Every CPA has a story – we all have a journey we’ve taken to get us to where we are.  This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Chi Nguyen-George.  Chi is a CPA, a working mom of 2, and a military spouse.  After spending 5 years in public accounting she switched to government accounting and currently works as a government auditor. 

During this time she created a blog, sharing how she passed the CPA exam as a working mom, titled Organized CPA.  She also provides resources for military spouse accountants. 

Here are the highlights from this interview:

  • Chi was a young mom, having her daughter right after high school

  • She originally thought she wanted to go to school to become a school teacher, but was concerned about the job market

  • She went into business with her mom, purchasing a nail salon, but realized she needed to take some business classes at the local college

  • That was when she discovered that accounting could be an option and she loved it

  • She feels like her entire journey was being an accounting mom because she was a mom the entire time she studied accounting, went for her MBA, and passed the CPA exam

  • She met her husband when she had taken a year off from school and became a military spouse

  • He encouraged her to go back to school but she knew she would need to study time management in order to make it all work

  • She wound up finishing her undergraduate degree in a year and a half after returning

  • She went into public accounting and discovered that she loved non-profit accounting

  • The firm gave her a flexible schedule so that she could go for her Master’s Degree and then sit for the CPA exam

  • Although the firm was supportive, they didn’t promote her because she was part-time

  • She was undervalued and underpaid so she decided to leave

  • A friend told her that there was “transparent pay” in government positions so she decided to switch

  • She started her blog, Organized CPA, to help other moms manage their time and pass the CPA exam

  • The day before her daughter started first grade, her daughter’s father passed away suddenly in a car accident

  • This was a pivotal moment for Chi – she realized how out of balance her life had become and she decided she needed to put her family first when scheduling her time

  • Once she shifted her mindset, she passed the remaining parts of the CPA exam much quicker and with less study time

  • She realized that her “why” for becoming a CPA has always been to help non-for-profit organizations

  • You can read Chi’s blog, Organized CPA, HERE