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2010 40 Under 40: Stephanie Weis

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As audit and assurance director for BKD LLP, Stephanie Weis shoulders a great deal of responsibility.

She is in charge of making sure BKD audits for the firm’s Springfield, Joplin and Branson offices comply with firm and professional standards. BKD is monitored internally with inspections and externally with regular peer reviews.

“Ensuring we meet and exceed these standards maintains our business and professional reputation, as well as lowers the risk to our firm,” Weis says.

So far, Weis, who previously served as assistant audit and insurance director, has passed all tests with flying colors.

“During my tenure … BKD received an unqualified opinion on our peer review results and has had no letter of comment issued for items needing further attention, which is the highest standard in our industry,” Weis says.

Weis says her skill and her attention to detail helped her become a BKD partner in 2009 at age 37, which she says is younger than the company average. She is the 10th female partner in her practice office and one of 44 female partners firmwide

“I see myself as a role model to other professionals – proof that you can have it all: a marriage, a family and an accomplished career,” says Weis, who has two sons. “Public accounting is a profession that has a perception that this isn’t possible, but BKD is very family friendly.”

Beyond serving as an example, Weis also has a hands-on role in recruiting, training and coaching other young professionals at BKD.

“I enjoy every step of the process, but especially the coaching,” she says, noting that giving the best career advice requires getting to know co-workers beyond their work personas.

“Not everyone is geared to be a tax accountant or an auditor. Not everyone is destined to work in public accounting, and that is OK,” she says. “I like to learn what makes (people) happy, what drives their passion. Passion is what gets you out of bed every day to head into work, and if you’re not passionate, you’re probably not performing to your fullest potential.”

Weis’ influence isn’t limited to her workplace, either. She’s a past board member of the Show Me Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, and she reaches out to area children by sponsoring an after-school reading program called Make It, Take It, Bake It at Espy Elementary in Nixa.

“The kids have a blast and don’t realize the prime objective is to learn how to read and comprehend what they are reading,” Weis says.[[In-content Ad]]

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