CPA looks to make community impact through animal nonprofit

Written on Sep 19, 2019

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

From one CPA volunteer’s experience at the Cleveland Animal Protection League, the animals aren’t the only ones grateful for the experience.

“It’s such a passion,” said Kathy Tatman, CPA. “To see the smiles on people's faces when they're adopting, the smiles on their faces when they're picking their pets up that have been cared for, it’s all very rewarding.”

Tatman, a partner at D'Amore Tatman Group LLC, has been on the board at the Cleveland APL for four years. She’s the vice-chair now and will become chairperson in 2021.

Before joining, she knew of the organization from receiving their direct mail campaign and was eventually recruited by a board member who knew Tatman was a cat-lover.

“It’s a very passionate organization,” she said.

In addition to being an adoption center the APL conducts all humane investigations in Cuyahoga County, Tatman said. She estimated that in the past nine months they’ve rescued 240 cats through humane investigations. They also run a trap, neuter and release program and “project CARE,” which helps animal owners who can’t afford wellness care for their pets.

Tatman is also co-chairing a $13.5 million-dollar capital campaign to expand the facilities at the APL to provide more clinical space to accommodate the growing need for animal care. She said her accounting background has been a “huge benefit” when it comes to her role on the board.

“The Animal Protective League has a $6 million budget, so it's a large organization,” she said. “And luckily, their finance staff is top notch. But it's very important to be able to guide them in making sure that monies are properly spent and managed.”

When they meet with auditors, Tatman and another CPA on the board help translate some of the more technical terms for the rest of the board and staff.

She encouraged accountants who have passions outside of the profession to volunteer their expertise and said her experience with the APL has been incredibly rewarding.

“I think CPAs need to have community involvement to make their communities better,” she said. “There is a need for the CPA profession to step up. And I know, as a firm, we embrace when employees want to become involved in the community with not-for-profits and have a passion for a cause. It's part of having a business in a community, to make the community as prosperous as you can.”

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