CPA Barb Houser on Using Your Talents to Give Back

Barb Houser, veteran public accountant at KPM CPAs & Advisors, has grown the firm’s nonprofit arm to serve more than 150 clients.

Lillian Stone

Oct 07 2019 at 9 a.m.

Barb Houser, CPA
Photo courtesy KPM CPAs & AdvisorsCPA Barb Houser shares her wisdom for finding the time to give back.

When you think of nonprofit volunteer opportunities, accounting may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But veteran CPA Barb Houser saw a need when she was hired at KPM CPAs & Advisors 21 years ago. “Our nonprofit arm was fairly small when I started at the firm,” she says. “Now, I work with over 150 nonprofit clients. I work for a firm that really believes in giving back to the community, and that aligns well with my values.”

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Houser’s work with KPM feeds a passion for service that began when she was a college student completing nonprofit work hours through her business fraternity. Her passion for giving back has led her to become involved with a wide variety of local nonprofits including Habitat for Humanity, The Doula Foundation and the Missouri Institute of Natural Science.

While Houser is proud of her ability to juggle family time, volunteerism and the demanding deadlines that public accountants face year-round—not just during tax season—she’s fed up with the idea of having it all. “It’s unfair to set people up thinking that you’re going to achieve this perfect balance, because it’s not a balance,” she says. “It’s a juggle.” Houser relies on old-school to-do lists, as well as grounding activities like walking the family dog, to keep things in perspective.

Ultimately, the grind is worth it. “My nonprofit work is one of my top achievements,” she says. “Not only do I have the opportunity to volunteer with organizations I really care about, but coming in as a professional with an in-depth knowledge of nonprofits and being able to help those organizations—and becoming a focused leader for our firm in the nonprofit area—has been a very rewarding and very meaningful experience.”