Path to Partner: 8 Questions with Patrick Carvey

patrick

Meet our newest Audit Partner, Patrick Carvey! Patrick was promoted to his new role this January and we are delighted to have his leadership. Patrick joined Holtzman in April 2012 and has over 10 years of public accounting experience. He specializes in financial statement audits and employee benefit plan audits. In this new role, Patrick is focused on strengthening Holtzman’s position in the employee benefit plan (EBP) audit market and is using his experience serving companies in the technology and healthcare industries to lead financial statement audit engagements. We recently caught up with Patrick to chat about his experience working in public accounting and the journey that has led him to become a Partner here at Holtzman. Here is what he had to say.

What are you most eager to tackle in your new leadership role?

As our firm has grown, we have kept a focus on the entrepreneurial spirit the founding partners established. We continue to grow and, as a result, continue to face new challenges and opportunities in how we serve our clients and support our team. I am excited to continue building our firm’s one-of-a-kind culture and working to ensure we are adaptable and prepared to embrace new challenges.

How has being a part of Holtzman shaped you into the leader you are today?

From day one at Holtzman, I have found the firm to be laser-focused on supporting the growth of our clients and our team. The successes I have found here are directly attributable to how our team serves our clients and supports one another by remaining adaptable and living out our collaborative approach to teamwork.

What has been your favorite project/client engagement at Holtzman so far? 

It would be hard to pick out a favorite project, but one of the things I’ve enjoyed is how the accounting needs of our clients change and we continue to find new ways to support their circumstances. Whether it has been helping navigate the complexities of new accounting guidance or the intricacies of complex financing arrangements, I’ve enjoyed bringing a collaborative approach to our clients and advancing my skill set to meet these challenges.

What has been the most challenging part of your career?

Immediately prior to joining Holtzman Partners, I worked as an auditor of rural Texas hospitals. While the industry and work were challenging and interesting, the job required me to travel alone across the state to visit the client facilities. Additionally, since I grew up just outside of Boston, I found myself well out of place in a number of the remote Texas towns I visited. While I was grateful for the opportunity to grow my skills, the combination of the time away from my family plus the lack of camaraderie with coworkers made it very challenging to enjoy the work aspect of my work/life balance. On a related note, while auditors are historically required to work from less-than-ideal accommodations at client sites, I am not sure anything will top the week I spend working from a hospital room in an active patient wing.

Amid these challenges, what has been your biggest motivator?

In general, I have approached work for the opportunities to learn and grow. While I could say my biggest motivator was my own intrinsic motivation to do a good job, the truth is that my wife Candis played a big part in motivating me and keeping me focused on doing great work. She continues to be my greatest encourager and helped me to remember that the challenges faced as a result of my job auditing rural Texas hospitals were temporary. She reminded me that doing my best during the short-term challenges will lead us to greater success in the long-term.

What qualities do you feel make you a successful accountant?

In general, I have a very curious mind and, as a result, have found that my hobby is collecting hobbies. Whether attempting to learn a musical instrument, fix the broken HVAC system at my house, or working on advanced Rubik-cube puzzles, I like to experiment with different ideas and relax by learning something new. When I can approach a task without being afraid of making mistakes it helps me learn to challenge my assumptions and how to find and propose quicker or less expensive means of completing projects. This certainly has been advantageous for me in both my personal and professional life.

What inspired you to choose this career path?

Growing up, I had posters on my wall of William Peat and James Marwick, and I dreamed about the day when I could be an accounting pioneer like them. Ok, that did not happen, but math was always one of my strongest subjects and at Baylor University I determined the most practical application of that strength would be in finance or accounting. When I left an accounting exam wishing there were more fun questions to solve while others were limping out of the room, I realized accounting was my calling.

What is your best advice for young accountants today?

One piece of advice that has been helpful for me is not to focus too much on having a linear or planned career progression. In my case, my previous audit and benefit plan experiences were a perfect fit for the clients and projects I serve as an audit partner. However, while it could appear that my career progression was organized and planned, in fact, my successes at Holtzman and prior companies have been a series of moments where opportunity met preparation rather than a pre-planned linear progression. Keeping my focus on doing my best and taking advantage of opportunities for growth when they arise has been more important for my well-being and career than attempting to force a linear job progression.

 

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