Accounting for Taste
A Conversation with Melissa Prophet
Photo by Carli Wentworth
Every Month For This Feature, we like to sit down with a person of interest and delve into the hard-hitting issues of the day – songs on iTunes, horoscopes, bucket lists…
When we asked Oklahoma City CPA Melissa Prophet, a partner at Cole & Reed, PC, to be the subject of this month’s Exchange, she offered, in classic accountant style, to “prepare” something for our conversation.
Pshaaaaaw, we said, noting that the best conversations happen on the fly. They’re spontaneous! Organic!
“Oh, no, no, no,” remarked the accountant. “The very words ‘on the fly’ make me nervous. Accountants don’t like anything ‘on the fly,’” she laughed. Nonetheless, Prophet graciously ventured off the ledger long enough to dip her toe into unchartered (and unscripted) waters to dispel all the stereotypes journalists and liberal arts majors perpetuate about accountants.
What is your hometown? Enid, Oklahoma.
Is that where you met your husband, Jay Taylor? Yes.
Who cooks at your house? Jay does. He’s a great cook. If it were left to me, we’d be eating cereal for every meal!
Depending on the cereal, that might not be so bad. Crunchy Raisin Bran.
Thank God for Jay. What do you love most about the work you do? Clients. I love learning about their businesses.
What do you wish you’d started doing long before you did? Being in a mindset that I should be working out my whole life! Also, I’ve been doing a lot of artsy stuff with our daughter, Hannah.
Do you hoard anything? Emails.
What’s not as important as it used to be and what’s more important than it used to be? Children change everything, so everything is less important than it used to be because nothing is more important than my husband and daughter.
What do you value most in your friends? Honesty. Authenticity. Being themselves and loving me for who I am.
What do you wish everyone could experience at least once in their lifetime? Having a child. With kids, you get to do all the fun things you kind of want to do anyway. Sure, you could go to Disney World without kids, but it’s great to share experiences like that.
Early, late or on time? Early, but really only if it’s work-related. Otherwise, I’m usually on time. But for some reason, if it’s fun-related, we’re always late.
What’s still on your bucket list? More travel.
Recent purchase? A car for my husband.
What’s the best advice you ever got? This was my first job right out of college, and I’ve been here ever since. I got the best advice on my first day: Don’t feel you have to learn everything the first day. Also, our managing partner, Jim Denny, once told me that being perfect isn’t always better.
I like perfection from anyone wielding a scalpel, I’ll say that. Are you a perfectionist? I have a tendency to be, but I’m working on it.
What is one of your better traits? I’m a great multi-tasker, and I’m very organized.
You work with a lot of nonprofit organizations. Are there some you’re particularly fond of? Yes – many. Oklahoma City Community Foundation, OSU Foundation and the Oklahoma Heritage Association, just to name a few. I love working with nonprofits. It’s a very rewarding part of my job.
If it kills you, what one thing will you accomplish by the end of the year? Wow. I should be more goal-oriented. There’s one thing.
Do you have any phobias? Generally speaking, no. I’m not particularly superstitious, but I will say, I’m not crazy about heights.
What movie can you recite by heart? “Almost Famous” and “Office Space.”
What do you have a hard time saying ‘no’ to? Hannah [my daughter].
What is your hope for your daughter? That she’ll be independent and happy. That she’ll know that one person can make a difference. That she’ll never feel that someone else has to validate her.