Certified Public Accountant, age 33
One of those who nominated Shannon Reichelt for this year’s 40 Under Forty competition described her as a “new-age CPA.”
It’s a portrayal she didn’t disagree with. In fact, when presented with that phrase, she took the ball and ran with it.
“With the new-age CPA, it’s not just about doing the tax return — send me in your stuff, and we get it out like a factory type of thing. I like to help people be successful,” she said.
“I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty — I’ll go into people’s businesses and help them on the ground level,” she continued when pressed for a deeper explanation. “And I think that stems from the fact that I started as a bookkeeper, and I also run my own firm, so I know the pain points that business owners go through with their finances, their accounting, and their record keeping.”
Reichelt, whose company — S. Reichelt & Company LLC — has offices in West Springfield and Greenfield, describes herself as an entrepreneur first and a CPA second. That’s because she’s proud of the risk she took in 2006, when she left Springfield-based J.M. O’Brien and put her own name over the door and on the letterhead.
“I had reached a point eight or nine years into my career … and I just knew,” she said of her desire to go out on her own. “I wanted to be able to sit down and work with business owners at the ground level and have that be OK. I like big firms, but I had a different vision of how I wanted to help people.”
It was after she considered her business venture firmly established — and when it no longer consumed nearly all of her time — that Reichelt made a firm commitment to get involved in the community. This has been manifested by work with the Community Foundation, but especially her many contributions to the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society.
A self-described animal lover (she has an English bulldog named Daisy, pictured, and a boxer named Katie), she now sits on the Dakin board of directors and stages a fund-raiser for the organization each tax season — just another way that passion for helping others shines through.
— George O’Brien