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Thanking the fathers who inspire and support Ohio’s young accountants

Written on May 1, 2020

By Molly Ryan Kowaleski, OSCPA content & community manager

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, we caught up with one of our 2018-2019 student ambassadors and one of The Ohio CPA Foundation’s scholarship recipients to share what they love most about their dads and how their fathers inspire them.

Douglas Friedhoff, an Ohio CPA Foundation scholarship recipient and accounting student at the University of Cincinnati, grew up around accounting. His father, Gary, is a CPA and one of the reasons Douglas considered a career in accounting in the first place.

“He’s great because he runs his own tax practice,” Douglas said. “It’s basically just him by himself so it’s really long hours and very intense work and he taught at UC, as well, but he would still always come home and say it was a great day. He was never down or tired, never unwilling to do something for my family. I took that away as a big lesson – to never get down and always have a positive outlook no matter how tough the day is.

Douglas Friedhoff_Dad“It can be a grueling schedule, especially during tax season, but being able to come home and always have a good face is important,” he said. “He always showed up to my sporting events growing up – he never missed one. That stuck with me.

“Another thing I’ve learned from watching him, as I become more of a professional and learn more about the business and the industry is seeing how much of a positive impact he makes on the people he works with. They love to come see him and listen to his advice. He always wants to help people out; he’s always putting in an extra hour because he just wants to help people. No matter how long it takes him or how busy he is, he always helps people out.”

Douglas started his college career at The Ohio State University majoring in engineering. But he quickly discovered that wasn’t for him, and talked to his dad about pursuing accounting instead.

“He’s proud of the path I’m taking,” he said. “He likes that I’m continuing to get experience with different companies and always able to come in and help him. And, he’s there to help me,” he said. “For me to be able to see how he does things with just him in the office, but then being at Barnes Dennig this past tax season for my internship, I also saw the team effort to get all the returns in during tax season. It’s different, but he likes when I get different opportunities and is proud of where I’m at thus far.”

Tonya Beachy, an accounting major in the College of Business and Economics at Ashland University, has always looked up to her dad, Jerry. Although he was born into an Amish family, Tonya’s grandparents broke away from that lifestyle when he was a young child. Now, he is a supervisor at a door- and window-making company.

“I have an awesome relationship with both of my parents, but I feel like I can always tell my dad anything and he’s always been someone I can look up to,” she said. “I think he has the best work ethic and that’s something that I got from him. He never stops working or takes a day off, even though sometimes he should.

Tonya Beachy_Dad

“He’s also never very boastful about anything and is super humble, which I think comes from the Amish values; they’re very hard workers. He taught me to work hard in everything you do and take pride in that work. What’s the point of doing something if you’re not going to give 110 percent?”

Although Jerry didn’t know a lot about accounting or the opportunities available for accountants, he has been extremely supportive of Tonya going to college and pursuing an accounting degree.

“He always has words of encouragement for me and tells me how good of a job I’m doing. He supports me 100 percent. Both parents equally have been so incredibly supportive of going to college, working, choosing accounting and I can tell they’re super impressed with the field.”