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Numbers can tell exciting stories!

On this episode, I had the pleasure to speak with Tom Golden, a legend who not only has amazing stories, but who also writes amazing stories! Upon his retirement, Tom decided to turn his entire career journey of solving white collar crimes and fraud cases into a trilogy/thriller! How cool is that?!



Tom explains that although the journey towards your successful career can be daunting, the obstacles ensure growth and success in the long run. Only by being pushed out of your comfort zone continually, by failing on the way to your goals, he argues, can one grow. That’s why he advocates that you shouldn’t worry about the obstacles that you may encounter. Pick out the mountain that you want to climb. Plan for it, run it by people who will tell you what you need to hear (not what they think you want to hear), and when you determine that’s the goal you want to accomplish in life, you can start climbing that mountain; keep climbing until you’re successful. Feel free to stop on plateaus and look out for other mountains.


Everyone wants appreciation, validation, and to be noticed; when you find out what other people want (often the same things that you want) and come up with strategic ways to give it to them, you can build a network of trust and growth. Tom explains that you can network best by finding individuals with shared interests as you, and then talking with them about something that you know they like. If you keep asking questions based on what they said - don't have to tell him a thing about what you do - they’ll likely feel listened to. This sort of networking, a derivative of Dale Carnegie’s work, is likely to open the door to many more opportunities.


From his own experience leading one of the largest forensic accounting investigation practices in the US, Tom has cultivated a career in fiction writing. His career journey transpired over decades, with many different roles, aspirations, and realities confronting him throughout; importantly, Tom allowed his love for the stories that numbers tell drive him throughout his career. Now, he can take this love and transform it into a brand new career, even post retirement. Tom’s story is an effective way to highlight how many different types of jobs you can get out of the accounting industry, and how easy it is to really make it all your own!

🎧 To learn more about these ideas, dive deeper into Tom’s accounting thrillers, or to find yourself a mentor in Cece, head to the Dear Accountant Podcast here.

🎙 “Dear Accountant” podcast is a uniquely insightful and entertaining podcast for aspiring young business professionals. Each episode is packed with actionable advice to help young finance professionals get ready for whatever challenge they may face next. Aside from all of the many cool things in accounting (technical topics and trends), we bring in industry experts and influential leaders to share their journey, insights and perspectives. We will also cover topics that were not taught in school - essential life skills such as personal finance, emotional intelligence, mentorship, networking, body language and human behaviors, and so much more!

💬 About our guest, Tom Golden: Tom Golden has a national reputation in forensic accounting and fraud investigation. He has been quoted in major world-wide publications including Journal of Accountancy, USA Today, The Financial Times, Business Week, Chicago Tribune, and The Age (Melbourne, Australia). He has extensive testifying experience and is a frequent presenter having conducted numerous fraud investigation training seminars for both U.S. and foreign corporations, and the Federal Government including the FBI and IRS. Tom was the lead author of the award-winning John Wiley & Sons book A Guide to Forensic Accounting Investigation, now in its 2nd Edition. He is a CPA and Certified Fraud Examiner, former chairman of the Board of Regents for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and has been given this organization’s highest honor being name Regent Emeritus, and former Chairman of the Better Government Association, a citizen watch-dog group operating in Chicago since 1922. Tom was also an adjunct professor at DePaul University, Chicago after he developed and taught the school’s first Forensic Accounting graduate course in 2002. Tom’s presentation style is indeed unique and can be tailored to each specific audience. Whether he speaks from a podium or freely moves around an open stage he delivers simple techniques which auditors and financial executives can use to spot and avoid fraud. Visit:

📖 Get the amazing advices from the 20 mentors in the “Dear Accountant” Book: The book offers a unique immersion into the lives and careers of 20 inspiring leaders in finance from different disciplines - their backstories, pivotal moments, career trajectories, and hiccups along the way.

🎧 Listen to Cece’s interviews about her passion and mission in writing this book and paying it forward to help young professionals to find meaning and fulfillment in their life and career:


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