In his own words: Kirk Gardner of Kafoury, Armstrong

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company.

Kirk Gardner: Kafoury, Armstrong & Co. has been in the business of public accounting since 1941. With six offices and 118 employees throughout the state, we are the largest accounting firm in Nevada. We handle all kinds of taxation, from individuals and business entities to estates and trusts. Our audit clients include many local governments (and the State of Nevada) as well as businesses involving manufacturing, gaming, construction and nonprofits. We also provide specialized services in the areas of litigation support, business valuation, and medical billing, just to name a few.

NNBW: What role do you play in the company?

Gardner: My practice is concentrated in taxation. As such, I find myself being a resource in this area for other professionals throughout the firm. I also serve on the board of directors of the firm.

NNBW: How did you get into this profession?

Gardner: After obtaining a degree from UNR in journalism (specializing in advertising) I determined there really wasn't a way to get started in that field locally, so I returned to school. My sister was already an accountant with Kafoury Armstrong, and I followed her path. However, I don't think my journalism degree has gone to waste, as the skills I learned in writing and editing have served me well in accounting.

NNBW: What is something no one knows about your job?

Gardner: Not many people seem to realize that being a tax accountant is a year-round job. I speak to many people who seemed surprised I don't get to just kick back after April 15 each year.

NNBW: If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn't it your first choice?

Gardner: I would like to have been a writer, probably of nonfiction, but I'm afraid that may be based on a romantic notion of what a writer is.

NNBW: What do you like to do when you're not working?

Gardner: I perform in community theater (primarily Reno Little Theater and Western Nevada Musical Theater Company). Reading, movies and crossword puzzles are favorite solo pastimes.

NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?

Gardner: Remember that public accounting is not about numbers. It's primarily a business of communication: getting useful information to your clients for their business and financial well-being.

NNBW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why would you want it?

Gardner: Flight. It would be both practical and enjoyable.

NNBW: What person, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with, and why?

Gardner: Mark Twain. Has there ever been anyone so fascinating and entertaining?

NNBW: What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Gardner: "Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."

NNBW: What do you like most about your job? What do you like least?

Gardner: I most enjoy the variety. Every client brings something different to the table, and no matter how long I do this, they always come up with something a little outside what I've seen before. As to what I like least, although it does add to the variety, I sometimes wish the Internal Revenue Code wouldn't change so much each year.

NNBW: What five words would most people use to describe you?

Gardner: Creative, humorous, meticulous, tall and curious (in all senses of that word).


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