From New Grad to Leader: A Profile of a Partner’s Rise to Success – Jennifer Barnes, Tax Partner

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“A desire to learn, ‘people person’ skills, and an interest in solving challenging puzzles are essential traits of a successful accountant,” shares Jennifer Barnes, Tax & Advisory Services Partner at Pease, CPAs. Jennifer is a true role model for accountants at all levels, ages, and stages of life.

Jennifer joined Pease right after college rising through the ranks to become the first female Partner on the leadership team. Today, she is an integral part of Pease’s Tax & Advisory Services department and healthcare practice group, establishing herself as one of Northeast Ohio’s leading experts on tax accounting. .

Jennifer attributes her rapid rise to a competitive nature.

“I played a lot of sports growing up, and that part of my childhood shaped who I am today,” she says. “It has translated into being very driven in my career and helped me develop a consistent desire to win for my clients.”

When asked  what she likes most about her job, Jennifer says, “I love working with people and helping them find a solution to a challenge or a problem. I also love math word problems, and that is kind of what tax accounting reminds me of. You start by gathering all the pieces, interpret the information, apply logic, and use problem-solving skills to find the right solution. That’s the way I approach client service.”

Several key attributes attracted Jennifer to Pease and continue to keep her here:

 “From the very beginning, I loved working at Pease,” she says. “I was always challenged by the work, which is what I enjoyed most. But more importantly, I would constantly ask for new clients in my areas of interest so I could continue to grow professionally. Leadership was always supportive of the things I wanted to learn. They worked with me to set up goals, and helped me as I strived to reach them.”

Pease’s professional development program includes a formal mentoring initiative. Meanwhile, a hearty tuition reimbursement program provides candidates funding for their CPA exam. The firm is family friendly as well, offering opportunities for flexible scheduling, remote work, and generous parental leave.

Jennifer credits the support she received with making her a happier, more productive employee. Not only is she able to be a great accountant and manager, she’s afforded the flexibility to be a great mom to her three busy children.

When not in the office or meeting with clients, Jennifer can be found at a softball or soccer field, cheering on her kids with husband. Through these activities, Jennifer is passing on a love of sports and her competitive nature to her children.

Jennifer isn’t shy when it comes to giving advice to young professionals, either.

“Candidates should not only be proficient at accounting fundamentals, they should have strong communications skills and a willingness to be challenged,” she says. “Pease is a great place to work. We are like family, always looking out for one another and working collaboratively to provide our clients with the best possible service. There’s a lot of mutual respect here.”

She concludes, “I can’t imagine working anyplace other than Pease. It’s more than just a job. It’s a big, supportive family.”

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