People Behind the Numbers
Sean Hutton, CPA – Senior Audit Manager
We are continuing to introduce the People Behind the Numbers in a new initiative to spotlight our outstanding accounting professionals at Tidwell Group. We believe that our talented team makes our firm a great place to work and has helped us continue to provide superior service to our clients.
We want to introduce you to Sean Hutton, CPA, a Senior Audit Manager located in our Columbus office. He has been with the firm for more than three years now and has worked his way up from Manager to Senior Audit Manager.
“Sean is a hard-working professional who has continued to excel and improve on his organizational and technical skills,” says Todd Fentress, Columbus Office Managing Partner. “Sean does a great job of keeping both his clients and coworkers informed of where an engagement stands at all times. Our firm is fortunate to have him as part of our team!”
We invite you to hear Sean’s story and what has helped shape his career development at Tidwell Group.
- Why did you first choose to work at Tidwell Group?
Opportunity! With all the firm’s growth in the recent past, there is just so much opportunity for individual growth. I was excited to come on and be a part of that.
- What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?
It probably sounds a little nerdy, but I enjoy that a lot of what we do is kind of like a puzzle. Sometimes it’s the puzzle of trying to piece together the information the client provides. Sometimes it’s the puzzle of trying to schedule our staff on jobs that help us both be efficient and help the staff get the experience to help them grow. So I find it fun to see how all those puzzles come together.
- What is the toughest accountant problem you’ve tackled? How did you handle it? I would say being involved in a consolidated audit for one of the firm’s larger clients. The company was a really large entity that owned various entities with multiple layers of ownership, so it was a lot to sort through. That and not having a large amount of experience handling that type of engagement caused it to really be a challenge. But luckily, we have a lot of brilliant people at our firm that I was able to talk with and bounce ideas off of them to make sure that things were handled in the way they should be.
- What is one accomplishment at work that you are most proud of?
One accomplishment that I’m most proud of is being involved with the group that helped with the revisions of the Rural Development (RD) Handbook that governs the reporting requirements of properties in the RD 515 world. My previous employer and a couple of other firms were approached by RD about 7 years ago to help in the process of changing that handbook, and I was selected to be part of that group. I think it was cool to be part of that process from the beginning all the way to when it finally was implemented in the past couple of years.
- How has Tidwell Group helped in your career development?
Even though it sounds like I’m repeating myself, I think that the opportunities presented by Tidwell Group have helped. Being part of a larger group that services the affordable housing industry has allowed me to interact and connect with other like-minded individuals either at industry conferences or connecting with individuals at our other offices. Having those resources and opportunities really helped me gain some great knowledge and connections that wouldn’t have been as easily obtained when working with a smaller group.
- What goals would you like to reach for the next five years at Tidwell Group?
I think that most people who see a long-term career in public accounting, they probably are striving to become a partner. I would say that I’m no different. In the next five years, I would like to continue to really deepen my knowledge and skills and use that to become a partner at Tidwell Group.
- What piece of advice would you give a new employee or an intern just starting?
I would tell a new staff or intern to learn as much as you can as early as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because that is a great way to learn. Learning doesn’t stop there. Once you pass the CPA exam, take some of that time you were previously using to study for the exam to learn a little more about the industry. That knowledge will help you become a resource for clients, co-workers, and peers as your career progresses.
- List three fun facts about yourself:
- I grew up on a family farm where it was all hands on deck, so that experience helped me develop basic knowledge on a wide variety of things that I still use today. For example, when my wife and I remodeled almost our entire house without outside contractors’ help.
- I love movies and often quote them in everyday conversations. I quote them so much that it isn’t uncommon for family and friends to ask, “What movie is that from?” even if it is an original thought.
- Sports played a big role in my life, growing up as I often jumped from one sports season to another. One thing I find cool is that I was a high school teammate of somebody who went on to earn a Super Bowl ring as a member of the 2011 Green Bay Packers.