Pathway to a Certified Public Accountant

Monday, February 7, 2022

Peter Menichelli took accounting classes at SPSCC from 2010-11 to prepare for the CPA exam. Now, he's the owner and CPA at Menichelli & Associates, a firm dedicated to helping their clients and growing future CPAs through paid internships and more.

“It doesn’t matter what branch of accounting you go into,” said Menichelli. “You’re going to continually be learning new things.” Menichelli earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Washington before joining SPSCC in 2020. At SPSCC, he took accounting courses in preparation for the CPA exam and also taught Intermediate Accounting at SPSCC for a few years.

Menichelli was drawn to a career as a CPA because it allows him to help people. “People come to me with different problems. Whether it be estate planning, business planning, or tax planning, those sorts of things I find enjoyable,” he said. “They’re real-life problems that have impacts on people’s families and their lives.”

While reflecting on his time at SPSCC, Menichelli offered some advice to current students. “It’s not always about the grade,” he said. “It’s walking away with the knowledge. You have to have that thirst for knowledge if you’re going to succeed in accounting, and basically in life.”

A thirst for knowledge is something Menichelli carried with him as he moved on to the next chapter of his career. He started Menichelli & Associates in October 2020 and began serving the clients beginning January 2021. As both the owner of and CPA at Menichelli & Associates, he emphasizes how the skills of learning and adapting are used every day.

“Things change constantly,” he said. “Tax law changes every year. Some things take longer to change, but they do change. You have to be willing to put in the time to learn the new processes and things you have to do.”

When he was looking to hire employees for his firm, Menichelli turned to SPSCC. He collaborated with Angela Kirkendall, Professor of Accounting, to ensure that SPSCC accounting students and graduates had a pathway at his firm. Together, they arranged a meet and greet on campus for accounting students to explore the opportunity. Menichelli hired three students who attended the event.

“I am happy that I was able to at least help a small handful of students who could take advantage of the great internship opportunity that Menichelli is offering,” said Kirkendall.

As they enter the tax season, Menichelli & Associates employs six SPSCC Accounting program graduates and continue to provide a year-long paid internship program with benefits such as tuition reimbursement for three local accounting students.