Graham is a Partner at Caras & Shulman and recently celebrated 11 years with the firm. Graham is just one of many “lifers” and success stories here at Caras & Shulman. We asked Graham why he chose Caras & Shulman and what keeps him engaged as a member of the Caras & Shulman team.

What attracted you to a small/mid-sized CPA firm?

I graduated from Bentley University with a degree in Corporate Finance & Accounting. Bentley has an amazing Career Services department and a great recruiting relationship with the Big 4 Accounting Firms. Most of my friends that graduated with accounting degrees interned and eventually accepted full-time roles with a Big 4 firm. I was never interested in a large corporate environment and decided to pursue a position with small/mid-sized CPA firms in the Boston area where I would have the opportunity to gain experience on both the audit and tax side of public accounting and work closely with business owners from early on in my career. Another important factor in choosing a smaller firm was finding a place that offers a great work-life balance which can be difficult in this industry.

I discovered Caras & Shulman at a Bentley Career Fair and was immediately attracted to the firm’s culture and growth opportunities. One of the individuals I met at the career fair 11 years ago was Angela Marks, who ran the firm’s Retirement Services Group – she is still with the firm today and will be celebrating her 20 year anniversary next month! I also learned that three of the firm’s six partners at the time started their careers at Caras & Shulman as Staff Accountants after graduating from college.

I think a common misconception about joining a small/mid-sized CPA firm is that you won’t be exposed to complex or “exciting” engagements. This couldn’t be further from the truth – Caras & Shulman is a full-service accounting and consulting firm with 30 employees and we are fortunate enough to represent many well-known Boston based businesses. We represent clients that are backed by private equity/venture capital, and others that have been acquired by publicly traded companies, as well as consult with businesses expanding into new domestic and international markets. Each day I am faced with a new challenge and opportunity to grow as a professional and positively impact a client’s business.

What advice do you have for young professionals who have aspirations to become a partner at a CPA firm?

The CPA profession is a relationship driven business and my advice for aspiring partners is to focus on building strong relationships with existing clients. The CPA is consistently voted by entrepreneurs as the “Most Trusted Adviser” and we take a lot of pride in that distinction. Young professionals need to build trust with existing clients so that a client feels comfortable asking questions and receiving advice from someone other than the partner in charge. This will help demonstrate to firm leadership that you are someone who is capable of adding value to a client relationship and managing a book of business.

What are your passions outside of the office?

My family – I have two beautiful girls, Rosie and Emma, and an amazing wife, Samantha, that supports us in every way possible. Between my family and career, there’s not too much free time on the calendar but when there is an opening you’ll probably find me on the golf course or at some type of sporting event.

At Caras & Shulman we know that we are only as successful as our team. Our firm members are our biggest assets and we are committed to a culture of collaboration and continuous career growth. Become a part of the Caras & Shulman team. See our job openings here.