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Sara Lord

Evolving the audit process to benefit the profession and the public

December 14, 2022

Sara Lord Accountants are consistently ranked among the most trusted professionals and it’s not hard to see why with qualities that include a propensity to protect the public’s interest, a commitment to the CPA oath and ongoing ethics education.
Every accountant plays a role in keeping the profession credible and respected; but in a lot of ways, auditors lead the charge by focusing on promoting and enhancing quality in accounting and auditing services, in service of organizations and the public.
In this area, Sara Lord is an expert. In her role as chief auditor with RSM, she leads several departments, including audit and accounting policy, audit innovation, audit technology and audit quality management.
“This is a great team of people all focused on making sure our auditors have the skills and tools they need to do their job,” she said. “I love problem-solving and implementing changes to help people focus on the work they enjoy the most.”
With standard setting and methodology roles, Sara and her team read the standards and figure out what technology tools or innovative ways they can do their work differently and how to teach people what they need to know.
Sara’s passion for the profession is clear but what she likes best about her role is the ability to alternate between going deep into certain topics while also being able to step back and spend time thinking about the overall strategy or the future of the profession or the future of audit at RSM, depending on which hat she’s wearing at the time.
And she wears many hats. Sara shares her knowledge and expertise through her work with several organizations, including the MNCPA as a member and CPE instructor, and the AICPA, where she serves as chair of the Auditing and Standards Board. She is also a member of the PCAOB’s Standards and Emerging Issues Advisory Group.
“I believe that the CPA profession truly benefits the capital markets and users of financial information, as well as the clients we work for and with. We exist to instill confidence,” she said. “Being involved in these organizations, I believe I am able to help continue the important work that we do and benefit the profession on a larger scale.” 
In her career and life, Sara attributes her success to the many people who believed in her and supported her, including her husband Josh and their three children, Matthew, Abby and Lucas. She hopes her work will help pave a path for the future and for the next generations of CPAs.
“Being a CPA really means something special,” she said. “That sounds a little silly, maybe, but as I work with other CPAs, particularly those involved in these organizations, I see that it is more than a certification. It’s a collective alignment with caring about the greater good and wanting to do work that creates positive lasting impact.”

Topics: Member Profiles