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Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Fraud
Examiner (CFE), Clayton, York & Hopp CPAs

Brittany Hopp is a bit of a contradiction. She is a CPA who welcomes risk, at least in her personal life. Originally from Wyoming, Hopp moved to Springfield to attend college at Drury University. After college, she moved to New York for a corporate CPA job. And then she moved back to Springfield to take on the biggest risk yet—forming her own CPA firm with Kailey York, a college friend and Penny Clayton, a former professor.

Hopp succinctly describes the feeling of branching out on her own—“It was terrifying,” she says. The risk has turned out pretty well for Hopp. Clayton, York, and Hopp CPAs, located on Commercial Street, is growing quickly. “We’re growing faster than we ever thought we would—that’s exciting,” she says.

Hopp is also surprising in that she’s as much a people person as she is a numbers gal. Luckily, her job doesn’t
keep her tied to a computer all day, so Hopp gets plenty of face time with clients. “I always knew that I really liked working with people, but I have a Type-A numbers personality, so I like working with numbers, too,” she says. “I get to actually meet with the business owners, but I can hide in my office with my numbers if I want to.” Hopp further combines her love of people and numbers by serving as treasurer for the Ozarks Counseling Center where she helps with fundraisers and engages in board meetings. —J.H.

417 Magazine: Where do you find passion to do what you do?
Brittany Hopp: My passion for small businesses started when I was a student on the Drury SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) team (now named Enactus). This passion grew when I started a small business myself. Running a small business day-to-day gives me a unique insight into the triumphs and trials that small businesses face daily and inspires me to help those in my position to run their businesses more efficiently so they can do what they love and be more successful.

417: How did you end up at your current job/profession?
B.H.: After graduating from Drury University in 2008, I moved to New York City, where I worked as a research assistant at the Financial Accounting Standards Board for a short-term project. In January 2009, I started at KPMG as an audit associate, where I worked for two years. At that point, I was looking to do something less corporate, where I could work with clients and do more to help small business owners. I got together with Kailey York and Penny Clayton to set up our current firm, and moved to Springfield shortly after that to start our firm as it is now.

417: Are you single/married, and do you have any kids?
B.H.: I am single with no children. I do have two cats named Ender and Bean.

417: What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
B.H.: I love to read and travel—my friends and family are pretty far away, so I travel to see them as often as I can. I’m also actively involved in my sorority from Drury—Zeta Tau Alpha. I serve as the president of the Springfield alumnae chapter, as well as the New Member Advisor for the Drury chapter.

417: Are you involved in any charitable organizations?
B.H.: I am the treasurer for Ozarks Counseling Center.

417: Are you a member of any professional organizations?
B.H.: I am a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), Missouri Society of CPAs (MSCPA), the Association of CFEs (ACFE)

417: What’s your favorite thing about your career?
B.H.: Every day is different—I get to be a nerd with my calculator some days, and get to socialize and meet with clients the next.

417: What’s your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
B.H.: The sense of community.

417: If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
B.H.: Cherish every minute of college—you’ll be a grown-up faster than you can imagine!

417: How would you define the secret to success?
B.H.: I think that you should always be a little scared of what you’re doing. If you’re not a little bit afraid, you’re probably getting stagnant and not pushing yourself far enough.

417: What was your “dream job” at age 5?
B.H.: I didn’t care what it was, as long as I was in charge—I was a bit bossy as a child.

417: List three traits that define a successful career:
B.H.: staying motivated, following through, sense of humor

417: Why are you a 20 under 30?
B.H.: I’m an accountant who took a big risk in starting a new firm—those are few and far between.

417: What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
B.H.: The completion of another successful tax season.

417: What completed project are you most proud of?
B.H.: The decision to move our firm to Commercial Street—we love the community atmosphere and our neighbors—and our clients have overwhelmingly supported the decision!

Fill in the following blanks with 5 words or less--

417: _____ makes life worth living.
B.H.: Family and close friendships.

417: A day at work wouldn’t be complete without _____
B.H.: a crashing excel spreadsheet.

417: Ten years from now, I hope _____
B.H.: my firm is prospering and continuing to grow and give back to the community.

417: If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would _____
B.H.: buy a second home in New York City.

417: The best part about being a 20 under 30 is _____
B.H.: being recognized by the community for my hard work and getting to share it with 19 other peers that I admire. 

Celebrate with the Class of 2013 on Thursday, April 25 at Highland Springs Country Club. 

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