LIBERTY — Tara Williams, staff accountant at RC Jones and Associates Inc., 1201 Landmark Avenue, No. 5 in Liberty, has been with the accounting firm since June 2019. She moved to Liberty at 18 and now calls the town home, as well as raising two children here. “I had been working in the big corporate world and on the day I received my layoff, I went and enrolled as a non-traditional student at Maple Woods Community College,” she said. “I received my associate degree from Maple Woods and then transferred to UMKC where I got my bachelor’s in accounting in May. It was a long process, working two to three jobs and juggling some late nights helping my kids with their homework and then staying up late to do my own. I knew I had to get a better education for myself to better my life and the lives of my kids.” What do you like best about your position or this particular field in general?“I enjoy working with a variety of clients,” Williams said. “I also have a variety of job duties too. I work with many different people. There are individuals as well those running small and medium businesses. I like to watch the growth of business. However, my passion is taxes. When I started at Maple Woods, I sat in on a tax class. I wanted that tax class on my transcript. When I got in, we prepared income taxes for lower-income families. I fell in love with doing taxes. For many people, tax preparation is a process that people are very nervous about, but I fell in love with taxes. “ Would 10-year-old you be surprised that you are in this field or position?“Not at all. I remember at a young age, I loved math,” she said. “I would reconcile my dad’s checkbook. It was a sentimental learning experience, but I learned how you keep track of money. Maybe at 10, I wanted to be a cartoonist, and in high school, I was looking at being a mortician, but things changed.” What’s the most common question you get asked about what you do?“If I tell people I am an accountant, it’s ‘do you do taxes?’ The second is ‘are you bored with your job?’ The answers are yes, I do taxes and no, I enjoy talking to a variety of people who need this specific set of skills. Not everyone is math or number minded. I can handle the bookkeeping and the taxes. I can let others worry about their passion, especially if they are a creative type,” Williams said. What is the most challenging aspect of your job?“Not everyone communicates the same way so adapting to different personality types is critical,” she said. “I have to be able to communicate with them. It can be challenging as you change up the ways you communicate or explain bookkeeping and taxes to clients.” What advice would you give someone who is starting a job similar to yours?“Learn to be patient with yourself,” Williams explained. “You have to allow time to grow in this field and experience is key. When you are gaining the experience, leave whatever you are working on better than when you found it. As an example, I am a volunteer with Historic Downtown Liberty Inc. It’s special to my heart.”
Tara Williams works as a staff accountant at RC Jones and Associates Inc. in Liberty.