MP and CEO, Briggs & Veselka Co.
Years in Business: 47
Main Office: Houston
Staff Size: 350+
FY19 Net Revenue: $50.9 million
What is the single biggest challenge facing your firm right now? The biggest challenge we currently face is continuing to navigate through the pandemic while executing on our long-term strategic goals. This requires us to rethink and anticipate what our new normal will look like going forward. With the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, it is vital for us to remain agile and flexible to continue delivering excellent service to our valued clients.
Where do you expect to be focusing most of your attention in the next two to three years? We’ll be focused on several areas, including change management to help position the firm to meet the challenges of tomorrow, continuing to work on building our pipeline of professionals and leaders in the firm, building upon our momentum in growing our advisory and industry niche services, and expanding our presence in other major Texas cities.
For decades, the profession has encouraged a move toward partners delivering advisory services beyond compliance. What has been your biggest success in this endeavor? The firm has always done a good job over the years of expanding beyond our core of audit and tax offerings by investing in the development of new niche services, specifically in the advisory space. In fact, our growth in 2020 was largely driven by the growth of our consulting practices, such as risk advisory, forensic/valuation/litigation support, transaction advisory services, and client accounting services.
What’s the best advice you have ever received from another leader? Face the brutal facts but keep the faith that you will prevail in the end. This advice was especially helpful in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges we’ve encountered (including the latest winter storm that crippled the state of Texas). It is basically the idea of recognizing and facing the issues and challenges we face head on, while believing that we can get through them and come out stronger on the other side.
What one piece of advice do you wish someone told you before you stepped into your current leadership role? Learn to embrace uncertainty because you will face it every day!
What has been the biggest surprise in your role as MP? The biggest surprise is how fulfilling it has been. I feel like I have the chance to make a difference in someone’s life every day – whether an associate, a client of the firm, or a member of the community at large.
How has your role as MP changed over the past five years? I’m approaching my third anniversary as MP/CEO. When I first took over, the firm was considering its options on how to adapt to a changing profession and a world being disrupted by technology and innovation. In the years since I took over, we have had the privilege of achieving partner alignment by adopting a 5-year strategic plan, upgrading our technology and IT infrastructure, updating our governance structure so we can be built for speed, achieving significant growth both organically and through M&A, and consistently being recognized as a Best Place to Work.
I feel like my role is continuing to evolve as the firm continues to scale up, but I’m proud to say that our firm-first culture and values of compassion, dedication and excellence remain intact.
What advice would you offer to someone entering the accounting profession today? Stay with it. This is an amazing profession full of opportunities!
How do you stay on top of the profession? I’m active in the local, state and national CPA organizations (including chairman-elect-elect of the Texas Society of CPAs and past president of the Houston chapter, and incoming member of the AICPA council). We are also a member of the AICPA Major Firms Group and I attend their meetings regularly.
I also work hard to build relationships and share ideas with other MPs, both locally and nationally. And I actively scan the horizon to see what’s going on in the profession, both at the global and domestic levels.
Where do you see the accounting profession in five years? How do you see it changing/developing and/or how would you like it to change? I believe our profession will continue to thrive, remain relevant and will continue to make a difference in our clients’ and our associates’ lives. The profession’s agility and foresight in anticipating the changes and disruption brought on by technology and innovation in the face of a rapidly changing world continue to allow us to serve as trusted advisors to our clients and fulfill our mission of protecting the public’s interest.
What is your proudest achievement? Navigating through the 2020 pandemic successfully and enabling our firm to thrive – not just survive – during that period. We were able to grow by 8% and protect the livelihood of all of our employees without any layoffs.
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