Five minutes with Spencer Hathaway

Hathaway SpencerTell us about yourself

I'm currently a Senior Manager in the assurance practice at Baker Newman Noyes, a Baker Tilly network member firm. I'm based out of our Portland, Maine office and my focus is on audits of community banks, commercial and manufacturing entities, and ERISA benefit plan audits.

If you were not an accountant, what would you have liked to be and why?

I had never considered it strongly before getting into the accounting profession, but actuarial science seems like a very interesting profession. I often review actuarial reports and valuations as part of my audits, and I find it fascinating how they have to try to predict the unpredictable. I've always just loved working with numbers as well.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in accounting?

The breadth of experience you can get in this industry is unparalleled.Stick with it! While public accounting isn't for everyone, it's an incredibly rewarding career path. There were many challenging years when I first started my career as I learned the ropes and figured out how to manage my time in a deadline-driven industry. However, the growth I've experienced as a result and the people I've met, both internally and clients, have made it all worth it. The breadth of experience you can get in this industry is unparalleled.

What inspires you day to day?

Over the past year and a half, it's been the resilience of our firm and our client base in the face of incredible adversity. The beginning of the pandemic was a very scary time, and indeed many struggled and still struggle today as a result. However, I've been blown away by the collective effort of ourselves and our clients to adapt and thrive. Whether it was turning on a dime from in-person to remote work, or maintaining and keeping an essential workforce safe, or any other number of unique strategies to keep business moving, it’s really given me faith that no problem is unsolvable.

Hathaway Spencer

How do you think the pandemic has changed the way we work?

For better or for worse, it's really broken down the traditional work/life barrier. I think on the positive side of the coin, people are more able to focus on "life" on their own terms rather than just in the traditional last few hours of the day. It's also broken down geographic barriers as well. As a regional firm within the network, that enables us to expand our reach further than we may have been able to pre-pandemic, and it also allows us to share resources among our different offices far more effectively.

How do you see the future of the accounting industry changing?

I've been fortunate to be a part of the Baker Tilly network's North America Think Tank and we've been having discussions about this recently. One of the biggest themes that have emerged from the discussion is the trend toward crowdsourcing and the effect of the gig economy. Using digital platforms, it's now easier to connect specific needs with the right service provider instantly. It will be interesting to see how that evolves over the next decade.

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Baker Tilly International
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