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In Our Own Words

Who better to tell you more about Hertzbach than some of our current professionals?

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David Sack, CPA

Staff 2

Dave is building on the skills he learned as an intern as he transitions to the responsibilities of a Staff 2.

How did your career in public accounting start?

I started as an intern with Hertzbach in Winter 2011, while I was completing my 150 credit hours at Towson University. I started full-time after I graduated in May 2011.

Did your internship experience help you with your coursework?

Since I was taking non-accounting courses at Towson during my internship, I did not get a chance to apply what I learned at Hertzbach to my studies. It always made me think that if I were a few years younger, I would have flown through my intermediate classes with what I learned here. School teaches you how to depreciate an asset or complete a percentage of completion problem, but my internship taught me the big picture and took all my school knowledge and helped me apply it.

Was it a difficult transition from intern to staff?

The transition was seamless because the work I received as an intern was comparable to the work that is given to full-time staff when they first start.

Describe some of your responsibilities as a Staff 2?

I am responsible for creating workpapers and journal entries to be used for our attestation engagements and our tax returns. I also prepare financial statements and complete tax returns. As a Staff 2, I have increased my direct communication with our clients and am calling and emailing them on a regular basis.

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Nikkia Fitch

Senior Associate

While working hard to gain knowledge in the affordable housing and non-profit industries and studying hard to pass the CPA Exam, Nikkia still finds time to maintain a great work/life balance.

How did your career in public accounting start?

I started at Hertzbach in the fall of 2008 as a full-time staff accountant.

What type of clients have you gotten to work with?

I work mostly with clients in the affordable housing and non-profit industries, two of our major industry focus groups. I have also worked with clients who are owners of local small businesses as well as some others in the construction and health care industries.

What type of training have you received at Hertzbach?

When I started with Hertzbach, I went through two weeks of formal training, which is standard for all new hires. I continue to regularly attend many different seminars and training classes, which are held at our office and offsite. A variety of topics are covered such as tax and assurance updates, professional development and topics specific to the affordable housing and non-profit industries.

What about work/life balance and benefits tailored to young professionals?

Hertzbach has many different programs in place to help professionals meet their needs and achieve a good work/life balance. During my time here, I have been able to use the tuition reimbursement program to work towards a graduate degree and the CPA study program so that I can study for the CPA exam. We also have half-days on Fridays during the summer and a very generous amount of vacation time, which helps me to catch up on my home life after busy season.

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Linda Moravec, CPA

Supervisor

After working at the firm for a few years, Linda found her niche in the tax department where she has the opportunity to make a difference for her clients and serve as a resource for other Hertzbach staff.

How did your career in public accounting start?

I started as an intern with Hertzbach in Fall 2001, my junior year at Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University). I started full-time after I graduated in May 2003.

How did you transition into the tax department?

When I started at Hertzbach, I was working with our real estate team doing audits of low-income housing projects. In addition to the audits, I was helping to prepare the tax returns for those entities and also prepared numerous individual tax returns. Over time I found that I really enjoyed the tax work and I was given the opportunity to work more closely with the tax department. Eventually, I was asked to join the department full-time.

Why do you enjoy working in the tax department?

Whether it is during the tax planning process or while reviewing a tax return, I have the opportunity to save my clients real dollars. The tax law is very complex and I enjoy researching various issues to solve my clients’ tax problems.

What opportunities have you been given at Hertzbach that you didn’t expect going into public accounting?

I’ve had many opportunities to train our interns and new hires on our tax software and basic tax principles. In addition, I’ve prepared and taught many continuing professional education (CPE) seminars at Hertzbach on various tax topics and updates.

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Michael Stankus, CPA

Principal

Taking a nontraditional path to a successful career in public accounting, Mike has the opportunity to interact directly with business owners and utilizes his specialized knowledge to help clients solve complex accounting and tax problems.

How did your career in public accounting start?

I was an economics major at Johns Hopkins University interested in obtaining my CPA. One of my business professors had a long-standing relationship with Hertzbach and suggested I meet with a few of the partners. Even though I didn’t have an undergraduate accounting degree, they were willing to hire me as an intern for the spring semester of my senior year.

What attracted you to accounting as a profession?

I wanted the opportunity to work directly with business owners and learn about many different industries. In addition, I was intrigued by the ability to build a career, not just a job. Being a licensed CPA allows me to provide professional services to my clients as well as eventually become a partner in the firm.

Why Hertzbach?

As an intern, Hertzbach made it clear that I would be able to progress and take on increased responsibility as quickly as I learned. Even though it took me longer to fulfill the requirements to sit for the CPA Exam, the firm trusted my abilities and I was able to quickly advance in my career path. I was given the opportunity to work on a wide variety of nontraditional engagements and consulting projects that allowed me to utilize my academic background.

What is Hertzbach doing to continue your career development?

Hertzbach’s Leadership Development Program is a great opportunity for me to learn from experienced partners and other business professionals. The program provides guidance on strengthening leadership skills, business development, networking and a variety of other topics. The Leadership Development Program teams me up with a partner in the firm to serve as a mentor who will help me develop into a future leader at Hertzbach.

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Daniel Wahlberg, CPA

Partner

After spending a few years at a “Big Four” Firm, Dan joined Hertzbach, where he found new opportunities to challenge himself. As a Partner, he feels fulfilled knowing that he helped the firm grow throughout the years.

How did you your career in public accounting start?
After my graduation from Rutgers University in 1996, I began working as an auditor for what was then known as Price Waterhouse in New York City. After about two years I transferred to an office of PWC in the Baltimore area to be closer to family.

Why did you leave the "Big 4"?

I was looking for opportunities in which I could have a significant impact with closely held businesses. I also wanted to get more experience with tax engagements and become a more well-rounded practitioner. Hertzbach offered me these opportunities while becoming a part of a vibrant, growing regional firm with an excellent reputation.

How did you know you made the right choice in coming to Hertzbach?

From the very beginning, my opinion was valued and I was provided many opportunities in various complex assurance, consulting and planning engagements. I also was (and still am) actively involved with various internal firm initiatives. Knowing that I played a part in helping grow our firm has been very fulfilling.

Where do you see the firm in five years?

Our firm should continue to expand and be a leader in the region. We have grown almost entirely organically with the exception of one merger in 2010. I would expect us to continue to grow organically with the strong possibility of future mergers in strategic geographical regions and industry focus areas.

We are always looking at how well we support our clients and will continue to focus on excellent service, and expanding industry focused consulting. With the ever changing technological and complex regulatory world, more is expected of us everyday. We need to continue to find and develop not just auditors, tax preparers or consultants, but more importantly, business advisors and leaders who understand and enjoy the ever changing business environment.