I truly enjoy coming to work every day and have for the past 23 years. When you love what you do, it makes the time fly.   My name is Laura, I am a certified public accountant (CPA), a partner in my firm, and the firm’s Chief Operations Officer (COO).  

Brown Edwards is open to different ideas and tactics for increasing and measuring success. This nontraditional thinking is, in my opinion, what makes BE stand out as a regional CPA firm. We choose to measure success not simply by revenue or number of clients but by the impact we leave on our clients, team members, and communities. We emphasize education and professional development to our teams and encourage community involvement on all levels.

When I joined BE in 1998, we had 4 offices, 75 employees, and 19 partners, two of which were female. Today, firms in our revenue category have a workforce that is 53% female, with an industry average for female partners of 18.7%. I am proud to say that today at 450 employees, 55 partners, and 12 offices, Brown Edwards has a workforce that is 62% female, and 23% of our partners are women.  

Although our stats for females in the workforce and leadership are greater than the industry average, that isn’t our only goal. In 2021, we expanded our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts by establishing an official task force. The task force supports women currently in the firm, in the accounting industry, and young women considering becoming part of the industry. I believe our flexibility and ability to provide alternative work arrangements have created opportunities for more women to stay in our firm and have very successful careers than some of our peers. In turn, this has created a very strong class of female emerging leaders coming through the ranks of Brown Edwards.

With so much surrounding women’s rights and workplace equity, our firm felt the need to emphasize our support of women in the workplace. We are very excited to be supporting and sponsoring the inaugural RVA Power Women, which focuses on Richmond’s Most Notable Businesswomen in categories ranging from c-suite to emerging leaders. As the presenting sponsor, some of our female team members will be part of the selection committee. We have many female leaders in our Richmond and Petersburg offices who deserve to be recognized through nomination, however, our sponsorship prevents any BE team members from being selected for the award.