B.A. 1973 (Fine Arts)
Director of Tax, McGladrey & Pullen
Madeline Windauer is living proof that not all accountants are born left brain thinkers. Her path to a highly successful career in accounting began with a degree in fine art and took several uncharted right turns along the way.
After graduating from the University of Iowa with a fine art degree in the 1973, Madeline enjoyed working as a freelance graphic designer and photographer and owned a graphic design business for years. She began a gradual but major turn in the road by enrolling in the UI College of Business and taking a variety of business classes over the next six years—classes she “absolutely loved.” This turn led to an MBA degree with emphasis in Management Information Systems (MIS) in 1983 where she found working with technology fascinating.
“It was a right brain-left brain shift. After four years of being in totally subjective types of classes, finally, there was a right answer!” she quips.
The Path to Accounting
About a decade later, Madeline decided to follow another path and focus on accounting. After 30 hours of accounting courses required for the CPA exam, she received her CPA in 1996. She believes this winning MBA/CPA combination has served her well, providing her a range of opportunities in accounting.
”The breadth of business classes I took while pursuing my MBA and the depth of accounting coursework involved in getting a CPA allowed me to pursue different options in public accounting--first in financial consulting and business valuation, then in tax.”
She also credits the instructors and learning environment at the University, saying “the encouragement of UI administrators and faculty, many of whom I stay in contact with, was also a great benefit."
Along the way Madeline has worked as an independent strategic planning consultant, a financial analyst at the Universiy before joining McGladrey & Pullen in 1996, currently as Director of Tax. She is responsible for all aspects of tax for the Iowa City office, including compliance reviews; research, planning and projections; 409A compliance lead; and estate, trust, and gift tax planning. She is also actively involved in McGladrey’s Women’s Leadership. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has participated on the Taxation Committee of the Iowa Society of CPAs.
One of her favorite responsibilities with McGladrey is interviewing and getting to know the cadre of accounting interns from UI and other schools who are employed by McGladrey during tax seasons, many of whom later become full-time employees.
"I enjoy working with the accounting interns because they are so anxious to put their business coursework into practice. They are invariably enthusiastic, intellectually curious, anxious to learn from their mistakes, and willing to put in the long hours it takes to succeed during tax season. They are the future of public accounting, so it’s great to see the enormous progress they make in a few short months,” she says.
-by Jade DeLang Hart