Title: Partner Company: Rose Snyder & Jacobs City: Encino Specializations: High net-worth families; closely-held businesses. At Rose Snyder & Jacobs, Julie Choi, who enjoys working alongside fellow female partners Shana Merrill and Rebecca Snyder, has worked in accounting for more than two decades. Question: Why accounting? Answer: My interest in accounting started as early as 9 years old when I began paying bills and maintaining a balanced checkbook for my parents for the house and for their business. My role in the family business evolved in high school as I became more involved. My interest grew stronger in college as I discovered the important role an accountant has on a business’s success and growth. The rest is history with more than 20 years in the profession. It was one of the best decisions of my life. Favorite part of the job: My passion lies in helping others succeed. I enjoy coming to the office ready to help, whether it be for my clients as their trusted advisor or for my team – not just as a partner, but as someone who cares. How does your personality make you good at accounting? Many colleagues have referred to me as “mom,” as I tend to nurture those around me. I care for the needs and well-being of my clients, team and the firm. How has your gender affected your career? Although the accounting profession has been a predominantly male-led industry, I have been blessed to not experience gender bias in my career at Rose Snyder & Jacobs. The firm takes pride in basing partnership on merit and having strong female partners throughout its history. By the way, one of the founding partners was a woman (Mary Snyder). Any changes in the workplace in the #MeToo era? It has not affected our practice. Our firm has always taken equality as well as providing a safe workplace for everyone seriously. Impact of tax reform: We have attended numerous seminars since December and have had in-depth discussions with the management team to best advise our clients. The true impact of the act is still to be analyzed as we wait for additional guidance from the IRS. Biggest challenge for clients: Increasing costs, from cost of goods to cost of labor, combined with constant changes from the political environment is a challenge for many businesses today. Planning around these issues is a collaborative effort with the client as well as working with other trusted advisors. How is the accounting industry changing? Technology helped streamline our processes, automate data entry and perform engagements with less paper. In the next five years, the industry will be impacted dramatically by blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. Furthermore, technology makes it easier for an accounting team to work remotely without having to sacrifice collaboration. Our office has seen a sharp increase in those who work remotely, from working evening hours during busy season or a couple of days from home to avoid traffic to full-time from out of state. We will continue to see technology play a big role in the accounting industry as accounting professionals are no longer just number crunchers of the past but have become trusted advisors. Changes you would like to see: Technology is and will continue to be a key component in the accounting industry. It poses challenges as well as opportunities. The older generation of accountants needs to embrace the change and seek opportunities that technologies can bring. Advice to executives looking for an accounting firm: We have a saying here in the office: “It is not about what we do, it is about what you get.” For a client, good accounting is receiving critical information in a timely manner so they can make wise business decisions. They would want to work with a firm that truly cares about their fiscal well-being and treats their business like their own. Ultimately, they should hire a firm that will want to get it right for their business and not just right in the accounting rules. Advice to people considering a career in accounting: A career in accounting opens doors to every kind of business. It is a service and people business that is rewarding and stable. Be eager to learn not only about accounting but the business world. The industry is changing but what will never change is that what we do affects people’s lives. It helps them resolve issues and feel secure. If a candidate wants to do that, then accounting is a good choice.