Certified: Creating the life you want

Written on Mar 12, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

Certified follows aspiring CPAs while they prepare for and take the various sections of the CPA exam. What follows is Thaddeus Eichorn’s story, which begins in August of 2019. Check back each week for an update on his journey and find out if he earns those three coveted letters after his name.

For Thaddeus Eichorn, accounting is a means to support the life he envisions for himself. And earning the CPA is part of that.

“I want to help people manage their money and manage their finances better,” he said. “To help them make the most of what they have so they can give to people in need and have more time to be with their families.”

Eichorn grew up in London, Ohio, helping his father with their family farm. Because the farm could only support one person’s wages, Eichorn left home after high school to pursue his passion for business. That interest began around age 13, when he first learned about the stock market.

“I was interested in understanding how companies work,” he said. “And I read a lot of annual reports and financial statements.”

Despite not knowing any accountants growing up, he decided accounting would be the most practical area to study that aligned with his interests. He graduated from Franklin University at the end of 2017 and then went to work full time for an accounting firm in Dublin. He stayed there until the end of tax season in 2019 before deciding it was time to leave to start his own firm and earn the CPA.

Owning his own business was a long-term interest Eichorn attributes to his upbringing as a conservative Mennonite. He said most of the people in the community are self-employed, and as such, can more easily adjust their schedules to fit their lifestyle.

“We often take time off to attend different events or to potentially go do mission work,” he said. “It’s not unheard of for couples in their 30s to take off for two years and go in the mission field.”

Being a business owner gives Eichorn the freedom to take meaningful time off that fits with his values while still building a career. And he knew as a business owner he would need the CPA to establish credibility with clients.

“I'm not going to be able to convince people that I can do the work for them without it,” he said. “Especially for some of these complex things.”

Now he lives in Powell with wife, where he started his business, Eichorn Tax and Financial, LLC. He said his wife has been supportive of his career adjustment and his new study schedule that will take up a big chunk of his time over the next five months. He’s looking forward to starting the CPA exam process and has a goal of passing each section on the first try.

“Pretty soon after college I knew I would have to earn my CPA,” Eichorn said. “So, I’m ready to start the process.”

Next week on Certified: Studying for the Financial Accounting and Reporting section.

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