Jeff Stegner: Consulting Partner

jeffs-profile

Q and A

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

I showed some aptitude for it in school and it seemed to fit my personality. I first took computer science courses and did just okay. Then I took an accounting course and got the highest grade the instructor had given in the last five years of teaching. It's been a great career. It's interesting and I'm helping people; I like helping people resolve their problems.

Q. What accounting law or regulation would you like to see changed?

Sarbanes-Oxley has become too regulatory. It's putting an undue burden on some companies and proving limiting to capital markets. It generates plenty of work for us, there's no denying that, but, honestly, I think the excess regulations hamper the United States' ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

Q. Describe your most memorable Armanino moment.

It was at a 1999 management retreat. They were looking for someone to help the partner in charge of business valuations, and I raised my hand. Andy said, "Jeff would be great at this." I agreed to look into it and the following Monday, Andy reassigned my audit clients and made me the firm's point person on business valuation. Three years later they voted me into the partnership. Raising my hand was certainly a good choice and is a reflection of the entrepreneurial spirit of our firm. It's been an amazing run, and I only see bigger opportunities in the future.

Q. Describe your work style.

I actually do things differently. While my work in ValueNomics, specifically litigation matters, is subject to a set of laws, they're less structured than the regulations to which, say, audit and tax must adhere. ValueNomics affords me opportunities to take a big-picture view of issues, whereas the audit and tax departments focus more on historical numerical data to ensure ongoing accuracy.

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

I have quite a few, but Dale Kimbell stands out. He was the Kimbell in Kimbell, McKenna, and Von Kaschnitz, the firm that merged with Armanino, Jones and Lombardi back in 1998. Dale stayed on after the merger and I found him to be one of the nicest people I'd ever met, and a very good accountant. I fashioned my practice after him. He also was married for 50 years and had four daughters—a good family man, someone that I've tried to model my life after.

Q. Make a prediction. Describe your vision of the business future.
In the valuation area, I see increased demand for that type of work. The FASB appears to be moving toward fair value standards versus historical values, thereby increasing the need for valuation services. The need for litigation services also seems to be on the upswing.

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

I'd have spent more time with my parents. My mom died when I was 24 and I'm not able to see my dad as much as I'd like.

Q. What one thing would you change at Armanino?

I'd get to know more people within the firm. When we were smaller, it was easy to know everyone's name. But as we've grown, it's become all but impossible to do that. However, we do make it a point to ensure that each employee knows everyone in his or her department. As always, it's an exciting place to be and our partners are highly accessible.

Beyond the Boardroom

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

Spend time with my wife and kids. I also enjoy coaching my kids in whatever sport they happen to be involved in and attend most all of their sporting events. It's a lot of fun.

Favorite vacation:

Maui – our whole family snorkels.

Quotable quote:

"Just do it."

All-time top CDs:

  • U2 – Joshua Tree, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
  • Sheryl Crow – Sheryl Crow
  • Bob Marley – Legend
  • Frank Sinatra – Sinatra Reprise: The Very Good Years

What book(s) are you currently reading?

I just finished reading Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas

Word that best describes you?

Hardworking

Favorite films:

  • Crash
  • Cinderella Man