MICHELLE VICENCIO, CPA
Since joining the firm in 2005, CPA Michelle Vicencio has worn a number of hats at Eder, Casella & Co. — figuratively, at least. “When first joining the team, what I worked on depended on the time of year — winter and spring, I wore my tax hat, and the summer, it’s my auditor hat,” she says. “But now, my auditor hat tends to be on all year long as the Not-for-Profit Manager.” Throughout the year she wears her community service hat as she serves on the board of the Volunteer Center McHenry County.
As a manager, Michelle has clients she works with on a monthly or quarterly basis, helping prepare bank reconciliations and other accounting duties, often on-site. “I’ve become a go-to person for old and new clients alike who have bank recs that need to be sorted and fixed,” she says. “I also try to make sure to explain what I am doing as I am fixing or helping with a situation, so they learn and make sure they can do it again after I leave.”
Michelle, who holds a Bachelors of Science in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University and is a member of both The American Institute of CPAs and the Illinois CPA Society, says one strength of the firm is the variety of services it can offer. “For example, we have the ability to help with not only the records and tax returns, but also payroll and any audits they would need,” she points out.
The married mother of one originally discovered accounting in her sophomore year of high school. “In the accounting class, we had to piece together business records for a business that had lost a lot of stuff in a fire,” she recalls. “It was intriguing and fun to work backward and get everything in order.”
Michelle appreciates the constant challenge the accounting profession offers. “Accounting can be like a big puzzle,” she says. “We have to take a look at what people have done and figure out the issues. It’s always so satisfying when a job is finally complete and you help the client learn something new.”
Get to Know Michelle — Five Facts:
1. I’m inspired by… “My husband. We complement each other, and he picks up the slack when our schedules get crazy and I start to get overwhelmed.”
2. My first job was… “I worked at a flower shop. I enjoyed running the cash register and making some floral arrangements. My least favorite part was cleaning out the cooler every Sunday and when the delivery of roses came in. We would dethorn them and I’d get poked every time.”
3. People would be surprised to know… “I love to hike. We go to Sedona every year and pick new trails each time to challenge ourselves.”
4. When I was a kid, I wanted to be… “An interior designer. That was after watching ‘Trading Spaces’ on TLC when I was growing up. That is so far from reality though! It’s a lot harder than it seems. Our house has some very plain walls because I can’t visualize it all together.”
5. My advice for passing the CPA exam is… ““Keep trying and don’t let it discourage you. Notecards and flash cards with help from my husband really is what helped me through — that and a lot of chocolate!”
Connect with Michelle