CPA profile: Gary J. Kitts

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Goodman & Co. LLP, Norfolk

Title: Retirement plan services partner
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration, Bluefield State College
Birthplace: Bluefield, W.Va.
Wife: Celeste
Children: Zachary, 13
Pets: Two dogs, Eliot and Dylan
Hobbies: Golf, basketball
Favorite vacation spot: Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas
Favorite meal: Seafood at Steinhilber’s in Virginia Beach
Fan of: Pittsburgh Steelers
Recently read: “Developing the Leader Within You” by John C, Maxwell
First accounting job: Staff accountant, Frederick B. Hill & Co., CPAs, Norfolk
Career mentor: Patrick Callahan

How did you decide to specialize in employee benefits?
“Early in my career I prepared profit-sharing-plan allocations and participant statements for many clients using spreadsheets.  Often I also handled accounting and tax work for those clients.  Quickly it became clear to me that retirement plan services required specialization to provide the service at a level that was needed.  That led me from spreadsheets to specialized software and from doing the basic accounting to consulting and providing retirement plan solutions.”

How is the field changing?
“The field continues to become increasingly specialized.  Plan audits are also subject to increased scrutiny by the Department of Labor, which I welcome.  Clearly, just to keep up with fast-changing rules and professional standards, plan auditors need to devote the predominant amount of their time to this area.  This is definitely not the kind of work you do just to fill your schedule.”

What are your clients’ biggest concerns?
“Clients are concerned about flexibility in their benefits, managing costs, rewarding employees and saving taxes.  There are difficult conflicts among these individual concerns.  What I enjoy most about my work is helping clients work through conflicting goals to come to an acceptable and desirable solution.  I really enjoy making complex issues understandable for my clients.”

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