Consultant Spotlight: Chris Eckert, CPA
So, is it Chris or Christopher? “Depends if I’m in trouble or not.”
Whatever you call him, Chris Eckert has been a valuable part of the CCN team for two years now, and it’s high time for a consultant spotlight shoutout!
After serving in the Air Force for three years, Chris Eckert began his accounting career as an external auditor. For over a decade, he worked in client services for big names like Deloitte and KPMG.
How did he make the transition to consulting?
“There comes a point with public accounting: you either become a lifer and go all the way through and become a manager, or you branch off and do something different,” Chris explains.
For him, it was time for something different: “I got tired of spending a lot of time doing administrative things that weren’t adding a lot of value for our clients.”
Now as a consultant, Chris enjoys being on the same team as the client instead of serving as an external auditor. He’s always had the mentality of a “trusted advisor,” and consulting was the next logical step.
On the job, Chris relies on his interpersonal skills and technical knowledge built on years of public accounting.
“I’ve worked with so many different individuals. You have to know when to adjust and how to fit their work style… and then it all comes back to accounting. To be a good accountant, you must understand the business and operations: how do I account for that? How do I report it?”
Outside of work, “family is at the forefront.” Working from home, Chris feels like he can be present with his wife and three sons, ages 17, 13, and 11.
Chris loves to play golf, and though he makes no promises about his game, he says that “the best half of it is just being out there in the elements, often with my sons or my dad.”
Chris has also been teaching accounting part-time at local Austin colleges for about five years. He enjoys using his hands-on experience to, as he calls it, “develop the next generation of accounting nerds.”
“I get a lot of positive feedback from students, and I’ve had a couple say they want to do accounting as a career. So that’s pretty cool. It only just takes one to make you feel fulfilled.”
Work-life balance for Chris is all about flexibility and control over his schedule and the kinds of work he does… “to be able to make a difference and get things done.”
At CCN, Chris appreciates having a say in the kinds of projects he’s working on – and he enjoys variety! He’s been able to focus on both technical and operations work. He’s seen complex challenges like acquisitions and unique opportunities to work alongside small businesses.
“If you want to make a difference and feel like you’re making an impact, client services is where it’s at.”
“Andy truly puts the consultants first. It makes you want to work harder. Other consulting firm experiences have really focused on meeting goals and targets, but because you feel like you have a lot of value at CCN, you really want to do well.”
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