Keith Denecker, Senior Accountant

I came to accounting from a sales background. Sales allowed me to help people, which I enjoy, but I wanted to work in more of a business consulting capacity and put my degree in Business Management to use. I have always liked working with numbers and was drawn to accounting because of the opportunity to support other business professionals with their financial challenges.

Finding the right firm. 

After meeting with several CPA firms in the area, both large and small, ARB rose to the top. Its size is large enough to offer growth potential, but small enough to feel very welcoming and friendly. It’s no secret that accountants spend lots of time in the office during tax season, so it’s very important to find a culture where you enjoy your co-workers. ARB has a positive vibe where everyone is welcoming and friendly. They’re great about making tax season as fun as possible. We spend a lot of time together during tax season, either in the office or on the road visiting clients. In the off-season, we work 35-hour weeks – which gives me more time for golfing and softball – and we have ample vacation and personal time.

Avoiding big-firm hype. 

I did my research and quickly realized that ARB is unique because it offers exposure to different types of accounting – both audit and tax – and direct contact with clients from a variety of industries. Larger firms tend to place you on one track, and I wanted the chance to learn both. The opportunity also exists to bring your own background and expertise to help ARB better serve its clients. I’m fortunate that I had the opportunity to meet with firms of many sizes and ultimately decided that a mid-size firm like ARB is a great fit for me.

ARB in one word?

“Welcoming.” In this profession, you’re going to spend a lot of time with co-workers, so finding the right culture is key.

Favorite thing to do outside the office? I’m originally from Vermont, and I enjoy outdoor activities. Running, hiking and skiing are my favorites. Portland is the perfect size and location for staying active year-round.