OSCPA member and NASBA vice chair reflects on career success

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPAA senior content manager

 

Mike Fritz

For Mike Fritz, CPA, and recently named NASBA vice-chair, the chance to make an impact has kept him invested in the profession during his 40 years in accounting.

“It's a profession where I always felt I was able to add value,” he said. “I was getting to meet new people and address different types of challenges, whether it was a merger and acquisition or initial public offering, I was learning something new every day. That’s what made it exciting and kept me going.”

Fritz was a senior partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP and retired in June 2019. He described recently being named NASBA vice-chair as a “pinnacle moment” for him.

“When I started in the profession, we had 14 column spreadsheets and were doing everything manually,” Fritz said. “We would take a phone book and start adding up the numbers to make sure we could run a 10-key calculator properly. Versus today, with the advances we have with technology, like the ability to work remotely and share information virtually is just amazing.”

Originally a math major, he switched to accounting after taking a class where he said it was like “a lightbulb turned on.” After graduating from Ohio University, he worked for a few years in industry before mentors of his suggested looking into public accounting. He earned his CPA and then took a job at what was then Touche Ross.

He’s served as a partner with Deloitte since 1988, and most recently served as the national industry professional practice director for the Public Sector Industry as well as a lead client service partner.

Early on in his career, Fritz said, Deloitte always encouraged getting involved in the community and service and was encouraged by mentors to investigate service opportunities.

At OSCPA he’s been involved in various committees, is a past member of the Executive Board and served on the Ohio CPA Foundation Development Committee. He has served as chair of the Accountancy Board of Ohio and has been an active member of NASBA for 11 years and a member of the Board of Directors since 2013.

From a philanthropic standpoint he is a co-founder and current treasurer of the Gahanna Jefferson Education Foundation as well as the treasurer of Mifflin Presbyterian Church, and has been involved with the Gahanna Rotary and Habitat Humanity, among other nonprofits.

Mentors throughout his career have been a valuable influence, Fritz said, and instead of telling him what to do they helped guide him.

“They helped me think through the pros and the cons of decisions,” he said. “And they were there to support me and to push me to continue to think outside of the box and try something new.”

He said one of the most valuable lessons he’s learned over the years is keeping an open mind and listening to other individuals who have a differing opinion from your own. For his upcoming NASBA appointment, he said he’s looking forward to solidifying accounting as a “solid, respectable,” profession that considers the current climate, such as COVID-19, and future opportunities, like growing diversity.

“I want to pay it forward,” he said. “I think we need to get back to fundamentals in terms of some of the quality standards and making sure that the standards that are in existence tomorrow are the ones that actually recognize what is going on today.”

Hear more from Mike Fritz at the June 4 virtual Town Hall. Register here. 

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