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Connecting with clients is key to long-term success, says CPA

Written on Mar 28, 2024

By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager  

Professionals entering accounting should feel empowered to blaze their own trail, says Kim Murphy, CPA, even if it seems unorthodox.  

“I had a family along the way, and I had a great employer that was willing to work with me,” said Murphy, principal at Packer Thomas. “There were times when I worked less and times when I worked more. And I didn't follow traditional instructions that someone might use to get to where I am. And that's okay.”  


Murphy said she feels proud to work for her firm and that leadership at Packer Thomas has always been supportive. In 2023 they were named to Accounting Today’s nationwide Best Firms for Women list and the Best Firms to Work For list.  

Murphy was named a Power of Change honoree at the OSCPA Women, Wealth and Wellness Conference in July 2023. The award salutes individuals who are advocates for women’s initiatives in the workplace and business community, serve as mentors or role models, make a significant impact on their communities and break barriers for other women.    

Some of the most memorable moments of her career were passing the CPA Exam and working with clients during the pandemic's early period.   

“Watching my clients adjust to the quickly changing circumstances that COVID brought was just amazing to me,” she said. “To see the creativity that all these different businesses and small clients put into things to stay afloat was impressive.”  

That cemented in her mind how critical her support is to clients, Murphy said, and they leaned on her expertise as a trusted business advisor.  

Murphy said when first entering the profession, she thought there was always a right and wrong answer to every question. She has since learned to look at problems from various angles to find the best solution.  

“Probably the biggest lesson I've learned in my career is that there's not a black and white answer all the time,” she said. “Often, there are several answers you can make an argument for.” 

Other insights she’s picked up over her career have been to be kind, especially to new colleagues who are unsure or nervous, and not try to always be the smartest person in the room.   

“If you're someone that people can trust, they'll want to work with you,” she said. “And I don't think I knew that when I first started, I wanted to know all the answers and do everything right. I learned over time and through developing relationships that people really want to know that they can trust you.” 

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