Former WNDE Audit Manager Lacy Willis Addresses Chapman Accounting Graduates

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Chapman University’s Instructor of Accounting Lacy Willis (left), previously an employee of White Nelson Diehl Evans, gave the keynote speech at Chapman’s Accounting Society Banquet on May 9. Her message to the graduating class of 2018, and to those who are embarking on a public accounting career, is that “you have the opportunity to change that perception out there of accountants. You have the opportunity to go out there and really break barriers. Be the fun, interesting, engaging, enthusiastic and helpful accountants that you are all capable of being. Show the world that you are more than just a number cruncher.”

Lacy started her career as an intern at WNDE in 2004. Ten years later, she left her role as audit manager to pursue a career in teaching at Chapman University.

Reflecting on her own career, Lacy also told the audience that as a young student, she thought she had it all figured out. But, what she failed to realize was what a great choice she had made for herself because accounting is so much more rewarding than she expected. She said, “There are shows about police and fire departments and all the rescues they do. But no shows about how an accountant saved a company by making suggestions about budgeting through a review of their income statement. There are shows that have doctors saving lives, but no shows about accountants keeping a family out of financial trouble through tax planning.”

She added, “I have had such a rewarding and exciting career so far, from audits, to working with small businesses to improve their financial results, to investigating theft and embezzlement, every experience that I have had, has been an incredible learning experience and so rewarding.”

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