Business Manager, CPA

Firm Partner’s Career Veers Off the Beaten Path

Greg Getzinger, CPA has taken an atypical career path landing him in a business management role, one which isn’t always considered as an option by most CPAs. We talked more to Getzinger to learn more about his corner of the industry and being a YEP partner.

What is unique about your career path?
The most unique part of my career path in business management is where I started. I began my career working for a large regional firm in Cleveland, Ohio. Only because of the economic downturn in 2008-09 did I move to Los Angeles to sleep on my buddy’s couch and chase the dream of sunshine. I did not know what business management was when I began searching for an accounting job. My first LA girlfriend’s dad happened to be best friends with a family lawyer who was best friends with the name partner at the largest business management firm in LA. And so it began.

Can you discuss business management as it relates to CPAs?
Folks hire business managers to perform independent review of the other professionals involved in their lives. It is our job to “guard the gates.” This makes the fiduciary responsibilities of a CPA the perfect match for this job. It’s the CPA’s responsibility to keep good books and records to communicate in an effective and efficient manner with all types of outside council, i.e., financial advisers, estate attorneys, etc. I never hear or see from some of my clients, but I’ll talk to their “team” all of the time.

What are the secrets to your success?
Getting up early is my secret to success. There’s too much to do each day without any surprises. And there’s always surprises, so you need to get ahead of each day. 

How did you become a partner?
I became a partner with a lot of hard work and finding an existing partner that believed in me. I’m what you would call a “working” partner, so I’ve adopted a book of business from an existing partner and have taken to the book like it were my own child. 

What are the challenges of a younger partner?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced as a young partner is developing my own network. I love most of the professionals I work with but many of them share passions with my partner, not me. I like finding new people to work with who have similar passions and vision, but building a network stronger than my partners, who has been in this business for 25-plus years in LA, will be a long work in process.

What advice would you give young, emerging professional CalCPA members?
Don’t keep your career path, salary expectations and work-life balance goals to yourself. Share these goals with your manager and hold them accountable to helping you achieve all you want out of your career.