Sunday, January 27, 2002

Roy Mitchell

CPA stresses education

By John Eckberg
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Certified Public Accountant Roy Mitchell has no doubt about how all Americans can find success: Education is the key.

        A former auditor for the Internal Revenue Service, he has a master's degree in business administration/finance from Wright State University and an undergraduate business administration degree from Ohio State University.

        Education paid off for him, and he thinks it will pay off for anybody.

        “Both my parents had a college education, so for me, it was a given,” says Mr. Mitchell, who has taught courses in management, accounting, tax and finance at Wilberforce University and the Raymond Walters campus of the University of Cincinnati.

        A principal at Kunimura Mitchell & Co., a Blue Ash accounting firm, Mr. Mitchell sometimes marvels at how success is a journey of small steps.

        Like many professionals, his route was neither straight nor speedy. His first job was helping a buddy with a newspaper route. Rain, sleet and snow brought him dimes and quarters. The other guy got bucks.

        That didn't last long. Mr. Mitchell next worked at a one-register grocery store — the Ohio Market — and there he learned the value of showing up each day.

        After graduating from Columbus East High School in 1968, a close-knit predominantly black high school, he thought he might like to drive trucks for a living. Mr. Mitchell instead went to college. When he didn't do well in his first year, he joined the Army. Four years later, he was ready to try college again.

        “An older sergeant who I was close to suggested that I go into business administration because it could be a stepping stone for law,” Mr. Mitchell, a Springdale resident, says. Why not?

        When Mr. Mitchell signed up as a freshman at Ohio State University, he tapped into a full-ride GI Bill, then realized he had to declare an area of interest.

        The first category under “A” was accounting. Mr. Mitchell put his checkmark next to that heading for one reason and one reason alone: It was at the top of the list.

        “What a divine power it is that directs us in those ways,” Mr. Mitchell says today.

        Does he see any trends among his clients, the professionals who have achieved a measure of success in their lives? No doubt, Mr. Mitchell says.

        First, while college is probably not for everybody, most successful people have a degree. Another underlying theme is home ownership.

        “That means for most people that their monthly payment is building equity, as opposed to rent, which goes nowhere,” he says.

        The third links to the first.

        “A master's degree doesn't make me smarter,” he says, “but it does give me credibility. And that's the magic word — credibility.”


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