Cathy Stevens.

Date01 July 2022

Cathy Stevens says it's a myth that being a tax professional means you have very little interaction with other people. On the contrary, say Stevens, director of domestic taxes at Brunswick Corporation: her involvement in controversy and incentive work allows her to meet with other corporate business units and learn all about their operations. "Seeing how products are manufactured from start to finish is very interesting to me. Working in tax allows for the perfect blend of planning and problem-solving," she explains.

The PwC Experience

Before Brunswick, Stevens worked at PwC. Her public accounting experience taught her valuable lessons, including the importance of listening and forging relationships. "While working in public accounting," she says, "one client was a very fast-growing company whose financial team had a hard time keeping up, which impeded our access to solid financial data to prepare their tax return. This client was overburdened and not easy to work with. I was assigned a particular issue to meet with the client about, and during the initial meeting, I saw firsthand how good communications skills (and a little empathy) could improve the relationship and ease the work burden on both our clients and my team. My efforts were recognized by my superiors after the client visit, and I have tried to focus on refining and utilizing my interpersonal skills since then."

At Brunswick

Stevens is thrilled to work at Brunswick, a leader in recreational boats and equipment. "Brunswick is a well-established, well-regarded publicly traded company, and I like their lines of business," she explains. "I found the idea of working for a fun company very attractive. Brunswick has a reputation of attracting, developing, and retaining talented people, and the long tenure of the tax department staff at the time of my arrival demonstrated that."

Stevens works in the state and local tax and the federal tax areas. "At one point," she says, "I wanted to focus on state taxes because I thought there was more opportunity for planning and thought it was more complex, in that each state's laws are different. I now appreciate that they both have interesting aspects and enjoy being involved in both federal and state. And I think my dual perspective serves the company well.

"I am most proud of the instances where I have been able to work with state and local legislation to achieve reforms to legislation and treatments of credits that would not have been made...

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