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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Citrin Cooperman CEO on ‘Life Lessons from the Accounting World’

Photo taken by Adrian Vazquez
Alan Badey gave students insight based on his successful career in accounting.

Citrin Cooperman CEO Alan Badey presented the story of his career in the accounting world and valuable life lessons from his career experience in the LaPenta School of Business, moderated by LSB Dean John Demelis, M.B.A., C.P.A.   

Badey started out with an interest in engineering that he inherited from his father. However, he changed paths to accounting and received his M.B.A. from Pace University. He then started his career in accounting with a small boutique accounting firm in Manhattan, moving on to a small firm in White Plains, which merged with Citrin Cooperman after 10 years. Shortly afterward, Badey rose to the position of CEO and has held the position for two-and-a-half years. However, the most remarkable part of his journey is the important life lessons he learned along the way.  

At the core of Badey’s talk is his process of self-discovery, a theme which he recognizes as relevant to many college students.  

“When I was your age, I wanted to be independent,” explains Badey, “I was willing to work as hard as I needed to work to be independent.”  

This intrinsic drive for independence empowered Badey to be proactive in his community and workplace, which he refers to as “participating in life.” Consequently, Badey discovered his passion for accounting and subsequently translated that into career advancement. While Badey did not know from the outset that he would become the CEO of Citrin Cooperman, he knew that exploration of different career avenues is essential to forming purpose.  

“It’s not about getting a dollar, it’s about charting a path to success.” Badey believes.  

He identifies a strong sense of self as being imperative to establishing healthy client relationships, the foundation for power – and money – in the accounting world. Despite the rise of virtual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic, Badey still values in-person meetings for the high degree of trust-building between clients and Citrin Cooperman. The stronger the relationship with a client, the more trust invested in the firm and gratitude that Badey feels because of client success.  

Badey does not limit trust-building to clients, as he also establishes relationships by giving back to the business community in Westchester County. He frequently participates as a speaker in the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, NYSSS.  

“The more people that know you and have a relationship with you benefits your career by giving you more resources,” Badey says, “You have more people to go to for problem solving.”   

The final component Badey identifies as important for success in the accounting world is integrity. Acknowledge when you make a mistake and learn from your mistakes – accountability is key in relationship-building.  

“I probably make big decisions every 10 minutes of the day,” Badey admits, “You’re never going to be perfect making a decision, but not making a decision is worse in the world of business.” 

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Adrian Vazquez
Adrian Vazquez, Assistant News Editor

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    Allan KoltinDec 9, 2023 at 9:42 am

    I’ve known Alan Badey for over a decade and he is the real deal. He genuinely cares about helping others and is the ultimate giver of time, energy, and passion – a real leader!