Introducing NINJA CPA Blogger Patrick

01 Oct 2012


Patrick is a new NINJA CPA Blogger.

Greetings Comrades –

I'm writing this introduction from the v-berth of a 29 foot Cal sailboat, home to husband, wife, and two small children until April.

It's after midnight and already, condensation is forming droplets on the ceiling that will find my face in the early morning. Such are the joys of liveaboard life.

I am a controller at a $560M bank, located two blocks from where we're moored in Olympia, Washington. I've been in banking ever since leaving the active Army in 2006.

As an MBA student in Luxembourg, I never dreamed of a career in banking (most of my classmates were bankers) much less, accounting. Determined not to end up in sales like most ex-officers, I waited six months before finally accepting a controller/CFO job as a small community bank.

In 2011, the bank was closed by the FDIC due to asset quality problems and the assets and liabilities were acquired by a borderline regional bank. I spent some time there before working for a credit union as a financial analyst. I then accepted my current job and along with it, some stability.

I want to become a CFO again and I see the CPA certification as a necessary credential. I got a 69 on FAR in FEB 2011 but finally passed with an 85 last FEB.

Since then, I've been stuck in the doldrums with auditing. Moving onto our sailboat was a huge distraction this summer, which caused me to reschedule for October 11th. If FAR was a three-pointer, I fear that auditing will be the easy layup that I miss.

I'd really like to wrap this up by March. The exam to me is more of a desert to be crossed than a mountain to be climbed. When I'm finished, I look forward to re-establishing friendships and volunteering more. I consider myself a life long learner and when I'm 90, I will probably go back to college to study math or astronomy.

In addition to my exam preparation, I thought I might intertwine a few sentences about life aboard a sailboat. I hope that this spartan existence will help me to better focus on the exam, if for no other reason, out of shear boredom. There's not much to do on a sailboat but sail, read, eat, and sleep. We don't even have a TV!