It Takes All Kinds

by Misty Leinberger

“Do you think you are still perceived as professional?”

Hmmm. This is a question I get on a semi-regular basis, to include today. I’m a CPA. I have purple hair. I wear jeans to work and meet with my clients. I have a tattoo of a dreamcatcher on my ankle. I’m not your stereotypical accountant, let alone CPA. Am I still perceived as professional? You know, I’m not really worried if I’m perceived as professional by everyone. Let me explain. This should be a pretty quick read.

I am just as good at my job with purple hair as I am without. In my mid-forties, I am more interested in being who I am, which is passionate, smart, fun-loving and generally delightful (insert eye-roll here), than cow-towing to a stereotype, which I have already spent YEARS doing. I have a BA in Accounting and Business Administration, an MBA in Healthcare Finance (for my doctor clients) with an emphasis in general Finance, and a CPA certification. I spend a lot of my time cleaning up after other accountants who wear three-piece suits or pencil skirts and buns. I am more dedicated to accuracy and passionate about helping my small business clients succeed than most. Clothes, hair and personality are not what makes an accountant professional. So, if someone thinks I don’t look or act professional enough with my purple hair and passionate personality, I am not the right CPA for them, and they are not the right client for me. I love what I do and am having a great time doing it, tatto and all.

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