March 4, 2022

Following in the Family Footsteps

By: Center For Accounting Transformation / interviews

If you ask her, Shayna Chapman, CPA, CITP, says she does not recall anyone specifically serving as a role model, “But I definitely subconsciously was influenced by my parents,” she said.

Upon reflection, she later interjected, “I would say my mother was certainly a role model.”

Continuing, she shared, “My mother worked in a time when everybody in my neighborhood, all the other children in my neighborhood, their moms were stay-at-home moms and my mom wasn’t…So, for that reason, I just knew I wanted to be involved in business. I wanted to be the girl on top of the skyscraper with the corner office and the big shoulder pads that ran some huge company…And that all started with my mom.”

A Gallipolis, Ohio, native, Chapman grew up with parents who owned a CPA firm. However, the desire to also become an accountant didn’t hit her immediately.

“I never wanted to be a CPA. I never wanted to be an accountant,” she admitted. “I grew up in this business and I knew how hard they worked.”

Talking about their late hours, she added, “I slept in file cabinet drawers. My mother literally put me to nap in a file cabinet …Not only that, but with my older sister, we used to play hide and go seek in the office and my dad would come out and lift me on top of the file cabinets and cover me with some old tax magazines and my sister couldn’t see me and she would just run by. So that’s how I grew up.”

During college, Chapman admits she “dragged her feet” when picking a major. She took accounting because she was already familiar with it, but she still did not want to be an accountant.

“I left and I went overseas to another school, another university in Japan, and came back and thought, ‘Maybe I’ll finish up this accounting degree, but I will go to law school,” Chapman said. But she didn’t go to law school, and instead became an accountant because she had the degree. “And that’s why I am where I am. But to be honest, it’s been the best profession for me, and I did wind up where I should be.”

She later decided to sit for the CPA exam and said, “It’s the best career choice I could have made.”

Chapman, who is the founder and chief strategist for Shaynaco, said, “Having grown up in this business and then working in larger firms, I know the fevered pitch at which it can operate. The whole point of my firm and what I want to bring to other firms and our clients is that it doesn’t have to be that way. My hope is that I provide clarity on the tools that can be used to bring calm to accounting by using technology to collaborate. Let the tech filter out the noise so everyone can focus on getting the big jobs done – or – taking the time that is saved and spending it with your loved ones.”

Chapman, the facilitator for How Small Firms Use MS Teams for Internal Client Communication & Collaboration, added, “Teams is just one app in the Office 365 ecosystem. What I really want people to understand is there is a whole MS 365 ecosystem they are probably already paying for but don’t realize they have access to. These apps work together in ways that can make you more efficient with your time and your money. So more than Teams, how can we get the integration working for firms and their clients.”

However, Chapman advised, Teams could also play an integral role in human resources.

“From a staffing perspective, I believe that Teams is the way to retain young staff and bring them into the fold of your firm and to make them team leaders,” she said. “It gives them a technology platform that they’re going to like because this technology is native to them. They’ve been using iPhones since they were in single digits.”

“So, by implementing this technology that they love, you’re listening to them, you’re taking into account the way that they feel and you’re giving them a way to communicate that they love and you’re giving it to them in a way that allows them to up their participation with clients and kind of letting them walk with a little more freedom, if you will,” she said. “So, they’re not only working for you, but they’re also thinking ahead and planning for you and becoming a real part of the team.

“Microsoft Teams is there. You’re already using it. Your staff is going to love it. What’s not to? Why not learn about it and just go in on it.”


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