BBA 1996 (Accounting)
Beta Alpha Psi
Tax Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Chicago
When Wolfe Tone, BBA 1996, was a fifth grader, he made some big decisions. At the age of 11, he determined he wanted to attend a major university to study business. "My ultimate goal was to become my own boss," explains Tone.
In pursuit of his dreams, he enrolled at The University of Iowa in August of 1992 and majored in accounting.
During his undergraduate years, he was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Prior to receiving his undergraduate degree, Tone attempted to start three separate companies, with only one business yielding humble profits.
A senior in the Tippie College of Business accounting program, Tone applied and was accepted into the University of Iowa College of Law. A fifth grader’s dreams inched closer to fulfillment until his accounting professor suggested Tone defer acceptance to law school so he could try public accounting “just for one year.”
A simple suggestion changed his life forever as that one year made all the difference. He had been bitten by a bug of a mightier size, and it resulted in Tone’s permanent career shift.
An Altered Career Path
Today Tone is a partner with Deloitte Tax LLP in Chicago. He joined the firm in 2002 after working at Arthur Andersen for over six years following graduation from The University of Iowa. He credits Arthur Andersen, and numerous mentors at the firm, for altering his career path.
"During my early years at Andersen, my perception of public accounting and overall career aspirations drastically changed," Tone explains. "I realized that public accounting can be an extremely entrepreneurial environment. All members of a firm, partners to staff, are given various degrees of control over their clients, engagement teams and service arrangements. I also learned that operational excellence was the direct result of providing exceptional client service. I discovered my passion for working in a team environment."
During his early years in public accounting, he also learned to appreciate the value of his Tippie education.
"When I left Tippie, it was apparent that my undergraduate education was more than just accounting; I left college a well rounded professional with solid business acumen. My years at the University of Iowa provided a solid foundation in finance, entrepreneurship, economics and management," he says. "Today, my education from Tippie enables me to converse with my clients about more than just their tax issues. The ability to apply my tax expertise to a broad range of business concerns helps me stay a step ahead of the competition."
Realization of a Dream
In a short time, Tone was given more responsibility and his dreams were suddenly being realized.
"By my third year in accounting, I was actively managing my own engagements. In addition, I became heavily involved with undergraduate recruiting for the firm. Just a few years after finishing my undergraduate degree, I was already helping hire people, assisting with project management, analyzing complex transactions for my clients, and attacking the marketplace for new opportunities."
"I realized my dream in fifth grade was beginning to come true. I was starting to run my own business,” he says.
Then Tone made partner at Deloitte in 2008. As a partner, he is expected to run his practice as a small business.
"I lead my own engagements, assist with hiring the best and brightest and relentlessly pursue new opportunities in the marketplace," he explains. "Upon accepting a partner position at Deloitte, I became a stakeholder of a world class service organization.
In addition to serving as the lead engagement partner on a number of large closely held businesses and several public companies, Tone is responsible for helping lead Deloitte’s undergraduate and graduate hiring program at the University of Iowa.