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Beth Davis

At the intersection of accounting and the military

July 31, 2023

Beth Davis It’s not often you hear people draw comparisons between an accounting firm and the military, but then maybe you just haven’t met Beth Davis.

A tax manager with Boyum Barenscheer, Davis has seamlessly walked with one foot in the civilian world and one foot in the armed forces. The common bond between them and at the core of Davis? Service.

Davis retired in 2015 as a major from the Army National Guard after serving for 26 years in four different states.

“The Army focuses on seven core values — loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage,” Davis said. “I strive to apply these same principals in my work environment. They seem to fit perfectly into being part of a team of CPAs with a mission of doing good work to service clients.”

Let’s add perseverance and endurance to the commonalities, too.

“You are, at times, pushed to exhausting limits and each goal you reach motivates you to the next goal to master,” Davis said. “It can be compared to a grueling tax season and once it’s over, you feel good at what was accomplished and then you move on. In the Army, there are no scheduled breaks and you continue working until the job is done. Every soldier works together as a team to accomplish the mission. The Army also teaches you self-care is vital and to care for everyone on your team.”

Don’t think Davis’ time pouring over ledgers, returns and working with clients throughout her professional career didn’t influence her military career, either.

After high school, Davis enrolled in college and started initial training with the Guard. She finished two-and-a-half years of college in the medical field, married and moved states (multiple times over the years, naturally) with her husband, who served in the Air Force. During that time, Davis worked as part of the accounting staff in various departments of a regional Caterpillar dealership.

“I decided I’d rather wear suits and work in an office every day instead of working in a lab with cultures and a rank smelling autoclave machine,” she quipped.

Davis went back to school, received support from the controller of the dealership, her professors and her accounting club and, upon earning a business degree with a major in accounting, pursued and earned the CPA credential.

Beth Davis in army uniform posing with veteran“The CPA designation greatly enhanced my various Army Guard positions,” said Davis, who worked in numerous roles throughout her quarter century of serving. “As an officer, and having a CPA license, my job continued in human resources and I was special requested to perform, in essence, ‘Army audits.’ I did a small amount of auditing at a couple different accounting firms and with that knowledge, it was a seamless transition to perform various types of inspections — command and staff inspections and IG inspections — for the Army.”  
Davis was also able to help her fellow soldiers.

“I was able to assist my units with various tax aspects or other issues and gave training at every unit I was in,” she said. “I worked on many mobilization duty stations where soldiers were getting ready to deploy. I gave briefings and helped answer any questions I could. It was the least I could do for their sacrifice of deployment. 
“The experience I had as a CPA was invaluable to performing those duties in the Army Guard.”

Through all those moves — North Dakota to Nevada to Minnesota to Florida to back to North Dakota and back to Minnesota — two constants remained for Davis. One, she maintained her CPA credential.

“It was not a burden, even with different rules and requirements in different states,” she said.

And second: She gave her time for the betterment of her community.

“If everyone who was able would volunteer in some way, the world would be significantly better.”

Topics: Member Profiles

Corey Butler

Corey Butler is the MNCPA communications manager, working to enhance the professional reputations of members through content, media relations and public affairs. He's been with the MNCPA since 2013. Corey keeps busy outside of the MNCPA spending time with his wife and children, serving on his local school board, volunteering in his community and catching up on long-lost hobbies. Corey enjoys the works of John Steinbeck and Rankin/Bass Productions, and Paul Bunyan, Robin Hood and Santa Claus lore. You may reach him at 952-885-5530 or

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