Paul O'Grady: Audit Partner


Q and A

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

My stepfather, who was a real estate developer, always told me that good accountants and good lawyers are worth their weight in gold. So I thought it would be an interesting career, and a profession that I could be passionate about pursuing.I also wanted a diversified business exposure which I felt public accounting could provide. It is a very dynamic profession and career. It's constantly changing and every day is different. As a result, it's exciting and something you can be passionate about.

Q. Describe your most memorable Armanino moment:

When we became the fifth largest firm in the Bay Area, just behind the Big Four, making us the largest regional firm in the area and the largest California-based firm. It was the culmination of lots of hard work on behalf of a staff of extremely dedicated and talented individuals.

Q. Make a prediction. Describe your vision of the business future.

I expect to see large opportunities in Asia and China and a continued migration of labor out of the domestic economy to places like India in response to the continued availability of competitive sources of labor. Technology will continue to be a major player in making day-to-day business activities more effective and efficient.

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

I like clients who are passionate about their business, appreciate the importance of the financial reporting process, and are committed to doing whatever is necessary to make their business operate to its maximum potential.

Q. What's it like working for a company that's been around for so long?

It's great to work for a successful company that continues to grow. There's a sense of stability and the firm thrives on the energy of its employees, many who have been here for a long time. There's a real sense of family, of being part of a team here. I think that's part of why we continue to rank in the top five places to work in the Bay Area.

Q. If you could go back and change any aspect of your life, which would it be?

My father died when I was 12 years old. It would be great to sit down and have a conversation with him today. Missing out on the 2005 Champion's League Final in Istanbul where the team I supported as a kid lifted Europe's premier soccer trophy.

Q. What's your proudest achievement?

Being a part of the creation of three wonderful kids. You can't beat that!

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

Be passionate about whatever you do, including your job!

Beyond the Boardroom

What do you do to relax when you are not working?

Spend time with my wife and three children, reading, playing and watching soccer, travel.

Deserted island wish list:

Good companions, a TV with a soccer channel subscription and a creative chef!

Favorite vacation:

Anywhere tropical that's relaxing but culturally and historically interesting with fun things to do.

What are your hobbies?
 Soccer, travel, and reading.

Most prized possession:


All-time top 5 CDs:

  • Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
  • U2 – Joshua Tree
  • Beatles – Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • The Police – Synchronicity
  • Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense

What book(s) are you currently reading?

  • Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Henry Lincoln, Richard Leigh
  • The Pope's Children by David McWilliams

Favorite Films:

  • Once Upon a Time in America
  • The Untouchables
  • Platoon
  • The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King

Word that best describes you: