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Michelle Crosbie

Director of Tax

BPM, LLP

110 Stony Point Road, Suite 210, Santa Rosa 95401

707-524-6562

www.bpmcpa.com

Read more profiles of 2018 Women in Business winners: nbbj.news/wib18winners

Michelle Crosbie of BPM's Santa Rosa office wins a North Bay Business Journal Women in Business award.

Tell us about yourself and your company: I was born and lived in Bismarck, North Dakota until the age of 11. We spent two years in Greeley, Colorado while my mom attended graduate school before moving to Sonoma County in 1991.

Over the last 17 years of my career in public accounting I’ve worked primarily in tax compliance and consulting for a variety of industries including financial services, manufacturing and agriculture with an emphasis on wineries and vineyards.

In 2013, I joined BPM, one of the largest Bay Area based full-service accounting and consulting firms with several office including Santa Rosa and St. Helena.

BPM has the expertise of services equivalent to a national or international accounting firm and is extremely client-service- and relationship-oriented.

A few years ago the firm created WIN, Women’s Initiative Now, that focuses on creating opportunities that improve women leadership participation from its current level to a level that is more reflective of women in the workforce.

Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?

I was involved in a client project that was outside of my normal day to day activities that was both technically and emotionally challenging. The solutions caused tension and stress and required collaboration with both internal and external professionals.

Even though the project required a significant amount of time and energy, it also provided several learning opportunities. Ultimately the project was completed and I was able to develop knowledge in an area of taxation that is both complicated and obscure. It made me a stronger technician and taught me some life lessons.

What is the achievement you are most proud of?

Even though it was several years ago, I’m very proud of obtaining my CPA license. I’m also proud of staying in the profession after starting a family and have worked hard to manage life in public accounting with my family life.

What is your biggest challenge today?

My biggest challenge is allocating my time both personally and professionally. I think I do a pretty good job at balancing life, but wish I could spend more time on my hobbies.

Professionally, I think the biggest challenge is finding and retaining high performing individuals with a desire to work in the North Bay.

Words that best describe you: Reliable, kind, driven and quiet

As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?

I don’t think I’ve faced big obstacles as a female professional. I started my career in small accounting firm where two of the three partners were women which was unlike any other firm at the time. They were my role models and provided a path for my career that wasn’t challenged by my gender.

How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?

Technology has already changed the accounting profession, but it will continue to evolve and provide even more changes to the profession. The technologies are going to be smarter and more sophisticated and change where and how we work. Even in the more recent years you don’t have to be in the office to work as the capabilities of our current technologies don’t require the need.

Michelle Crosbie

Director of Tax

BPM, LLP

110 Stony Point Road, Suite 210, Santa Rosa 95401

707-524-6562

www.bpmcpa.com

Read more profiles of 2018 Women in Business winners: nbbj.news/wib18winners

The challenge with less face to face interaction could mean you will be less connected to your team, colleagues, and clients. It’s going to be more difficult to develop those relationship in an industry that is driven by relationships.

Who was your most important mentor?

One of my most important mentors is Julie Schoepp, CPA, who is currently working as a sole proprietor. She was my mentor and boss during the first eleven years of my career. She always taught me to bring the best service and highest quality to every engagement. She was fair and realistic and helped me navigate the public accounting profession after starting a family. She was also very compassionate and understanding when I decide to make a change.

What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the work world today?

I would encourage young women entering the profession to develop a network of like-minded individuals with the same goals and aspirations. Find books to read that are both though provoking and interesting, find mentors in the profession and listen carefully to their advice, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Typical day at the office: A typical day at work includes consulting or meeting with clients, working with staff on various projects, and researching technical tax topics. I never have the same day in the office.

Best place to work outside of your office: The best place for me to work outside the office is my home as I can be extremely productive with less interruptions. However, I also really enjoy going out to the client’s place of business. I feel like I always learn something new about the property or operations.

Current reading: My goal this year is to read more books and I just finished “On Fire” by John O’Leary and just started “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis.

Most want to meet: Michelle Obama

Social media you most use: Instagram

Stress relievers: Working out at Orange Theory Fitness, great coaches, classes and stress reliever.

Favorite hobbies: I love making quilts and have three in progress.