5 Questions with Julie Kostelecky, 2019-2020 MSCPA Board President

Julie Kostelecky - UpdatedAbout Julie:

Julie was born and raised in Sidney, Montana. She graduated from Montana State University with her Masters in Accounting in 2003.  Julie is a partner at Rudd & Co and her focus is individual and small business tax, governmental audits, and business valuations. She currently resides in Bozeman with her husband Jason, and their two daughters, Sarah and Sasha.

Did you always want to be a CPA? Or How were you introduced to the profession?

Julie: Yes, I’m one of those nerds that knew since High school what I wanted to do! My mom worked at an accounting office doing data entry and my dad was a banker so the numbers thing seemed to come naturally.  My very first job was actually working in my mom’s accounting office when I was in Middle School.  I would walk down to her office after school and the partners paid me to update their tax research books.  This was back before everything was paperless so it was loads of fun.

How were you introduced to the Montana Society of CPAs?

Julie: A former MSCPA president, Kyla Quintero, was active in the Society when I worked with her. She brought me along to an annual convention one year and I was introduced to all kinds of characters.  (I’m looking at you Jim Gallipeau and Gordy Thompson!)  It was so much fun, I came back with her the next year and then she encouraged me to get involved in a committee.  The more people I met, the more I wanted to be involved so I could see everyone again!

What advice would you give students and young professionals that might be interested in getting involved in the profession and MSCPA?

Julie: It’s the best career choice. There are so many different avenues you can take with an accounting degree.  If you do the really hard work and get the CPA exam passed, there is no limit to the different things you can do with it.  The MSCPA is also a great place to meet people and find someone who can tell you all about their career choice.  The more you get involved, the more amazing people you can get to know.  You never know when those connections will circle back around to help your career, get you set in a new direction or just find you some great friends.

What’s your favorite Montana activity?

Julie: Definitely hiking. My girls and I love going on hikes to waterfalls so we’ve tried to find as many as we can.  We usually drag Jason along too, because someone has to carry the kids on their shoulders when they get tired on the way back out!

What tips do you have for balancing work, family and life in general?

Julie: The biggest thing I would say is that you have to set your own limits. Your priorities will shift and refocus depending on the time of year, the month or the day! It’s way too easy to let work and client demands dominate your life and I’ve learned that I will never be really outstanding at all of those things ALL the time, but if you give yourself a little empathy, set some limits and communicate those to your clients and co-workers, you can determine what matters most in this moment and then give your all to that. Work will always be there and thankfully I have an amazing group of people at my office that will cover for me or anyone else we work with when family and life in general need to take over for a little while. 

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