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Josh Diamond

Josh Diamond, 31, works at a firm where his father is a name partner. Previously, he worked at the large firm BDO USA’s office in Los Angeles. As controller, he supervises the firm’s finances, handling payroll, accountable payable and similar functions. TITLE: Tax Manager & Controller FIRM: Fishman Block & Diamond, Encino SPECIALTY: Administering firm finances HOBBIES: Golf Question: Why accounting? Answer: I chose a career in accounting because I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of it. There is always something to figure out and learn and I felt that was key to picking a profession that would keep me interested. Every day I am learning new things that I can use to help better serve my clients. Your role in the firm: Provide full services to our clients, whether it is preparing returns, having in-person meetings or having conference calls. Cultivate long-term relationships with our clients. I am also the firm’s controller and prepare monthly financials, process the payroll, and handle all things administrative within the firm. What defines “star accountants”? Firms are looking for accountants who are knowledgeable but more importantly can talk to clients and make them feel important and that they are in good hands. The client needs to be able to trust the accountant which I believe leads to a long-lasting relationship. I think my biggest skill is making clients feel comfortable knowing that they are in good hands and that they can trust me knowing that I have their best interests at heart.   Working with family members: I lucked out on this one – my dad and I have become closer as a result of my coming to work for him. We got along very well before and I feel that has helped with my transition into the firm. He has given me a lot of responsibility that has allowed me to grow as a person and as a CPA, meaning being the point person for some of his major clients and enabling me to pick up business of my own. I am a completely different person than when I started about five years ago and it’s because of him. Time management: I spend a lot of time getting work done for my clients and doing special projects as they arise.   Best part of your job? I think it’s getting to meet new clients and learning about what they do. Biggest misconception about accounting? That it’s boring! I think the reason I like accounting so much is that I look at a problem like solving a puzzle, and trying to determine not only where the pieces go but how everything fits together. Your personality at work: I am a pretty easy-going person and very methodical in how I do things, which helps me stay organized and on top of things as well as making it easy for me to interact with clients and for them to enjoy being around me. New generation of accountants: With the incredible growth in technology, the current generation is expected to take on a lot more work and be knowledgeable in more diversified areas of accounting along with meeting clients’ demands for faster response times. Memorable experience? Being a part of the process of meeting with a prospective client and understanding the process of learning how to represent the firm – and most of all yourself – in the most positive light. How should the profession change? Providing business advisory services for clients that directly benefit the bottom line, versus just accounting and tax services. Favorite out-of-the-office activities? I am a huge golfer and have been playing since I was 11 years old. I look at it as a game you cannot beat but can always get better at, and it requires a lot of dedication and mental focus. I feel that what I have accomplished on the golf course has made me a better CPA and allowed me to excel in my career. Career advice: Realize that the profession is more than debits and credits. Biggest mistake by clients: Too much focus on the day-to-day operations versus setting long-term goals and positioning their company to achieve their final goal, whether a sale or succession. Life during tax season: It is considerably busier but I feel that I have achieved a great balance. I get into work early around 7:30 a.m. and work until 5:30 or 6 p.m. and go home to have dinner with my wife and put my 7-month-old son to bed. After dinner around 8 p.m. I will work for another three hours or so. I also work out two days a week minimum and feel that keeps my mind fresh and healthy during the stressful times of tax season. – Joel Russell

Joel Russel
Joel Russel
Joel Russell joined the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2006 as a reporter. He transferred to sister publication San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 2012 as managing editor. Since he assumed the position of editor in 2015, the Business Journal has been recognized four times as the best small-circulation tabloid business publication in the country by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers. Previously, he worked as senior editor at Hispanic Business magazine and editor of Business Mexico.
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