Pathways to CPA: Dena Breece

As a sneak peek to our upcoming issue of Interim Report, check out Dena Dail Breece’s recollection of her journey to her current position, and see where the achievement of her CPA credential led her career in this four-part series!

Dena Breece

Dena Breece, MBA, CPA

My name is Dena Dail Breece, MBA, CPA.  I am married to the love of my life, George.   We reside in historic downtown Fayetteville, NC.  When I am not teaching, my personal interests include traveling with my husband, volunteering at my church and in the community, watching all sports, coastal fishing, art, music, and theatre.

My personal pathway for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) profession began in 1999.  I was the Finance Director for the Town of Spring Lake and an evening student with Methodist College, now Methodist University.  My aspiration was to earn a bachelor of science degree in accounting.

The inspiration to major in accounting was due to a high school accounting class I had taken with Mrs. Hempstead at Cape Fear High School.  After the passing of my father in 1998, I began soul searching for my personal and professional plans moving forward.  My parents, Barbara and Dennis Dail of Wade, NC, had instilled in me the importance of strong work ethic, to always do what is right, and the freedom to reach for my dreams.  I was then 30 years old with more than 10 years of experience in banking and finance.  It was time for me to consider new dreams and to set new goals.

During my education at Methodist College, Dr. Mary Kirchner, CPA and accounting professor, introduced me to the idea of becoming a CPA.  Her encouragement and confidence sparked an exciting quest in me with a new and compelling motivation to become a CPA.

In 1999, I took my first step to becoming a CPA by leaving the Town of Spring Lake to work for a local CPA.   After sharing my goals and desire to become a CPA with the town’s external auditor, Carey V. Downing Jr., CPA, PA, of Fayetteville, Carey offered me a position as a staff accountant with his firm.

Working at the firm provided me with increased technical knowledge in a variety of areas especially with tax and audit.  In fact, this valuable learning experience added to the firm foundation for my obtaining a CPA license.  Additionally, I discovered that I was especially fond of financial auditing.

Check out our next installment of CPA Pathways to see where Dena’s desire to earn her CPA credential led her.