Janice Costley, Controller at management consulting and information technology firm ISF, has attained a State of Florida Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation.
“I’ve known I wanted to work with numbers since my first job as a cashier in high school,” Costley says. After spending several years out of the workforce while raising her daughter, Costley was hired as the Accountant for CE Broker, a division of ISF, in 2003 and was ultimately promoted to Controller of both ISF and CE Broker in 2005. Now, with 30 years of finance and accounting experience under her belt, she can finally add CPA to her signature line.
“It was a long, hard road,” says Costley, who went back to school in 2003 and graduated in 2007, at the age of 47, with a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. “I initially went back to school to make myself more marketable, but once I finally graduated, there was no doubt I would move forward to try to get my CPA,” she says. “I just needed to prove to myself that I could do it.” To become licensed in Florida, CPA’s are required to hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree plus 30 hours of upper division courses focused on accounting and business, must have at least one year of work experience under an active CPA, and must pass a total of four certification exams.
Costley says her daughter, Melissa, now 22, and her husband of 32 years, Michael, were a constant source of support. “Melissa was also a driving force,” Costley says. “She was my biggest motivator. I wanted to show her the importance of finishing what you start, especially when it’s something that’s important to you. I couldn’t have done any of this without my family.”
Now that she has her CPA, Costley, on whom the irony of her last name is not lost, says she would like to try her hand at teaching. Having taught several finance classes at her church, Lakeshore United Methodist in Jacksonville, she says she feels at home in front of a classroom. “Someday, I think I would like to teach part time, maybe at the community college level.”
Of Janice’s CPA designation, ISF CEO Cyndy Loomis said, “Our founder, J. Thomas Solano, was a firm believer in supporting continuing education for all employees. I am proud that ISF has been able to continue supporting our tuition reimbursement program and bonuses for professional certifications to ensure all employees have an opportunity for career growth. Janice is a great example of how ISF’s support benefits both the employee and the company.”