Kathy French, CPA, Partner
Kathy French has made great professional strides since managing the yard gate at a lumber yard years ago. But in her mind, her job hasn’t changed all that much.
“Being in customer service taught me important lessons about how to deal with people and those lessons are the ones I use the most. I know my clients’ financials, but I also know them. I like to find common ground with our clients first, and then the service approach comes naturally after that.”
This people-first approach is just one of the reasons that clients actually look forward to their audits when they work with Ryun, Givens & Company. One of Kathy’s primary responsibilities at the firm is to manage the audit team, which she does with great enjoyment and success.
“Our clients get a stable group of people to work with. If I did your audit last year, it’s likely that you’re going to see me again this year. We go beyond the audit to look for ways to improve day-to-day operations. We also make sure our clients know they can call us year-round with questions and to talk about changes in their industries.”
Kathy also performs cost report preparation and consulting services for health care clients throughout the year, with a focus on truly understanding how the organization works. Gaining that understanding ultimately helps to make things more efficient and can also identify ways to maximize Medicaid reimbursement rates. A specialist in serving not-for-profit long-term care facilities, she has found work for these clients to be especially rewarding.
“People in the not-for-profit sector aren’t simply focused on the bottom line – they’re with an organization because of the mission and to keep the organization on the best path. Working toward a mission changes the dynamic of a business a lot. My role, even as their auditor, is one of working with the client to meet mutual objectives. I joke that as auditors we live in the past, but it’s always with the future in mind.”
Prior to joining Ryun, Givens & Company, Kathy spent several years working in the Iowa Office of Auditor of State. She is a current member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants, and a past member of the Association of Fraud Examiners. Kathy holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Accounting and Business from Grand View College.
A Des Moines native, Kathy now resides in Johnston, Iowa and is a die-hard Minnesota Vikings fan. She also enjoys golf and concerts.
Kathy can be reached at email@example.com.
Tammy Mason, CPA, Audit Supervisor
Tammy Mason knows a lot about how long-term care organizations should approach their finances – things that she wants leaders in those organizations to know, too.
“When we meet with new clients in the long-term care industry, they seem so appreciative of the time we take to teach them the specifics of long-term care accounting. For us, it’s just the normal way we do things. But for them, I think the level of understanding they gain is something they haven’t experienced before.”
Tammy knows that in many cases, people dread hearing from or meeting with their auditor. But through the emphasis that Ryun, Givens & Company places on educating clients, she’s been able to break through that stereotype. She finds that clients engage her earnestly because they feel knowledgeable and empowered, not as if they’re being corrected for a mistake.
“We have clients come in for free seminars when we feel there is an issue they need to be familiar with. We share everything we know, and this helps to create a feeling of mutual trust, so they’re glad to see us when it is time to do the audits.”
As part of the core audit team, Tammy appreciates the fact that she truly enjoys working with the other auditors, and is pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoy each other’s company when they’re out meeting with clients.
“We spend a lot of time on the road together and we all still like each other! That’s how you know that everyone in the group is a team player.”
Prior to joining Ryun, Givens & Company, Tammy spent seven years working in the Iowa Office of Auditor of State. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants. Tammy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of Iowa.
Despite her alma mater, Tammy was born a Cyclone and is the self-proclaimed #1 fan of Iowa State Cyclone football and a season ticket holder. She also enjoys traveling, boating, and camping.
Tammy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda Fatland, CPA, Tax Supervisor
Linda Fatland is a numbers person, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. But she also realizes that most people aren’t.
“I would say that for probably 90 percent of the people out there, a spreadsheet can make their heads spin. I’ve learned how to bridge the gap and get the important information across – in English – while still providing the highest level of service possible.”
This approach is just one of the reasons clients enjoy working with Linda on their most important tax and accounting matters. At Ryun, Givens & Company, Linda performs a variety of tax and accounting services for clients in many different industries.
Furthermore, as a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a member of Peachtree’s Accountant’s Network, Linda is uniquely qualified to help clients make the most of their accounting software. This added layer of expertise allows Linda to have a full circle understanding of how she can most valuably serve clients.
“On every tax or accounting engagement, my goal is to exceed expectations. I consider timely and quality service to be a given, so I listen carefully to my clients for indications of how I can serve them above and beyond what they’re expecting and I do my best to achieve that.”
Linda is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Drake University.
Outside of the office, Linda is an active volunteer within her church community. She is a current member of P.E.O. (a philanthropic organization) and a past member of the Drake University Parent Board. She and her husband of over 30 years have three grown children and two grandchildren. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, kayaking, biking, and curling up on the couch with a good novel.
Linda can be reached at email@example.com.
Blake Miller, CPA, Senior Auditor
Every piece has to fit together perfectly in order to see the real picture. For Blake Miller, being an auditor is like working on a puzzle.
“I have strong analytical skills, which helps me because, at times, our work is like a large puzzle and I am good at finding the missing piece and putting the puzzle together.”
That’s one of the challenges the Manson, Iowa native enjoys about his job. He also appreciates the variety.
“I like working with a bunch of different people and every job is different. I like the variety and going out of the office and visiting different places and seeing the state.”
In addition to auditing, he helps prepare cost reports and tax returns.
Before joining Ryun, Givens & Company, Blake was a staff accountant at a Fort Dodge accounting firm. He graduated from UNI with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Blake is also an avid outdoorsman. He’ll brave harsh Iowa winters to ice fish. You can also find him on the golf course or cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Blake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org