Bill Brause: Audit Partner

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Q and A

Q. What is it about accounting and consulting that first drew your interest?

In college, accounting was the hardest degree in which to major. My friends and I all enrolled in it to see who could survive. You could say that the competition was my drive to succeed in it, but I found that I really liked accounting. I did well and got decent grades, plus I knew I would make a good living in the profession. I was the only one among our group to succeed in making it my major.

Q. Who is/was the most influential person in your life?

My dad. He taught me a great work ethic—to work hard to get the advantage; it's important to earn it. I feel like it gave me a leg up on those around me who don't quite understand that hard work usually pays off. Nothing is free.

Q. What nugget of wisdom would you offer aspiring accountants?

Pass the CPA exam as quickly as possible. Also, remember to step back and enjoy the things you love.

Q. Describe your most memorable Armanino moment.

Our managing partner at the time, Joe Moore, called me into the Conference Room. There were about half the partners there. He told me that they knew I had wanted to make partner and that before the news hit the firm tomorrow he wanted me to know that they had sold the firm to one of the Big Four and a partnership was not going to be available. My heart sank, then they laughed and said just kidding, welcome to the partnership, and we broke out the champagne.

Q. Tell us about one of your favorite clients and why you enjoy working with them.

One of my favorite clients is one of our oldest and biggest. They've been with us since 1977. I'm the lead partner on the account. While the client has experienced a good deal of turnover within their organization during our nearly 30-year relationship, Armanino has been a constant to which they can turn for historical perspective and knowledge. It's very gratifying to know their business, sometimes better than they do because we have this incredible base of knowledge.

Beyond the Boardroom

What do you do to relax when you're not working?

Play with my kids, gardening, and SIMS Baseball.

Deserted island wish list:

An unlimited supply of beer, The Long Walk by Richard Bachman, a radio, and a cell phone.

Most prized possession:

In 6th grade I had an assignment to crochet something so I made an Oakland A's blanket and won first prize for it. I still have that blanket.

All-time top CDs:

  • Pink Floyd – Animals
  • Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains the Same
  • Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced

What book(s) are you currently reading?
  • Hammer of the Gods, The Led Zeppelin Saga by Stephen Davis
  • The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
What keeps you up at night?

Mistakes. It drives me crazy to catch a dumb little mistake made the previous year, especially in hindsight when it seems so obvious.

Favorite vacation:

Las Vegas, Suite at the Venetian