA committee member helped you make a difference?

The ACO committee is in the process of planning the College to Accounting Professional University (CAP U) summer program for college students. This program is meant to help provide students with the skills they'll need as future CPAs. I am looking forward to seeing how students become better equipped for their professional careers through the program this summer.

How has your committee involvement improved your networking contacts?

I recently attended a committee meeting in person where I was able to meet some other CPAs who I had not previously met. As a new CPA, having people around me who are farther along in their careers is motivating and encouraging to me.

Any advice to students working towards becoming a CPA or new CPAs?

For students working towards the CPA, it's worth it to pay attention in your accounting classes and really understand the concepts. You don't need to know every detail, but it saves time later on if you already feel comfortable with some of the trickier exam topics. Also, make a schedule for your studying and find what works for your learning style. I skipped some things in my review course, but also added in extra study methods that had helped me in the past.

Click here to read the next member spotlight, Scott Grant.