In this edition of Get to Know the Snodgrass Team, we interviewed Michael “Mike” Korhnak, CPA, Principal in the Auditing and Assurance Group.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
What I enjoy the most about my job has to be my coworkers and the culture here at Snodgrass, which I really have come to appreciate more and more over the years. I had originally joined the firm upon completing my Accounting Certificate at Robert Morris University in 2005. While I truly liked my work and coworkers, a few years later, I decided to see what else the world had to offer. I worked at a couple of other public accounting firms and held a stint as a controller at an oil and gas service company, but none quite matched the culture I had experienced while working with the Snodgrass team. So when the opportunity to return to the firm presented itself, I jumped at the chance! I really enjoy the work-life balance that the firm has to offer (outside of busy season, of course!) as well as the team of professionals we have brought together. Those who came before me have created an open, inviting environment that encourages questions and promotes professional growth, which values the input and contributions of all team members. But beyond this, we also appreciate one another on a personal level; this certainly has made Snodgrass such an enjoyable place over the years. Now as I’ve moved into a more senior role with the company, I hope to continue to carry on this culture and work environment.
In what ways have you grown professionally since starting out at Snodgrass?
Some may be surprised to hear that I have dramatically improved my professionalism over the years! I would say I was pretty rough around the edges when I first joined the firm. I think the biggest thing I have learned is the need to stay organized and on top of deadlines and prioritizing our workflow, in order to try and make not only my life easier, but that of my coworkers. It is a team environment; you hate to be the cog in the wheel that holds up a report for a week and then everyone from the administrative team to the quality control review team is scrambling to get things finalized, all while they are being pulled in a million directions. Knowing what I know now being a little more senior in the firm, I can appreciate why this was always stressed and the difference it can make in everyone’s anxiety levels!
Throughout your time with Snodgrass, you’ve assisted with recruiting efforts and job orientation/training. What did you enjoy and/or takeaway from this work?
I think what I like most about the recruiting effort is getting to talk up all the things I enjoy most about working here at Snodgrass. I really enjoy talking about the culture and the team we’ve built and the opportunities for professional growth and advancement. Plus, I like getting to be involved in the future direction of the firm and helping to select my newest peers and coworkers and identifying talented young professionals who can continue to help grow and evolve the firm. As far as the training goes, I like being involved in this as I like to think back to my days as a fresh new Associate and all of the things I had wished I had known and understood better way back when. I then hope to make these areas of focus as we work on developing the talents of our newest team members into the future leaders of the firm.
What advice do you have for those beginning a career in accounting/auditing?
I am sure everyone who has ever joined a public accounting firm has heard this over and over again, but the best piece of advice I could give is to get your CPA certification as soon as possible. Life and work just get busier and busier as you advance in your career, start having a family, etc. The sooner you can achieve this, the better. I was fortunate enough to pass my final piece of the exam a week before my second daughter was born. It was November of 2008, right before busy season. If I had not done it then, with two children under the age of two, and having to wait until I got through another busy season . . . who knows what may have happened!
What are some of your outside interests?
Outside interests these days mostly revolve around my children and their activities, of course! Having three kids between the ages of 10 and 14 keep me and my wife moving. They are involved in various sports, from tennis and cross country to swimming and ball hockey, so we’re constantly rotating them between practices and games. It’s hectic, but I love that they are so involved! I have always been a huge sports fan myself and played baseball and soccer growing up and continue to play ball hockey. And, of course, I root, root, root for all things Pittsburgh.
The Snodgrass team are industry-recognized experts who are highly sought after as speakers and trainers and for their leadership. Stay tuned for our next edition and get to know other members of our team!