You could call Hala Ling a team player.
In high school, he played football. At the time, he never imagined that a career as an accountant would be in his future. Then, after high school, he attended Brigham Young University-Idaho. He was taking classes in business, but at his friends’ urging, he switched to accounting. Now Hala is satisfied with the surprising path his life has taken, and he applies the teamwork he learned on the football field to his work in an accounting firm.
“I enjoy accounting, numbers and financial statements,” he admits. He’s working on becoming a CPA now.
He was born in Hawaii, where both of his parents grew up, but he moved to Washington when he was in kindergarten. Now he says he can’t imagine living anywhere other than the Pacific Northwest.
After working at a larger accounting firm, he moved to McCoy Foat in January, 2017, and he’s pleased with his decision.
“They’re very keen on making sure the employees here are happy,” Hala says, talking about how much he loves the atmosphere at McCoy Foat. He appreciates the healthy work-life balance, as well as the focus on professional development and the supportive atmosphere. “Sometimes it’s hard to maintain that close-knit community.”
He also enjoys working with McCoy Foat’s client base, which tends toward smaller and family-owned businesses. “Any money we can save for them has more of an impact,” he says. Seeing his work help the businesses and people in his community is highly rewarding.
No matter which company or clients he serves, Hala believes in accountability. It’s a lesson that was taught to him by his father and reinforced in his professional experience. “In this industry,” he says, “the work papers you prepared in the prior year are referenced for preparing the tax return in the current year. Whoever is preparing the tax return in the current year will see whether you provided a quality product or cut corners.”
Not one to settle for a merely adequate record, he believes in taking pride in his work.
He also takes pride in his family. He and his wife have two boys, both of whom have inherited their father’s love of sports. Whether they’ll also enjoy accounting remains to be seen.
Movie: Anything with Denzel Washington, especially the Equalizer
Place to hang out: Anywhere he can get some alone time with his wife