People Behind the Numbers
Bethany Wagner, CPA, CPO, HCCP – Tax Manager
Tidwell Group continues to spotlight our outstanding accounting professionals in the “People Behind the Numbers.” We are excited to introduce the Affordable Housing industry to Bethany Wagner, CPA, CPO, HCCP, located at Tidwell Group’s Columbus office. Bethany is a Tax Manager with over ten years of experience in affordable housing, including expertise in low-income housing tax credits and historic tax credits.
I’ve had the pleasure to work with Bethany and witness her growth these last 15 years,” said Todd Fentress, Columbus Office Managing Partner. “No matter what engagement Bethany is tackling, she finds the best solutions to provide quality service to our clients. Her determination to see Tidwell Group succeed is a huge asset to the firm.”
We sat down with Bethany to discuss her career development, overcoming challenges in the accounting profession, and why she chose Tidwell Group. We invite you to hear Bethany’s story and learn more about our People Behind the Numbers.
- Why did you first choose to work at Tidwell Group?
Choosing to move to the Columbus office when it opened in October 2017 was an easy decision for me. The relationships I had built with my co-workers made us more like family than co-workers, and some of them I had worked with since I started at Fentress & Barnes as an intern during the 2011 busy season.
- What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the variety of what I see and not working on the same thing every day. Sometimes the variety presents challenges and the realization that I lack experience and knowledge in some areas, but that makes it even more rewarding when a project or task is completed. I also obviously enjoy the people that I work with and there are people here that I can rely on and joke around with. I enjoy continuing to build the relationships with people who were tax seniors or managers when I was an intern who are now senior managers and partners.
- What is the toughest accountant problem you’ve tackled? How did you handle it?
It’s hard to think of a specific accountant problem I’ve tackled. Still, I would typically handle that situation by trying to do research first or trying to find another example to follow. When presented with an issue, especially one that may involve collaboration with others (managers, senior managers, or partners), I would try to offer how I would handle something first and support that versus just asking what needs to be done.
- What is one accomplishment at work that you are most proud of?
Not sure if this counts, but passing the CPA exam is my proudest work-related accomplishment. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, as I had failed all four sections multiple times before finally starting to get passing scores.
My advice to those in a similar situation would be to never give up and persevere. When you’re finally done, that victory will be sweeter because you saw it through and stuck with it.
- How has Tidwell Group helped in your career development?
Tidwell Group and the peers I’ve worked with for the last 10+ years have been instrumental in my career development.
Everyone has had an interest in my growth and development. The partner group has invested in me by allowing me time to study for the CPA exam, sending me to conferences, and providing constructive feedback. I also would like to mention how flexible and understanding Tidwell is for working mothers. I have two little girls and will have a third child this spring.
- What goals would you like to reach for the next five years at Tidwell Group?
In the next five years, I would like to continue to grow in the technical area and be more efficient at finding answers to research questions.
- What piece of advice would you give a new employee or an intern that is just starting out in their career?
Interns & Staff – I would advise you to make sure you put your best foot forward. It doesn’t necessarily matter what you understand when you are just starting out. It matters more how much you grow, develop, and improve over the length of your internship. I would also suggest building relationships with those full-time employees around you. Building a relationship with those people makes it easier to ask for and receive feedback. If you perform well and enjoy your internship experience, you’ll have someone in your corner to advocate for you.
The only thing I would add to the above advice specifically for interns is that you need to look at your internship as a three-month-long interview. If you’re looking for full-time employment after your internship (assuming there’s a position available), pretend that the other interns are your competition as if there will only be one full-time position available.
- List three fun facts about yourself:
1. I have two little girls and a little boy on the way.
2. I was on the bowling team in high school.
3. I was in girl scouts from elementary school through senior year.