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Boro accountant leads state ‘society’

Paula Mooney installed as president of Georgia CPAs

    Certified public accountant Paula Mooney has earned the ultimate respect of her fellow professionals while carving an unusual niche in her profession. A sole practitioner working primarily as a consultant, Mooney was recently installed as the president of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants (GSCPA).

            GSCPA’s executive director Gary Julian said Mooney’s ascendancy to the top leadership role of the organization is a testament to Mooney’s abilities as a CPA. 

            “Paula’s commitment of time and her attention to detail and to professional issues has made her a clear choice to move forward in the ranks of the GSCPA ultimately advancing to president,” Julian said. “The fact that she has accomplished this without the resources and backing of a large firm, speaks volumes about her abilities as a professional.”

            Mooney said one of the initiatives of the GSCPA is the organization’s high school residency program created to teach high school students interested in an accounting career about the diversity of the profession.

            “I don’t think that people, particularly young people, realize all of the doors that are opened with an accounting degree and a CPA certification,” she said. “You can springboard into so many different things.”

            Earning the designation of a certified fraud examiner in 2006, Mooney is an excellent example of that diversity.

            “As a fraud examiner, I look at criminal activity that is related to financial transactions,” Mooney said. “I have had some very interesting cases including working for a neighboring board of county commissioners investigating improprieties in their bidding process and purchasing policies related to a specific vendor. You are a detective of sorts, and I really enjoy that.”

The University of Georgia graduate began her career in Atlanta in 1985 with the then prominent national accounting firm of Touche Ross & Company. From there, Mooney moved to Statesboro taking the position as an assistant professor of accounting with Georgia Southern University. Mooney later served as the chief financial officer of the Bulloch County Board of Education during the mid-nineties before setting up her own practice in 1998.

“I decided to become a sole practitioner so as to spend more time with my children who were small at the time,” she said. “Prior to opening my own practice, I can remember having ‘picnics’ with my daughter in my office sharing lunch on a blanket. I didn’t want to lead that life. I just needed more flexibility.”

Mooney said things didn’t quite work out as she had thought they might.

“Within a year, I had accepted consulting work from the Georgia Board of Regents and I ended up doing some traveling, but it was a schedule that I could create and work around,” she said.  “One thing led to another and I got involved with forensic accounting and also provide CFO services for Georgia Southern University’s Research and Service Foundation.”

            Virginia Samiratedu serves as the interim director of GSU’s Research and Service Foundation.

            “Paula is a consummate professional and her memory is unbelievable,” Samiratedu said. “She is just extraordinary and her ability to look at a problem in the larger sense and offer several solutions is uncanny.”

            Samiratedu said Mooney’s expertise is complimented by her ability to work with Georgia Southern’s faculty.

            “You have to work with a number of personalities in this office, and Paula is very good at that. She is just a tremendous asset.”

            Mooney lives in Statesboro with her husband Lowell Mooney, and their three children, Jessica, Sarah, and Christopher, ages 16, 12, and 10.

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