Carr, Riggs & Ingram CPA’s and Advisors
It’s not uncommon for individuals to doubt whether or not they chose the right profession. When graduating college, most at the young age of 22, it can be difficult to forecast what your career track will be until retirement, and if you will continue to be passionate about it.
This was the case for Debbie Goode, partner at Carr, Riggs & Ingram CPA’s and Advisors, where she will become partner in charge this year. She first started working in public accounting with the national firm, Coopers and Lybrand, working 12 hours a day, six to seven days per week. She started hating accounting and thought that she had chosen the wrong career path.
“I almost went back to school to be a psychologist, since I thought that anyone that entered this profession needed a psychologist, and there had to be a big market,” she said. “Since I already had a master’s degree in accounting, I decided to try another job instead of another career field.”
This led her to joining Hoyman, Oswalt and Kirk (which later became Hoyman Dobson). She came to realize that she loved what she did, but just had to find the right place to do it. As she reflected, she said that looking back, not giving up on public accounting and finding the right place and right people to work with is what positioned her for success.
Outside of her position at Carr, Riggs & Ingram, Goode is passionate about ensuring Brevard County’s economic base stays strong. Because of this, she enjoys helping businesses grow and connecting people with others so they can get jobs, new work or simply better their lives. This passion is practiced through her role as chair of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, where she founded the Government Contract Advisory team and was a founding board member of the Women In Defense Space Coast Chapter. She has also served as chair of LEAD Brevard and the Women’s Business Center at FIT, where she led the charge to begin the mentoring program for second-stage businesses, now known as the Ignite Mentoring Program.
Goode’s biggest internal obstacle has been achieving strong self-confidence, including pushing through projects that may not be comfortable to her at first, but continuing to push herself to keep trying. Externally, it’s been a similar struggle. “When I first became an audit partner, most were men. The first partner meeting I went to, with our association of CPA firms we belonged to, had five women and 90 men. In this male-dominated role, I had to make sure I earned the respect of my male clients, which I was able to do with the assistance of my knowledge, work ethic and communication skills.
“The innate abilities women have serve us well in business. We are good multi-taskers and think through our decisions before we make them,” she commented. “We sense and understand others’ feelings, which helps us to be good leaders.”