Over the last several months we have been using this newsletter to introduce and re-introduce the professionals who comprise the SobelCo Forensic and Litigation Practice. This month we would like you to meet Megan Kelly, CPA, CFE.

When Megan Kelly was looking over her curriculum options as an entering freshman at The College of New Jersey, she opted for the Open Options program in the School of Business as she was still contemplating her future plans.  But in 2008 the recession caused her great concern. She decided she wanted to pursue a career that would be practical. That downturn was all the wake-up call she needed to convince her to pursue a steady and dependable profession. As a result, accounting was her best choice.  

Discovering forensics 

Megan was introduced to forensic accounting during her senior capstone class where she quickly became aware of all the opportunities available to a forensic accountant. She had previously enjoyed her business law classes and she found that forensics was the perfect integration of accounting and law with its focus on a combination of white collar crime and financial data. The class was fascinating as it emphasized two of her favorite attributes – critical thinking and identifying patterns – both of which she excelled at.   

Once she graduated Megan began pursuing forensic accounting as a career. Her first step on the journey was to visit the TCNJ Job Board where she saw a listing for a position on the SobelCo forensic staff.  That was in 2010 – and nine years later Megan has carved out a distinctive role in this practice group at the firm.

Career highlights

Looking back over the nearly decade behind her, Megan has many interesting cases and experiences to reflect on.  But none would be more interesting than her two trips to India to participate in an engagement regarding a contract dispute with concerns for fraud.

“Regardless of which project I am assigned, for me the most fulfilling facet of the job is that I can use all my skills as a problem solver. Our clients come to us looking for a resolution to a challenging situation and I know they are grateful when we complete the assignment and provide them with the answers they seek,” noted Megan as we discussed the most exciting situations she has had in her position on the forensic team.

Having fun is a good idea too!

Megan also holds fast to the philosophy that life is about carefully juggling priorities. And so while she is deeply committed to the part she plays in the SobelCo forensic practice, she also knows how to strive for balance.

Sports are an integral part of Megan’s personality. She is an avid fan of both the Rangers and Mets but her passion goes well beyond being a spectator. She fishes (and she is rightfully proud to have recently reeled in a 30 pound Cobia while visiting her family in Jupiter, FL) and plays softball. It is actually the direct result of her enthusiasm for sports that SobelCo became involved in the annual NJ CPA Society’s Young Professionals’ Kickball Tournament. She embraced the idea and put a plan into action. Each summer she calls for volunteers, organizes the team and encourages the players as they go up against other CPA firms. 

She takes her networking responsibility seriously and again was the driving force behind organizing an evening spent with a local firm watching a Jackals game on the Montclair State campus. 2018 was the first event but there will be more to come!

It is not all sports all the time though. Megan also loves cooking, going to concerts (any music, any genre, anywhere at all) and seeing Broadway plays whenever she can get into New York.

A commitment to philanthropy completes the picture

Over the last several years Megan has been able to combine two of favorite activities, philanthropy and spending time with family, by helping assemble ‘Team Gramma’ in memory of her powerhouse grandmother, the heart and soul of the family, who died of complications from Alzheimer’s after battling the disease for about ten years. All of Gramma’s children and grandchildren gather annually for the Pt. Pleasant Alzheimer’s Walk, with the squad collectively raising about $4000 each year!

Life is full of surprises

It is obvious from this interview with Megan that she is a vibrant, active and engaging young woman with a special zest for life. But sometimes the unexpected occurs. That’s exactly what happened to Megan the day after Thanksgiving 2013. That was the fateful day when she was injured in a Turkey Bowl touch football game being played for charity where she currently resides, in Hoboken, NJ. The winning team would get to select the nonprofit recipient - but just as the semi-final game was winding down - Megan broke her left fibula. At the same time she also dislocated her left ankle and ruptured a ligament.  After the doctor proclaimed that it was the worst injury she had ever operated on, she also told Megan there would be no more sports for her. The two months of temporary disability that was required for healing was just about unbearable for Megan. But she buckled down and refused to accept the prognosis. So yes, she is back to playing sports, and yes, she is mostly recovered!

A lesson for all

Megan is intellectually curious and loves learning. However it is not surprising that she has turned the tables at SobelCo, often assuming the role of teacher or mentor for her colleagues – both older and younger.   And what is the most significant lesson she is eager to share with us all? “Never give up. Never give in. Persevere. Keep pursuing your passions!”