Shawna Ridgeway was born and raised around a farm in Revilo, Tenn. She has two sisters: Ashly (13 months older) and Taylor (10 years younger). She currently lives in Five Points with her husband, Kyle, and their two sons, Gunner and Boone. She received a BBA in Accounting and the Outstanding Accounting Student award from Martin Methodist College in 2012. She went on to receive her MBA in Accounting from the University of North Alabama in 2014.
We asked Shawna about her career in accounting. Here’s what she said.
How long have you been with Greg Lemon CPA, PLLC? What was your first impression of the firm?
I’ve been with GLCPA since July 2016. I have loved the firm from the start. I love the wide array of services that we offer and the small-town feel of the firm.
How did you first get involved in accounting?
One of my high school teachers, Mary Pack, introduced me to accounting. I was in the first accounting class at Loretto High School and it was something that just “clicked” and that I enjoyed doing. I went on to compete in an FBLA competition for accounting where I placed in the top 10 in the state and went on to the national competition.
What do you love most about your work?
I love to dig. If something is off, even by a few dollars, I love to find out where it is. It’s so rewarding to find that small error or issue that’s causing the numbers to not balance.
What’s the best thing to happen since you started working at GLCPA (in the accounting field)?
The best thing has been working in audit, which has always been the area of accounting that I was most drawn to. There aren’t a lot of opportunities in audit locally, and having that opportunity has been great.
What do you wish other people knew about working in a CPA firm?
That it’s a lot more involved that people think. Most people think all we do are taxes, which is so far from the truth. We offer so many other services that would benefit individuals, small businesses, large businesses and anyone in between.
Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work in accounting.
That’s easy – several of my past teachers influenced and pushed me to do my best and follow my heart. Roberta Niedergeses and Mary Pack always pushed me and believed in me in high school. Paula Stephenson and Kayla Wiggins always pushed me in college, and always believed I could do whatever I wanted. Those types of influences are so important to young minds!
What’s it like to be an Auditor?
I personally love it. You never know what the next challenge is going to be and there is never a set “day to day” plan. Every day is different, and I truly love that about my job.
What do you consider the most rewarding experience of your educational pursuits and/or career?
It’s always rewarding when you’re finally complete with a job and you have a happy client! I especially enjoy it when we are able to help the client’s learn more about their books and how to understand their financials.
What are your goals as you continue your career with GLCPA?
My current goal is to get my CPA license, which is something I plan to start working on soon. I also hope to continue to learn and grow as an auditor so I can serve those in my local community.