Why did you go into accounting?

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an accountant. When I was younger, I believed accountants had control over money and accounting was strictly dealing with numbers. As I entered college and started to slowly understand what accounting actually was, I recognized it combined my passions of law and finances for both companies and individuals. My final reason for entering the accounting profession is the ability to work for myself. Becoming a CPA is my goal, and the flexibility the certification provides is endless.

Who were your influencers?

My mom and dad were my biggest influencers. They guided my siblings and me as best they could to find our passions and turn them into careers. They also guided us to pursue careers that were more secure than others.

What do you think about accounting as a profession?

Accounting is a great profession. It’s very flexible and suits the skillset of most. You can pursue a career in audit, tax, advisory, and other great accounting fields. Also, every industry needs an accountant.

Which areas of accounting are you interested in?

Since I am early in my career, I am open to most, if not all, areas of accounting. One area I would say I am more interested in than others would be tax. I am interested in understanding the tax code and advising businesses with various tax strategies.

Do AI, RPA, and other technology advances make you concerned about the security of your career?

They do not concern me. For where I want to be in my career, I do not have any concerns.

Where do you want to go after graduation, and why?

I am currently an auditor with the Office of the New York City Comptroller and would like to remain there as I prepare for the CPA exam upon graduation.

Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or 20 years?

In 5 years, I hope to be a CPA and have advanced my career within the Office of the New York City Comptroller. In 10 years, I would like to start my own CPA firm and provide accounting and tax services to individuals and small businesses. In 20 years, I would like to be a professor at the College of Staten Island and have my own CPA practice, fully functioning and with a large staff.

Richard Pallarino is an auditor with the Office of the New York City Comptroller. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in accounting at the College of Staten Island. Prior to working for the New York City Comptroller, he was an internal auditor with the Madison Square Garden Company and JetBlue Airways. He is the founder of the sports management course at the College of Staten Island and works with the administration to grow the program into a minor. His goal is to pass the CPA exam and open his own accounting practice, as well as become an adjunct professor.