Karey Schoenfeld, CPA
Attorney, Duffy Kekel LLP
OSCPA Member Since: 1988
2008-09 OSCPA Board Chair
Luckily, I’m able to work in my office, and so is my secretary! We have a small Vancouver office, and its usually just the two of us in the office so we stay fairly isolated. We find it's much easier to work together at the office. Plus it gives me a feeling of “normalcy” to get in the car and go to work.
2. What’s the best part of your job/what do you love about your job?
Working with other professionals and great clients is the best part of my job. My practice is more focused on estate planning now than it has been in the past. Not only do I enjoy the personal connections I make each day, but I also like the challenges related to complex estate matters. It gives me great satisfaction to help families plan their estates to protect their assets, further family values, and minimize overall taxes.
3. How has the CPA credential defined your career so far?
Initially I didn’t realize how much the CPA and my tax background influences the way I practice. But more and more, I have clients come to me who feel that while they’ve set up their estate plans, they have done very little to minimize estate and transfer taxes. Having a CPA and knowledge of the tax issues gives me a very different perspective for overall estate and business matters. I always urge everyone I meet who is going into accounting to get their CPA. Not only does it set us apart from others, but the OSCPA also provides a great community of professionals which was instrumental in shaping my overall practice.
4. How has being an OSCPA member, and a past OSCPA Chair, benefitted you?
When I first joined the OSCPA, I signed up for what was then called the State and Local Tax Committee. I made many life-long friends working on the tax committee and on Oregon tax legislation. Joining that committee gave me a sense of camaraderie, and a sense of belonging to an important profession.
My year as chair gave me a chance to make even more connections and friends in the profession, and I gained a better understanding of the national associations, and the importance they play helping establish federal tax and accounting laws. It also helped me to realize how lucky we are in Oregon to have a strong membership organization with great leadership.
I feel it is important to be active in professional organizations, to ensure that they remain strong, but also to benefit from the strength of the community. Being an OSCPA member, and being part of the OSCPA leadership helped give me that sense of connection. It helped me to establish contacts throughout the state, which I know have been a big benefit to me, and to my clients.
5. What are you reading/listening to these days?
A couple of years ago my husband and I did a bike ride through the Hudson River Valley. It peaked my interest in the Roosevelts. I read No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin, about both Franklin and Eleanor, and just finished reading the book Eleanor by David Michaelis. It was tough getting through Eleanor, but it was interesting to see the struggles our country faced in the first half of the 20th century, many of which are not all that different from what we’re going through now.
6. What changes have you made personally or professionally to adapt during the pandemic?
Life isn’t a whole lot different for me on a day-to-day basis; however, I’ve never watched so much television! We’ve been streaming Netflix – mostly comedies or shows that are upbeat, with no added stress. The news is stressful enough!
My biggest struggle is not being able to travel. I have always worked long hours, but count on vacations to break things up. I’m getting a bit burned out without vacations, and I’m learning that I need to take more time away from work in order to stay productive.