John Savignano CPA, is a native New Yorker who grew up in Brookland surrounded by a loving, tight-knit family. At an early age he learned the value of hard work and dedication while working with his father in the family fruit and vegetable store and those traits have served him well in his career as a public accountant. After graduating from high school with honors in 1976, he worked in the family business for two years before attending St. John’s University in Queens, New York, and studying accounting. He graduated Cum Laude from St. John’s in 1983 then became a licensed CPA in 1985. He also went on to receive a M.S. degree in taxation from Pace University in New York.
John Savignano has built a career in public accounting that spans more than 35 years but he has also dedicated much of his life to encouraging and advising others, especially those considering a career in accounting. This includes working as an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University. He advises that “Accounting is not for everyone, but … If you want to be in the business world, you should know the basics of accounting”.
Savignano believes that a good accountant needs a balanced mix of people skills with math acumen to be successful. While accountants do deal with raw numbers and data, they must be able to understand a client’s overall situation and needs and effective communication is key. Clients share sensitive financial and business information with their accountant so they need to be comfortable with that person and feel they can trust them so building rapport and relationships is a critical part of that process. The role of an accountant combines the ability to work with complex recordkeeping systems and large volumes of data, so another vital skill set is the ability to leverage new (and established) technology and bring that technology to bear on business problems. A final component needed in a successful accountant’s “toolkit” is a strong sense of business and moral ethics to guide him when dealing with a client’s business practices.
John Savignano firmly believes that someone looking for a career in accounting can be very successful if they can combine the traits outlined above with dedication to the trade, hard work, and a willingness to continue learning.