Working for one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, Toni Moheng, CPA, focuses primarily on closely-held businesses and individuals’ accounting needs, including wineries and vineyards.
“I try to be a good friend, have a strong faith, like to laugh or debate, and I am patriotic,” she said.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANY
BPM is one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms that provide a wide range of accounting, tax and consulting services to businesses and individuals. The firm has made a commitment to advance women in the organization and has been named in 2015 and 2016 Best CPA Firms for Women list, by the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance and American Women’s Society of CPAs.
The firm has also consistently been included in “Best Place to Work” and various community achievement awards.
My primary area of expertise is tax services and currently focused on closely held businesses, and individuals including winery and vineyard.
In 1984 I graduated from Sonoma State University (SSU) and went to work for Price Waterhouse (PWC) in San Francisco. I was the first graduate from SSU that the firm had ever hired. I am happy to say that today PWC interviews on the SSU campus. When it was time to move on, my husband and I moved back to my hometown, Petaluma, and I began working for BPM and its predecessor, Andersen & Co.
CHALLENGE AND OBSTACLES
One of the most challenging aspects of my career has been the balancing a demanding career with family, friends and health. When I started in this profession over 30 years ago, women managers did not talk about their families and some did not display pictures of their children in their offices. There were no women partners and professional women dressed like men.
Although I was never the smartest person in the room, I came to all meetings prepared, did a lot of outside technical reading, and tried to deliver an accurate, timely product. Once I earned the respect of my managers, any reasonable request I made was honored.
When my children were young I worked the school hours and throughout my career volunteered in the classroom, was Girl Scout leader and active for over 10 years, served on various Boards, coached soccer, etc. I am very fortunate that I was able to have a satisfying career, raise two children and stay committed to my community.
WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU
I am dedicated to my clients and try to provide stellar service. I am hard working and want the job to be done correctly and professionally. I take pleasure in mentoring the younger staff and enjoy my co-workers. I try to be a good friend, have a strong faith, like to laugh or debate, and I am patriotic
HOW WILL PROFESSION CHANGE IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
The profession is continuing to change. When I started my tax practice, most CPAs were generalists. Over the years as the complexity of tax law compounded, most practitioners have developed specialty areas. I see this trend continuing. Like many other businesses, the ability to work remotely will also continue to impact the profession, especially as technology advances. People want flexibility, the 8 to 5 workweek has blurred and we will see businesses trying to accommodate these trends.
WHO IS YOUR MENTOR?
One of my mentors is Tom Gaffey Sr. who is close to 90 years old. Even at his age he lusts for life. He continues learning at the local university; he meets artists, professors, musicians daily for coffee and conversation, he pursues interests as varied as fishing to the opera. He is curious about everybody and everything and will embrace an engaging exchange with his peers as well as a college student.
WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNG WOMEN ENTERING THE PROFESSION?
Push yourself to learn something every day, to challenge yourself daily and take up opportunities even when out of comfort zone. All that needs to be tempered with experiencing as much of life as possible, to nurture yourself,spend time with your friends and family, travel, read and find hobbies and passions outside of work.
TYPICAL DAY: A typical day at work includes consulting with a handful of clients regarding tax advice and strategic planning; mentoring staff and various tax department management concerns, technical reading and communicating with co-workers, business contacts, and accounting assistance for a nonprofit organization.
BEST PLACE TO WORK OUTSIDE OFFICE: The best place to work outside of my office is at my client’s place of business. It is energizing and I learn so much more about my client’s operations and needs. I try to hold meetings at their office whenever possible.
CURRENT READING: I love to read all genres and read several books every month. I am rereading the “Game of Thrones” series. I just finished “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” I try to alternate something fun with classics and nonfiction.
MOST WANT TO MEET: Right now I would like to meet Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I would like to figure this whole thing out.
SOCIAL MEDIA: I don’t use social media. I am on the computer and communicating with others all day every day and don’t have the desire to pursue another electronic method to communicate. I would rather meet my friends in person over a cup of coffee!
STRESS-RELIEVERS: Playing the piano, working out at my gym and a fine glass of wine!
FAVORITE HOBBIES: Besides reading I like to entertain friends and family at my home. I enjoy quilting and currently have about four or five quilts in progress. I just got back from three weeks in Europe and next month I will be cruising to Alaska.