Keeping ahead to stay ahead by ProQuest


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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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