Whittaker & Company Senior Manager Daniel Sohn moved a lot when he was younger. Born in Korea, Daniel later moved with his family to Vancouver, Canada. Next they swapped coasts for New York City, then hopped back west to a variety of cities in Orange County. The constant change likely informed his aversion to stasis. In fact, Daniel says he thrives on the unknown, making him a perfect fit at Whittaker & Company.
Daniel joined the firm in 2006, his first job following college. He’s stayed here because the company’s culture is driven by a constant urge to improve.
Thriving in a time of constant change
“Nothing stands still at Whittaker & Company,” Daniel says. “In most of the CPA world, everything is the same; same forms, same processes year after year.” Our business, however, is evolving, bringing with it that untraversed territory Daniel enjoys. Every year has presented a new challenge as our scope of services has evolved.
Not only are Whittaker and Company’s capabilities and offerings growing, but their approach to accounting continues to evolve as well. “We’re always innovating and challenging the status quo,” Daniel says. “Just because that’s how everyone else has done it in the past, it doesn’t mean that’s how we’re doing it now.”
Mountaineering with spreadsheets
If working at a typical accounting firm is running laps around a track, Daniel likens his time at Whittaker & Company to a journey through the mountains; the topology and scenery in constant flux. And when it comes to tackling problems, he likes to look at multiple angles to seek for solutions.
“Let’s make something different,” he says. “That’s where the excitement comes from.” Daniel points to the Efficient Enterprise process, strategic guidance, and forward-thinking tax planning as examples of how the company innovates in the often stagnant CPA realm.
A business built on a foundation of caring
It isn’t just the innovation and evolution that keep Daniel at Whittaker & Company, however. He also enjoys the company’s culture of caring. Throughout his life, he continuously finds deep comfort in the church. He sees parallels in how a successful business approaches its customers and clients, namely caring for them.
“When we care for each other, we learn from each other,” Daniel says. “Caring allows us to be diverse and builds upon our strengths.”
Growing inwardly to expand horizons
The company’s culture of empathy is focused inward as well, and Daniel has felt it firsthand. He was still in college when he began working with Dan Whittaker, who became an early mentor for Daniel.
“He’s the biggest reason I’m here,” Daniel said. “Dan constantly pushed me to do something big and take a risk. It’s his encouragement that catapulted me to get certified.”
In Dan, Daniel has found more than a mentor, though—he’s found a collaborator. It’s another example of how the business innovates. While Dan has a more traditional CPA background and approach, Daniel brings an economist’s mindset. “We can approach problems from different angles, and we somehow meet in the middle,” Daniel said of he and Dan’s often unorthodox approach to creating solutions. “My feedback is valued and validated, and I really appreciate that.”
Whether guiding tax and accounting managers, providing strategic and business planning services, or offering transaction support, Daniel plans to continue caring, innovating, and exploring the unexplored. It’s that excitement that keeps him going.
Interested in learning more about Daniel or the rest of the Whittaker & Company team? We’d love to hear from you. Give us a call or send us an email today.