Gregory L. Nowling, CPA, Founding Shareholder, Director of Audit Services, Director of Quality Control
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, Bachelor of Science in Accounting/29 years of experience in multi-family affordable housing and nonprofits/19 years with ComerNowling/Hometown Bloomington, Indiana/Wife, Amy /Children, Brandon (27), Kennedy (17), Addison (12), and Jackson (9)/Hobbies include collecting 1960’s/1970’s and Vietnam War era memorabilia, martial arts training, and anything on the water.
I grew up in a small, southern Indiana town. I started working at the age of 14. That first summer of work I got up before dawn to get on a bus taking about 20 young men to the cornfields for 8 hours of hard labor. Once I got home, I had to eat dinner and head out to the local diner where I washed dishes until closing. In those days you got paid for a good day’s labor. And in those days I made the minimum wage of $2.90 an hour grossing about $35 a day. Over the years I had worked in gas stations, hanging billboards, in a factory, restaurants, and in gas stations in order to pay for the things I thought I needed including paying for my own college at Indiana University.
My younger years in the labor market taught me a few valuable lessons. First, you feel good about yourself at night when you know you’ve earned an honest dollar for an honest day of work. And, second, being extremely knowledgeable in your work and treating your customers as if they are your income is a key to success.
I’ve carried those values through my professional career as well. The dynamics of this business has changed dramatically since I started 22-years ago. When I started in public accounting there were no laptops, no voicemail, no email, and no cellular phones. Good customer service back then was 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and responding to phone messages written out by the receptionist the next time you were in the office. Today, good customer service is 24-hours a day. I believe good customer service in today’s environment is being assessable via email and cellular phone 24-hours a day. It also requires a dedication to staying on top of all the changes in this industry with the wealth of information found within industry organizations on the internet. I believe my availability and my dedication to knowledge is today’s level of good customer service just as it was many years ago to make sure all the plates in the diner were sparkling clean.
Although, as a Firm, we are not always the good guys when it comes to auditing under governmental regulations, we are seldom the bad guys. We are honest with our clients and work with our clients to report accurately and to understand the industry to avoid bad situations in the future. I, and we as a Firm, are a group of professional individuals providing good customer service and who dedicate their professional careers to being technical experts while upholding our fiduciary duties to our oversight agencies and organizations. I believe this is nothing more than making sure those diner plates are sparkling clean.
On a personal level, I don’t have a lot of spare time. Outside of the office, I have four children. The oldest, Brandon is engaged to be married in 2016 and completing his Master of Professional Accounting degree from Butler University. Then there’s Kennedy who is 13 and a highly competitive gymnast. Addison is 8 and a Daddy’s girl. And finally, but certainly not least, is Jackson who is 5 and one can imagine the energy required to chase him around. There are days I spend discussing technical accounting issues, career planning with my oldest, to being at a gymnastics meet, to snuggling with Daddy’s girl, and finally to playing trains and matchbox cars with my youngest. All of those things wrapped up in just one day. And, honestly, those are the best days. Those are the days I know not only are my clients happy but so is each and everyone in my family. At the end of those days, one has to lay their head down and just smile.