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Karen kirchman


CPA, CGMA


Karen Kirchman, CPA, CGMA, has words of wisdom for new CPAs. In fact, she’s boiled


it down. “No two career paths are the same, so I


believe all advice and mentoring has to be customized to the individual,” said Kirchman, a shareholder and COO for Stanfield + O’Dell in Tulsa. “However, there are a few key elements that apply to all.” Kirchman says having a successful career as


a CPA depends upon the individual making constant efforts to continuously learn, cultivate leadership skills, acquire business development acumen and dedicate as much time as possible to community service. “Community service is a win/win for a


CPA,” Kirchman explained. “I strive to create opportunities to all CPAs to get involved in an organization where they are passionate about the mission and to seek a leadership role on the board or in a committee. Te nonprofit organization benefits from the education and financial knowledge of the CPA. Te CPA gets to utilize skillsets they might not use in their daily jobs. Board service allows a CPA to meet and collaborate with different individuals, develop leadership skills in new areas and build relationships in the community.” Community service is something Kirchman


knows a little about. She graduated in Class 42 from Leadership Tulsa, then served on the


Leaders ar e


ma de. The y ar e not born. The y are ma de by


hard effort , which is the price that al l of us must pay


to achieve any goa l that is wo rthwhile.


–Vince Lombar d i 12 CPAFOCUS Getting to know karen


What is one thing on your bucket list? See the Aurora Borealis


What is your ideal vacation destination? Anywhere with a pretty view


If you could have any animal as a pet, regardless of any restrictions, what would you have? A basset hound that was a puppy forever!


What bugs you? Noisy eaters in a movie theater


If you could have an endless supply of anything, what would it be? Time with my children


What scares you? Snakes


If you could speak any foreign language, what would you pick? Spanish


board for six years with positions as vice president of programs, treasurer and president. She volunteers regularly for the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and is a former Steering Committee member for the Tulsa Employee Benefits Group. Additionally, she is currently on the board of directors for the Foundation for Tulsa Schools. Ruby Trinh, CPA, a tax manager with


Stanfield + O’Dell, said Kirchman’s “talents are highly recognized” in the Tulsa community. However, Trinh says it’s Kirchman’s talents as a mentor that make her an ideal role model.


March/April 2019


“Karen has shown me how a woman can be a successful CPA,” Trinh said. “Trough hard work, dedication and undeniable intelligence, she was quickly promoted to a managing role and has been a shareholder at Stanfield + O’Dell for the last ten years.” “Karen is a dedicated teacher,” Trinh continued. “She takes passion in helping young staff and other people succeed in their careers. When I first joined Stanfield + O’Dell as an intern, despite being busy as a managing shareholder, Karen always patiently answered my basic questions. As I got more experience, Karen was still my go-to person for most of my difficult technical questions. She was also my mentor, whom I can always depend upon for support and guidance, whether in problem solving, seeking solutions to a dilemma or brainstorming ideas.” Kirchman, an Oklahoma State University graduate, said it’s important for all CPAs to communicate with each other. “We have to journey outside of our normal routine and often our comfort zone to grow,” she said. “I encourage CPAs to share what they learn with others and create a collaborative environment around them.” She continued, discussing the key elements for success, “Te exact path and the timing of development of these areas will be different for each CPA, and experienced CPAs, as mentors, must be open to mentor new CPAs along their individual paths.”


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