Howard, LLP

Coached from Intern to Senior: Clay’s Story

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We’re back with more about our Howard Coaching Program! Today we want to spotlight a team member that’s taken advantage of coaching and development at the firm – Clay, an Audit Senior. Clay has been at Howard for just over two years and has already grown and learned so much, in addition to being promoted to his current Senior position. Read more below about why he credits much of his success to being coached and developed at Howard.

Taking Initiative

When Clay was starting out with us as an intern, he found a natural mentor in Audit Manager Taylor. She consistently took the time to carefully explain anything Clay needed help with and made sure he understood how to proceed with a task before getting back to her own projects. It’s no secret that Taylor has an “open door policy,” which made him feel comfortable going to her for any question, big or small.

We challenge our interns and continually give them more complex and unusual sections of an audit once they show that they’ve mastered previous sections. Clay’s experience was no different, and he learned quickly that anytime he was challenged, there were people he could go to with questions, even our Managing Partner, Tim. The accessibility of management level team members is something that stuck with him during his internship.

Once Clay joined us as a full-time team member, he dove right into our Coaching Program to gain as many skills and as much knowledge as possible. He took the initiative to set up extra, sometimes unscheduled, meetings with Taylor, began asking questions about the Audit Team and our firm as a whole, and gained tips and strategies for accelerating his learning. He’s a true example of the power of our work going beyond tax returns and audits, as he’s gained knowledge and skills beyond the technical parts of the job.


Stepping Up

This past spring, Clay got to step up into a leadership role during the busy season. This gave him the opportunity to prove how all of his growth and development had paid off by leading our Audit Team. Taylor and Tim continued to coach him through it all, as he took on more projects in a role that was new to him. Their advice and support contributed to his success, and now he’s a valued Senior member of our team.

Clay’s new role meant it was time for him to start coaching others himself and share his quickly learned skills. Because he feels invested in by Taylor, he strives to put that same energy into the team members that he coaches to help them develop like he did. He always tries to take the problems or questions his coachees are dealing with and relate them back to his experiences. Something he values as a coach is the power of simply sitting down with someone to talk through whatever they need, whether that be accounting, auditing, or navigating professional relationships. He’s found a passion in coaching others, which we’re proud to see!

As someone who always wants to learn more, Clay is currently a participant of the TXCPA Dallas Leadership Development Academy, which Taylor and Tim supported him in joining. He was motivated to join this program because he wants to be the best auditor, coach, and leader he can be at Howard. One of the best tips he’s learned from the program so far is the value of identifying peoples’ different learning styles. As a growing team, we’ve had several team members start at Howard this year. He enjoys helping them determine their learning style and how they work best so that he can support and coach them in a way that benefits them.


It’s been a joy to see Clay come in as an intern and work his way to his current role by investing himself as both a coachee and a coach. If you’re looking for a firm that challenges its team members and matches that with management that wants to support you every step of the way, Howard may be the firm for you. Call us or connect with us online to learn more.

We’ll be back with more about coaching and development soon!