Accounting gives TWU alum forum for growing next-gen workers

headshot of Tim Pike

Sept. 28, 2023 – DENTON – Tim Pike enjoys his job. So much so that he frequently travels around Texas talking about what he does as a managing partner of a Dallas-based firm. He talks about the variety of work in his profession. Some might help uncover fraud or support the FBI in an investigation. Their work may bring order to chaos.  

Pike is an accountant at Howard, LLP. If that is surprising, that is partly why Pike wants to talk about his profession. The Texas Woman’s College of Business alumnus wants people to know that certified public accountants do much more than balance books or prepare tax returns. 

As chair of the board of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, Pike views himself as a cheerleader of sorts for his profession. When he is not advocating for his field, he is traveling to Washington, D.C., to talk to legislators about the financial effects of bills. 

The Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TXCPA) is the largest, most influential association of accounting and finance professionals in Texas, dedicated to supporting one another, and promoting and protecting the value of the CPA designation.

Pike sees his involvement with TXCPA as a moral obligation. 

“The profession has given me a lot — it’s not fair to not return the favor,” Pike said. “I enjoy what I do every day. It presents the challenge I want.” 

man in black suit with red tie stands on stage in front of black and white backdrop

The challenge was what drew Pike to accounting at TWU as an undergraduate. As someone who was already investing in the stock market as a teenager, the financial aspect of the field interested him. He flourished in the close-knit accounting department.

“That closeness created the ability for me to develop,” Pike said. “I could have conversations with my professors rather than showing up to a lecture and hoping I could absorb. I felt like I grew better in TWU’s environment.”

As Pike moved up the ladder professionally, he joined TXCPA as a way to give back. He signed up for a committee called Partners in Education, where he would go into high schools and colleges and speak about what it was like to be a CPA. That led to another committee, which led to another committee, and soon he was rewarded with more opportunities.

“Over time, I realized I was developing myself, and I was learning more about the community around me,”  Pike said. “A lot of people developed me, including people in the association. So I progressively got more and more involved.”

In 2019, he was elected chair of the TXCPA Dallas chapter and was named Dallas’ CPA of the Year in 2020. Then some of the TXCPA leaders asked him to be involved at the state level. After being nominated, he went through an interview process and was elected as chair of the board of the 28,000-member statewide group.

“To be the chair of the board, it is a big obligation but it’s a big honor as well,” Pike said. “My largest goal is to deepen the pipeline and to create a collaborative leadership environment. We have a very significant pipeline issue with the CPA profession. Enrollment is down in colleges the last five years or so and the numbers of accounting students sitting for the CPA exam is going down. We need to meet the demand.”

Pike’s pitch to young people is that as a CPA you can take control of your career and step in on Day One and be a leader. 

“You are walking into organizations with a specialized knowledge that no one else has or wants. We have to translate information into something that someone can consume and use to make decisions on.”

When Pike meets with interns at his firm to present them with an offer, some of them TWU graduates, he reminds them that many people helped them during their internship. And that they, in turn, need to help the next class of interns. By growing people, he believes he is growing the business. 

“Our goal is to develop people the best we can,” Pike said.

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Page last updated 10:37 AM, May 31, 2024