Partner

Gretchen Leifeste, CPA

Audit
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Bio

Meet Gretchen

Gretchen is an audit partner at Armanino with more than 15 years of industry experience. She works with clients across industries, and especially enjoys working with those in the startup phase.

She launched her career as an associate at PwC, and joined Holtzman as a senior manager in 2007. She thrived in the firm and worked her way to partner in 2017, and now serves as a partner at Armanino.

Gretchen is an athlete at heart, playing and watching baseball and volleyball throughout her childhood. Now, she stays active by playing with her kids and watching them play baseball, football and basketball.

Gretchen received her B.B.A. and M.S. from Texas A&M University and is a member of the AICPA.

Contact Gretchen Leifeste

Experience

Professional History

Associations

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

Education

  • Texas A&M University

Experience

  • Holtzman Partners
  • PwC

Q&A

Q. What is it about accounting and consulting that first drew your interest?
I initially did not plan to study accounting. I started out in college as a psychology major. I realized pretty quickly I deal better with cut and dry numbers and working through a problem—the more literal stuff. I switched over to the business school and took my first accounting class. It immediately clicked for me.
Q. What was it that drew you to Armanino?
The entrepreneurial spirit and innovation drew me to Armanino. The way they empower people and are open to new ideas, encouraging people at every level. The ideas people generate at Armanino solve so many of the roadblocks that our clients face.
Q. What law or regulation in the accounting industry would you like to see changed?
There’s been a trend over the past several years to help simplify rules for privately held companies. Some of the accounting guidance is super complicated for startup or private companies. I hope for a focus on simplifying things for companies that don’t need an intense level of public scrutiny. I want clients to be encouraged to keep going.
Q. What’s your proudest moment?
Keeping my two sons alive makes me feel accomplished every day. I love giving my children an example of a working mother who can still be very present in their lives.
Q. If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to aspiring accountants or consultants, what would that be?
The best way to learn is from being around the work, industry and clients. Observe conversations and questions, and make sure you have your ears open. Absorb what’s happening around you and how people deal with different situations.
Q. What do you love most about your work?
I love the variety. Every day is slightly different, and I’m working with new clients and people constantly. It keeps me interested and motivated.
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