AAM Minute - Partner's Perspective

Trina Painter, Weinstein Spira

Partner’s Perspective: Trina Painter, Weinstein Spira

Name: Trina Painter           

Title: Audit Shareholder    

Firm: Weinstein Spira

Firm City & State: Houston, Texas

Email Address: tjp@weinsteinspira.com

LinkedIn Profile: Trina Richard Painter / www.linkedin.com/pub/trina-richard-painter/0/446/b8a


On the Job:

Where did you go to college and what degree did you get? 

I went to Louisiana State University and I received a bachelors of Science in Accounting.   

Favorite part of your job?

The favorite part of my job is working with great people and clients.  I get so much satisfaction from the people in our firm and their contributions to our equally fantastic clients.


What is a must know for new accountants and why?

It’s fairly common for new accountants to focus almost entirely on acquiring technical skills while neglecting to develop the interpersonal skills they will need to grow in their profession.  Fundamentally, accounting is about people, what they do, what they hope to do, how much wealth they have, what they want for their families and their future.  The most successful accountants are the ones who learn to relate to their clients in an authentic way.  This isn’t something that’s learned in books.  It comes from experience and a deep commitment to your clients.  Interestingly enough, I think that mid-market public accounting offers the best training ground to gain that kind of experience.  In the mid-market, there is no place to hide in large teams or to get pigeon-holed in a narrow field of specialization.  As a new accountant you very quickly learn to interact with C-suite executives.  You can’t get that kind of experience anywhere else.


Accountants tend to be tactic-focused when it comes to marketing. Do you agree and, if so, how do you remain strategic?

I think it is natural for most people who are not directly in the business of marketing to be more comfortable with tactics than with strategies.  Tactics are more closely related to the day-to-day implementation of marketing plans: meeting and following-up with clients, sending personal notes, networking, all these things come naturally to people in service firms.  Actually, I think accountants have an unfair advantage in that arena because our profession calls for a high-level of discipline that can be leveraged in so many ways.  We are very good at being consistent in our work and we excel at cultivating business relationships.  We also have the ability to understand the whole picture and we value expertise.  Our firm relies on outside consultants to help us define our overall marketing strategy but we use internal resources to both evaluate and implement the consultants’ recommendations.    It’s worked very well for us and we’ve been happily surprised at the level of enthusiasm our marketing efforts have generated both inside and outside the firm.

What are some best practices for year end?

As 2014 comes to an end, our marketing team is hard at working developing our 2015 strategic marketing plan. We are analyzing our previous plan for accomplishments and opportunities for improvements.  I think one of the most important aspects of setting a strategy for the upcoming  year is to make sure that you complete on any previous goals that were set.  Completion includes acknowledging what you accomplished and what you didn’t.     You should measure the results that were produced from the various  activities and evaluate whether they resulted in the achievement of your firm’s strategic marketing objectives.  You can use a  percentage complete for each activity and then an overall percentage for how much you accomplished within each objective.  By using a deliberate exercise to score the firm on the achievement of the previous year’s marketing plan,  you create a clean slate or space from which you can create the new year’s strategic objectives and resulting action steps.    Also, by acknowledging accomplishments you are creating energy within your firm to push forward towards the achievement of new breakthroughs in growing your firm.  I believe that people are happy when they accomplish their goals and participate in their firm’s advancement.


What is the biggest issue in the accounting profession today

I think the biggest issue in the accounting profession today is finding and retaining great talent.


On the Side:

What do you do when you're not working? 

I am the principal investor, mentor, accountant, technology consultant and business advisor for S&S Super Girl Spa, a full-service spa founded and operated by my spirited grade-school daughter, Sarah.  

What would you be doing if you hadn't become an accountant? 

If I had not become an accountant, I would probably be running an event planning business.  I love creating fun and visually appealing events.  I like big projects with lots of moving parts.

Special skills (superhero powers if you feel you can reveal them):

Perseverance and strategic thinking

The one thing people don’t know about me…

I am fascinated by etiquette!  At times, you may seem me flipping through the latest Emily Post book brushing up on my skills.T