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Life as a CPA

Life as a CPA (1): Meet Donny Shimamoto (a.k.a. donnyitk)

Ty Oka

Ty Oka

My name is Ty Oka, a MBA student majoring in Accountancy. I came to Honolulu, Hawaii as a summer intern to shadow Donny Shimamoto, CPA and the Managing Director of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies. Donny, a native of Hawaii, founded IntrapriseTechKnowlogies over a decade ago and specializes in IT advisory for his nationwide clients. I have previously worked as an IT consultant, so it will be a great opportunity for me to experience not only CPA’s real work but also IT advisory/ consulting in the accounting world! Is this going to be my possible future career? Let’s find out!


– Ty’s Summer Internship – Day 1 –

Finally I am here in Honolulu, Hawaii – my home for the next 3 months and the place I will be working for the summer. Unlike the New York heat, it feels so nice and cool here with a welcoming ocean breeze. It was quite a long trip – over 15 hours to get here from New York, with one layover in Los Angeles, and yet I am still in the same country. That is amazing.

While waiting for my luggage, I think back on how this random and spontaneous idea came to be. When I was working as an Information Technology (IT) consultant back in Tokyo, my old boss kept telling me that I should study accounting. Accounting is the common language for business men and women he said, and if you understand how the money flows, you will understand their business. I am sure you know the importance of accounting, if you know the subject. But I am an IT person. I have performed various IT work from program coding to project management, but I had been avoiding the debits and credits world as much as I could.

However, the time had come for me to face this evil! I joined this merger and acquisition project and had to handle great deal of accounting matters. It turned out to be a nightmare. IT asset analysis, budgeting, profit analysis, etc., etc. I was counting on my supervisor for the accounting expertise but found out that he had the same lack of knowledge as I did (which means none). Needless to say, we spent countless sleepless nights on this project. It made me realize that as a part of management skills, accounting knowledge is very important in order to climb up the ladder. It is not just about how to do journal entries and bookkeeping, but it is about knowing how “making money” works within the enterprise from the perspective of financial statements. Though, you have to start from the basic stuff like debits and credits!

That was two years ago, and I am currently attending business school in New York City. I decided to leave the company and pursue a MBA degree with a focus on accounting. It was time for me to face this evil thing and conquer the world!

Then why am I in Hawaii? During my summer break I am working as an intern for IntrapriseTechKnowlogies (ITK), which provides IT advisory services nationally, but is headquartered here in Hawaii. I got to know this company through my friend Donny Shimamoto, who is the Managing Director of ITK, a CPA, an IT Professional, and my boss for next 3 months. Donny has the unique expertise of “marrying the IT world with accounting.”

This is awesome, isn’t it? There are CPAs who specialize in IT! I am still not quite sure about what it exactly means, but so excited to shadow Donny to learn about this specialty field in next 3 months (and of course enjoy this beautiful island of Oahu).

As I pick up my luggage and walk through the baggage claim, there he is, Donny Shimamoto is waving.

– To be continued –


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