Young Professional 2017: Walter Kinney

Walter Kinney, Shareholder at PorterKinney PC

Walter Kinney

Walter Kinney (Courtesy Rich Breshears of Breshears Photography)

Age: 33

Hometown: Richland

Describe the Company: PorterKinney PC is a full-service CPA firm offering bookkeeping, payroll, tax preparation, business consulting, tax planning and other related tax and accounting services. Our firm is located in Richland and consists of six employees working with a variety of local businesses and individuals.

How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 26 years

What brought you here? Father moved here from California for a job at Boeing.

Do you have any family? Pets? Married to wife Tiffany with two children (Logan, age 9, and Scarlett, age 6). We have a dog (10-year-old black lab) named Storm.

Tell us about your business and how you got started in it? I am a 50 percent owner in PorterKinney PC. Previous to my ownership at PorterKinney, I was a staff CPA at two other local accounting firms for seven years before teaming up with my business partner, Chris Porter, in June 2014 to form PorterKinney PC.

Tell us about your business philosophy: Our business motto is “Raising the professional standard,” which reflects our philosophy of providing high quality service to every client we work with, no matter the size of the engagement. We feel that by taking the time to provide quality service, to communicate clearly and promptly and to be strategic in the advice we give, we can raise the standard of our profession in this area.

How do you stay competitive in your industry? We strive to stay current with changes in tax law so we can provide cutting-edge advice to our clients. We encourage all members of our team to be involved in the community and to provide a high level of service to our clients. We invest in advertising with local radio and TV providers and network with other high quality professionals that we can coordinate with to provide comprehensive service to our clients.

What are your future career goals? I would like to work to grow our firm so that we can continue to hire more team members and provide both jobs and quality accounting services to our area. I have lived in the Tri-Cities nearly all my life and hope to build a business that gives back to the community as it grows.

Who are your mentors and what did they teach you? I would say my most influential mentors would be my parents. They instilled in my siblings and I a strong work ethic early on in life. Whether it was delivering newspapers or mowing lawns after school, we were always encouraged to be working hard and earning our way. This strong work ethic has benefited me many times throughout my career.

What was the toughest career decision you had to make or obstacle you had to over overcome? The hardest decision I have had to make in my career was to quit my steady paying job as an employee and step into owning my own business. I was scared and nervous knowing that I was the primary source of income for my household and I wanted to provide well for my wife and two children. Thankfully with their support it has gone well and also been the best career decision I have ever made.

What do you like most about what you do? Working with all the different individuals and businesses that are in various stages of their lives/careers. In one week, I may have the opportunity to meet with new business start-ups and help them navigate their unique questions and challenges, and then also meet with individuals who are getting ready to retire and reap the rewards of their years of work and help them to navigate those tax questions as well. Working with people in a variety of situations is what makes my job enjoyable every day.

What do you dislike most about your job? By the end of tax season the 60- to 70-hour work weeks do start to get a little old! I also enjoy being active in my life as much as possible and sitting behind a desk and computer all day can sometimes be unenjoyable.

What was your first job and what did you learn there? My first jobs were a paper route and mowing lawns for my neighbors when I was about 12 years old. I learned the importance of showing up when you said you would, of conducting yourself in a professional manner in how you act and speak, and of charging a fair price for your services. All of those lessons still apply to me and the work I do today.

If you weren’t in your current field, what would be your dream job? My dream job (setting aside professional golfer or Seahawks player) would probably be a guide for some sort of outdoor activity. I enjoy hiking, camping, snow sports, etc. So anything outside and active would be great!

Tell us about your community involvement/community service: I have lived in Tri-Cities nearly all my life and enjoy getting to be involved in our great community. Much of my community involvement involves my young children these days including: coaching baseball, football and soccer through the YMCA and being a volunteer in the Boys Scouts of America program. Our firm is also involved in the Kadlec Foundation and has sponsored several of its events over the last several years.

What word best describes you? Happy

What is your biggest flaw? Like many people I sometimes tend to overestimate my ability to multi-task and take on too many projects in my life at once.

What is your biggest pet peeve? Negativity – when people assume the worst until proven otherwise. I believe that the world is full of great people who are capable of great things if they want to put their mind to it and work hard. Limiting your own potential due to a negative attitude is my pet peeve.

What do you do to relieve stress? Spend time playing with my kids, occasionally play golf, go hiking/camping, get together with friends and play games.

Dream vacation? Australia/New Zealand

Favorite book? “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card

Favorite movie? “The Burbs”

Favorite band? Foo Fighters

Favorite gadget? Backpacking gear

Favorite website? wta.org

Favorite thing to do in the Tri-Cities? Spend time at one of our awesome parks on the Columbia River with family and friends.

What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? I was once on the cover of a magazine that is published nationwide and has a circulation of over 110,000 copies on average. While I’d like to tell you that it was the cover of GQ magazine, it was actually Scouting magazine from back when I was 17 years old.  We went on a week long white water rafting trip that was the featured article in the magazine.

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