Big Four & Leading Accounting and Consulting Firms – news, opinion and career opportunities for aspiring & current professionals & alumni

8 CPAs In The New House of US Reps, One of 50 Is An Accountant, 2 Big Four Alumni

8 CPAs In The New House of US Reps, One of 50 Is An Accountant, 2 Big Four Alumni

10 November 2010

(blog) Who says bean counters can’t win constituencies? Or keep their hotly-contested seats?

This mid-term election puts 8, yes a full eight Certified Public Accountants to the august US House of Representatives.

The AICPA indicates that all five CPAs won their re-election bids and three additional CPAs were added to the House. The returning CPAs were:

John Campbell of California
Michael Conaway of Texas
Lynn Jenkins of Kansas

Collin Peterson of Minnesota
Brad Sherman of California

And there are three new CPAs:

Steven Palazzo, a Mississippi Republican, defeated 11-term Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor in that state’s 4th District.

Jim Renacci, an Ohio Republican, defeated freshman Democratic Rep. John Boccieri in that state’s 16th District.

Bill Flores, a Republican, defeated veteran Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards in Texas’ 17th District.

That makes 5 Republican and 3 Democratic CPAs – a total of 8 – which sort of mirrors the general composition of the overall House. And these 8 constitute about 2% of all House members, in others words one of 50 representatives is an accountant and slogged hard to pass their CPA exams! And digging in, it appears that certainly 2 of the 8 were Big Four alumni.

The AICPA also notes that the Senate Finance Committee is expected to keep Sen. Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat as chairman. The current ranking member, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, having easily won re-election, is expected to become the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee. Importantly says the AICPA, Baucus and Grassley are champions of the accounting profession’s effort to ban tax strategy patents, and their positions on Finance and Judiciary will remain very helpful to moving that legislation forward.

Here’s some more background on these CPAs which we pulled together from the House website, Wikipedia and candidate websites. It certainly appears that two of these eight have worked for one of the Big Four firms, for the others, we are not entirely sure at this time.

John Campbell of California
Congressman Campbell holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a Masters Degree in Business Taxation from the University of Southern California. For nearly 25 years, Campbell worked in the automotive industry. He spent a majority of his career representing several automobile franchises, including Nissan, Mazda, Ford, Saturn, and Saab.

Michael Conaway of Texas
He earned a BBA degree in Accounting from Texas A & M University-Commerce in 1970. After serving in the Army at Fort Hood, Mike resumed his career with Price Waterhouse & Co. he returned to the Permian Basin with Price Waterhouse and settled in Midland where he later worked with George W. Bush as the Chief Financial Officer for Bush Exploration.

Lynn Jenkins of Kansas
Lynn graduated from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas and Weber State College in Ogden, Utah, earning a degree in Accounting with a minor in economics. Following graduation, Lynn became a Certified Public Accountant and practiced public accounting in the private sector before entering public service in 1998.
Certified Public Accountant, Public Accounting/Specialty Taxation, 1985-present
Accountant, Baird, Kurtz and Dobson
Accountant, Braunsdorf, Carlson, and Clinkinbeard
Owner, Private Accounting Services

Collin Peterson of Minnesota
Moorhead State University, Moorhead, Minnesota, 1966.
Bachelor of Arts, Double major in Business Administration and Accounting, Minor in Political Science
Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, 1968 – 1990.

Brad Sherman of California
Before joining Congress, Sherman was on staff at one of the nations’ big-four CPA firms. Sherman is a Tax Law Specialist and a CPA. While at the firm, he audited large businesses and governmental entities, provided tax law counsel on multi-million dollar transactions, advised entrepreneurs and small businesses on tax and investment issues, and helped represent the Government of the Philippines under President Aquino in a successful effort to seize assets of deposed President Marcos. Sherman was also an instructor at Harvard Law School’s International Tax Program. Sherman received his law degree from Harvard and his Bachelor’s degree from UCLA.

Steven Palazzo of Mississippi
Palazzo is a Certified Public Accountant. He attended the University of Southern Mississippi for both his MPA and Bachelor’s degree. He is also a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. His service in the military provided Palazzo with a unique understanding of the Expatriate taxation and how it affects U.S. citizens working abroad and paying taxes to the U.S. Government. Through this knowledge, Palazzo and his wife started Palazzo & Company, PLLC, in 2001 to help US citizens working abroad. Over the years and with a lot of blood, sweat and tears, Steven and Lisa have grown this small, home-based business into an international Expat CPA firm specializing in individual income taxes. His company currently serves more than 2000 clients in 25 countries.

Jim Renacci of Ohio
Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Shortly after graduation, Jim moved to Wadsworth, Ohio where he initially worked as a certified public accountant. In 1985, Jim entered the healthcare industry, forming LTC Management Services, which owned and operated nursing home facilities throughout Ohio. Renacci worked as a CPA after college. In 1985, Renacci formed LTC Management Services. LTC’s primary business was to own, operate and manage nursing facilities throughout Ohio.

Bill Flores of Texas
He graduated Cum Laude with a B.B.A. in accounting from Texas A&M University in 1976. He also went on to receive an M.B.A from Houston Baptist University in 1985.
Flores served as CFO for two publicly traded energy service firms from 1986 through 1998. From 2002 to 2006, Flores was the Senior Vice President and CFO of Gryphon Exploration Company. (blog)


Share this post:

Comments are closed.