CPA PROFILE

Danny Manimbo

Being open to opportunities, working hard, having passions – Danny Manimbo can tell you everything that it takes to be a better CPA.

My Day My Bio
Danny Manimbo

Details

Principal
Schellman & Company, LLC
Denver, CO

Standing out from the crowd

With an accounting background, you really understand how a business works and what makes a company successful. I graduated in 2009 during the recession when finding a job was tough, and it definitely helped having a degree in accounting.

My first job out of college was at a small bankruptcy firm doing forensic accounting. Eventually, I wanted additional training and experiences, so I pursued a job at Grant Thornton, where I got exposed to the IT field.

I enjoyed the work so I joined Schellman, a firm specializing in attestation and compliance services for IT clients. Working there has meant I’ve been able to specialize further and focus on the IT sector.

Moving on up

Now, I’m a Principal at Schellman. I’ve been with them for almost a decade, working my way up from Senior Associate. It’s a great company with a friendly culture — that’s what drew me there back in 2013.

When I joined, Schellman was a 50-person company. We have over 400 employees now, so there’s been a huge amount of growth. It’s reassuring to be a part of a company going in the right direction.

Employee development and training is taken very seriously. The amount of support they offer has helped me move up to a leadership position.

Deciding on accounting

In college, I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted my career to go. When I started, I was a marketing major, with a minor in accounting. But my accounting professor gave me a pep talk telling me I had the ability and skillset to be a CPA and do well at it.

He convinced me that it would open more doors, even if I wasn’t sure I wanted to do actual accounting work. Having options is always a good thing – you shouldn’t pigeonhole yourself.

Getting the CPA

When I left college, I was 12 credits shy of getting my degree. Rather than going back to school for another year, I decided to start working, finish my degree, and start taking the CPA.

I was working in forensic accounting at the time, and all my colleagues were already CPAs. It was useful to be studying for my CPA at the same time as working, because it meant I could apply what I was learning to my work.

Working and studying was intense, but I’m glad I did it early on it my career. It was a nice way to start my career having achieved a big certification like the CPA and it opened the door for me to get into Grant Thornton.

For anyone studying for the CPA right now, I’d say buckle in! It takes patience. Set yourself goals and develop a robust schedule. It’s hard work but ultimately, you’ll be pleased that you did it.

Valuable skills

The most valuable skills I’ve gained from my CPA are discipline and confidence. It’s taught me to set realistic goals and make things achievable. The process has shown me that if you’re dedicated to something and put the work in, you can get the result. It’s not about being the smartest – it’s about studying the most efficiently and working smart. Anyone can be successful if you try hard.

Looking to the future

I’m content at Schellman and I feel grateful to be surrounded by such good colleagues. I’m proud that I’ve worked my way up to Principal from Senior Associate level. If I were to leave, I’d do something completely different, like open a brewery in Hawaii!

Since having children, it’s made me refocus my priorities and I’ve got more of a work life balance. That would be my advice for people entering the workforce: don’t lose sight of who you are. Your hobbies and passions make you a more balanced person, and a better CPA.

  • 4am: Wake up

    My days start early. After I wake up, I tend to our newborn twins.

  • 5am: Workout

    I like to start each day with a workout to help me wake up and get energized. I recently got a membership to Orange Theory Fitness and I'm hooked.

  • 6am: Walk the dog

    After a quick workout, I take our Boston Terrier, Rocky, on a walk and feed him breakfast. 

  • 7am: Planning for the week ahead

    After I walk the dog, it's time to get to work. Being in client services, my days vary from working remotely at home, attending on-site client meetings here in the Denver-metro area, or catching a flight to meet an out-of-state or out-of-country client. I travel out of town about half the time. From 7am to 9am, I plan for the day and week ahead.

  • 9am: Meetings

    Attend management and client meetings.

  • 11am: Review deliverables

    Review deliverables such as audit work, papers and reports. 

  • 12pm: Lunch

    Lunch with a client.

  • 1pm: More meetings

    Sales meetings with prospective clients., and then internal meetings.

  • 5pm: Review of deliverables

    Review deliverables such as audit work, papers and reports.

  • 7pm: Family time

    While my day includes a lot of hours working, I always reserve the evenings for family time. I'm a strong believer that there's nothing more important than having dinner together as a family each night. Even though our twins are only five months old, we're establishing the routine early on. 

  • 9pm: Bedtime

    Time for bed - but sometimes the twins have other plans and it's more like 10pm. 

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