UNI accounting students learn from experienced professionals
An accounting degree can lead almost anywhere. Just ask UNI accounting instructors and professors, who have diverse backgrounds in the industry. Here are just a few of them and their experiences.
David Deeds, entrepreneur and community developer
David Deeds is proof accounting is one of the foundations for a career in business and entrepreneurship. As an instructor and the T. Wayne Davis Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Deeds teaches business creation and works with the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and Business and Community Services. His educational background includes a degree in accounting from UNI.
Deeds is passionate about community development. He serves as the chief financial officer with JSA Development, a local company striving to revitalize and restore buildings in downtown Waterloo. He’s also on the board of directors for Lincoln Savings Bank.
“Accounting is how we keep score in organizations,” Deeds said. “Being able to understand and read and use financial information gives you a good base to work from. From there, you can use that as an opportunity to follow other interests.”
Cathalene Bowler, tax accounting
Accounting has taken Cathi Bower to so many different places. After graduating from college, she joined the military and served as a course instructor and writer. She later went on to work for a private tax firm as an office manager, tax preparer and income tax instructor before coming to UNI, where she is now an assistant professor of accounting.
Bowler is an experienced tax professional. She is instrumental in leading the VITA tax program, giving students real-world experience preparing and filing taxes. She also recently helped implement a software program that supports tax filing for international students.
Bowler believes accounting is one of the fundamentals of business — it’s almost essential.
“You have to have an accounting background to manage the finances of your business,” Bowler said. “Without that knowledge, you can easily overspend and completely flop without knowing how to manage your accounts and assets. That background is essential for any industry out there.”
Amy Igou, financial systems
Amy Igou is fascinated by automation and technology. So much so, she molded her accounting career within financial and technical systems. Igou worked for Deere and Company for 19 years, several of them on an implementation team that integrated SAP business systems into the organization.
Now at UNI as the master’s of accounting (MAcc) program, Igou has been diving into digital analytics and accounting systems education. She hopes she can continue to intertwine technology with accounting education.
“Someone who has a background in systems and accounting understands what controls are needed in accounting and also the technical side of it,” Igou said. “There are so many opportunities out there now as the world becomes more digital.”
Gabe Dickey, public accounting
Accounting has helped grow Gabe Dickey (Accounting ’98) grow both personally and professionally. He attended UNI’s business college and worked in public accounting with Deloitte for almost two decades. He has worked in academia for the past seven years.
“I have been fortunate to work with a number of wonderful people through the years,” he said. “The accounting degree provided me with exposure to a wide variety of businesses, as well as several different cultural experiences that allowed me to grow personally.”
Dickey says accounting is the “language of business.” Understanding relevant financial information is essential in the profession. And as the accounting industry continues to evolve with technology and the skills and tools needed to work in the job, the core values remain the same, as numbers are still at the foundation of a profitable business.
“Accounting is a fantastic place to begin a career in business because you learn how to both record and evaluate the numbers,” Dickey said.
UNI's business college is committed to students earning real-world accounting experience from experienced professionals who understand the industry.
Other experienced professionals include:
Lisa Williams, Assistant Professor of Accounting
Lisa spent 14 years as the IT Controls and Reporting Manager at Pepsico