Accountant says she wishes spring outlasted tax season

By Ilana Kowarski
Florida Today

Name: Laura Anne Pray
Age: 32
Job title or profession: CPA and Audit Manager for Berman Hopkins Wright & laHam, CPAs and Associates, LLP
Family: Married to Joshua for eight years
Why did you choose this career? I have always been interested in business, and after taking a few of the general business requirement courses at the University of Florida, I discovered I really enjoyed understanding the financial success and downfalls of different companies and the effect that accounting had on these.  Working in public accounting has given me the opportunity to work with a variety of clients in a number of different industries. I love that I’m always meeting new people and learning about new companies and industries, and how I can help them.

Best business advice you’ve received along the way: A mentor of mine is always reminding me in one way or another that we have to believe in ourselves and make it happen; no one else is going to do it for us. This is such a great piece of advice, and I find myself repeating it often. My husband is also a very hard worker who inspires me and reminds me to never be afraid of a little hard work; it’s amazing what you can accomplish if you try.

Type of cell phone and why: Samsung S4. I love any and all Samsung products because I am able to switch from one product to another and have all my information with me. I think that I finally have my S4 set up the way I want it, so I don’t want to upgrade until I have to.

Spare-time activities: Reading. I enjoy any genre, whether it’s biography, history, business, or fiction, and am always reading multiple books at a time. I also love to travel and experience new adventures and places with my family and friends. I can’t live without my Florida Gators and spending time in or on the water.

I enjoy the Space Coast because… it’s where I grew up, and I love my hometown. Besides having my family and friends here, the Space Coast has everything else someone could want – the beach, local shopping and restaurants with great theater venues – all while maintaining the special historical charm of our community.

I’d enjoy it more if… our beautiful spring weather would last just a little bit longer than it usually does. Since I work for a CPA firm, I don’t get outside much until after April 15.

Each week, FLORIDA TODAY speaks with a young professional in Brevard County. Suggestions should be sent to Ilana Kowarski at 321-242-3640 or