Art Lawler Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
A group of budding CPA’s heard from a man with the state’s highest financial planning award in his proverbial back pocket recently.
Roger D. Gaddis of Ada, co-owner of Gaddis & Gaddis Wealth Management, had something for these graduate students at East Central University to consider — a career that would combine accounting with personal financial planning.
His message to the class emphasized there’s more to life than taxes. Financial planning, he said, has given him the opportunity to work closely with people. Helping them with their financial planning and seeing them realize their dreams, he said, keeps him going.
How well does he like his job? “I don’t have a job,” he told the students. “I have a career.”
The Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants gave him its highest financial planning award Nov. 1 at the OSCPA’s Financial Planning Conference in Oklahoma City.
The award was presented by Pat Milligan, OSCPA/PFS chairperson, on Nov. 1.
“This award recognizes the growing importance of financial planning within the community of CPAs,” he said.
On Nov. 5, in a more informal classroom setting inside the Stonecipher School of Business at ECU, Gaddis spoke to the graduate students about the growing trend of CPA’s who are adding financial planning services to their businesses.
Gaddis, a graduate of Oklahoma State University and a 24-year member of OSCPA, began his career as a CPA in 1981 at Conoco Oil in Ponca City.
For years while working at Conoco, he filled out tax returns for his friends and began to make money on the side.
When he had enough clients to feel good about indulging his entrepreneurial instincts, he struck out on his own.
He got the idea from a friend one day who asked him if he’d ever thought about becoming a stockbroker.
He told the students he didn’t know much about being a stockbroker at the time.
He was told that stockbrokers work with people on long-term financial situations because, frankly, he learned, a lot of people suffer from “deficits of financial knowledge.”
The more he looked into it, the greater his desire became to learn more.
Problems that were in search of positive answers were everywhere.
Deficits of knowledge?
• A large number of people didn’t know how to use a credit card without getting themselves into financial crises, he discovered.
• He found people who didn’t know how to balance a checkbook.
• He found people who had money but didn’t have a clue what to do with it.
He also saw where lottery winners and people who came into an inheritance suddenly not only didn’t know what to do with the money, they had no idea who they could trust.
Frequently, they die broke, he said. Financial issues also led to the loss of friendships and even marriages.
Gaddis told the students that as CPA’s they would be entering a field that still has high trust numbers from the public.
He also said it’s a field with a high code of ethics and conduct.
The chance to meet and help give life and focus to vague dreams for others is what keeps him going.
He admitted the stock market isn’t for everybody, and that he can’t help everyone. He has to keep his list of clients at a manageable level.
News events of one disaster after another keep the stock market going up and down.
Of Gaddis, John Hargrave, ECU president, said, “He is a professional who shares his time, experience, and commitment in Ada and surrounding communities. In my opinion, he is well deserving of this award.”