National Managing Partner
BBA 1987 (Accounting)
Laura Newinski, BBA87, national managing partner for the tax practice of KPMG LLP, the audit, tax, and advisory firm, was recognized earlier this year by the Department of Accounting as the Outstanding Accounting Alumnus of 2013.
She oversees a team of almost 5,500 partners and professionals across all tax disciplines including federal, international, state, and local, as well as the specialty practices of economic and valuation services, mergers and acquisitions, and international expatriate services.
Laura’s career advanced relatively quickly since her start at KPMG in 1988. (She was named to KPMG’s partnership in 1997.) She traces at least part of her career trajectory to her natural curiosity and explains she consciously learns more than is needed to get a job done. She applies this natural curiosity to nearly everything she takes on.
“I rarely intentionally take on the same challenges many times over. The great thing about public accounting is that we are built on the notion of stewardship and bringing up people behind us. I strongly believe that if I’ve done something once, then I shouldn’t do it again because there are others behind me that need to know what I’ve learned.”
Passionate curiosity might seem to be in conflict with her extensive career success at just one firm, and Laura admits that dedicating 25 years to one enterprise is rare by today’s standards. But she recognizes her career has been and continues to be filled with rich experiences and opportunities for fast advancement.
“Thanks to the opportunities presented to me by working at a ‘big four’ professional services firm, I’ve had exposure to some of the most interesting clients in the world. I’ve been a part of not only their day to day operations, but also engaged when they do something new; for example, when they buy a new business, or enter a new geography, or manage a new regulation. There is always business challenge and business change, and we are fortunate that the best companies come to us for advice and insight.”
Helping multinational Fortune 500 companies through new and often complex tax situations has brought breadth and depth to her knowledge bank. “I like increasing the number of unique experiences in my portfolio and constantly stretching how I think and what I think about every day. It keeps me energized; it makes me a better advisor, and it makes me a better leader to be able to share what I’ve learned with others.”
Her position as national managing partner for tax practice allows her to apply her passion for growth to the operations of the firm.
“Three years ago I brought to our management committee the mindset that our tax practice could be bigger, better, faster through more groupthink and teamwork. I take real pride in the fact that, with a laser focus on knowledge sharing, working together and execution, we have outgrown the industry in each of the past three years. We’ve been growing at nearly 10% per year, while tax, as an industry, is growing just under 5% per year. I think we have the formula right.”
Laura and her husband David bring that same focus on teamwork and execution to parenting their teenage sons. They are committed to staying active in their boys’ sports and music activities, and they make a formidable foursome at golf.
Laura is a past member and past president of Tippie’s Professional Accounting Council. As an undergraduate student, she was a member of Beta Alpha Psi and held officer roles in Delta Sigma Pi. She worked three years as a student worker in the University of Iowa Treasury Office in Jessup Hall, which she considered a valuable internship experience and prepared her for a smooth transition to professional life at KPMG.
Congratulations, Laura, for building a reputable career at KPMG and being recognized as the 2013 Outstanding Accounting Alumnus.