sPOtLiGHt: aCCOuntinG Long hours, but CPAs ‘also aware of quality-of-life issues’ By Martin C. Daks open shirt collars, having discarded their ties “But we’re also aware of quality-of-life issues.” walked through the firm’s offices, in the short WHEn I WalKEd into the headquarters of after the first or second bout of 12-hour-a-day, anyone who’s been in accounting since Hills section of Millburn. KPMG LLP on a cold February day, in the heat six-day-a-week work schedules. after all, that’s 1982, like Moragas, can remember when “qual- I asked Moragas how he burns off the ten- of tax season, I expected to see rows of accoun- how I remember my days working in a union ity of life” didn’t apply to accountants. during sion: “I work out about four mornings a week. I tants scratching their heads over complicated county cPa firm in the early 1980s. tax season, you put the time in — whatever it go to bed early and I get up about 6 o’clock so tax returns. clutching coffee and colas to keep Well, at least I got one thing right: the took — or you were out on the street. I can squeeze it all in,” he said. “twenty-eight awake, they’d have dark circles under their KPMG guys weren’t wearing ties. so I was surprised at how relaxed this guy years ago, we worked late every evening, all day eyes from a lack of sleep. “We still work long hours during some parts looked. Even during tax season he was calm, saturday and some sundays.” NJ Biz Jr. Ad.doc:Layout 1 1/19/10 I thought the guys, at least, would have of the AM said 1 10:28 year,” Pagetax partner Edward Moragas. answering my questions without rushing as we ➤➤ See Tax on page 20 Keeping ahead to stay ahead By Martin C. Daks For accountants, a successful tax sea- son means getting clients’ When it counts. returns out on time and accurately — and mini- mizing their tax liability as much as legally possible. at big firms like KPMG, the effort involves hundreds of people, but in the end it all falls on the shoulders of Kelly Watson one woman: Kelly Watson, the office managing partner for the firm’s new Jersey practice. Her name may not be on each return or auditor’s opinion, but when things go wrong, fingers are aimed at her. “My job involves keeping on top of many things,” she said. “I pace myself, and focus on our clients, our overall organization, and on regulatory and compliance issues. I can’t be an For a balanced financial expert in everything, but I keep in the loop so approach, clients depend on I’m aware of what’s going on.” Bederson & Company Part of that means leveraging KPMG’s global resources. “For example, as the u.s.
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