Thomas Buonaiuto, president and COO of Islandia-based Empire National Bank, also began his career at KPMG.
"I think it's important to start with an understanding of accounting - it's the basis of every business," he
"Whether you're talking about sales, operations, facilities - all aspects of business touch on accounting."
The training that accountants and especially CPAs get put them at an advantage in the business world, he
"If you look at a business as a funnel, at the base of the funnel is accounting," he
said while accounting is an ideal major for some bank roles, others may be more appropriate depending on the position.
"The traits that make you a good accountant might not make you the best salesperson," he
"Accountants have earned the reputation of being bean counters, but operations people may need to understand that things aren't black and white - there's a gray area.
Accountants look for everything to have a place, but operations people have to work with things that don't fit in a box."
Different traits are important for different functions.
"I think accounting is a great skill set to have," Buonaiuto