Collector - August 2020 - 19

"Pam and Cindy were both in wheelchairs,
and I saw their struggle firsthand," he said.
"We went to a little country school, well
before the Americans with Disabilities Act
was passed, and I remember it was like
an act of God when they built a ramp for
Cindy. I learned how tough life can be for
someone with a physical disability, and that
created a compassion in me that I know is
relevant to a lot of what I do today."
Purcell met his wife, Jill, in his teens; they
married when he was 20. Around that time,
he got his first job in the accounts receivable
management (ARM) industry at Household
Finance, and learned both lending and
collections. He was drawn to the company
because it had a management training
program-the first spark of his lifelong
connection to professional development.

Program) at Oregon State University to
study accounting.
While the initial plan was to eventually
join Sykes' accounting company, Purcell
changed his mind after learning more
about what the "Big 6" accounting firms
had to offer. After earning his degree, he
went to work for Coopers & Lybrand LLP
and continued as a CPA and chief financial
officer at several firms over the years.
In 2005, he started a consultancy
company, the R2 Group, which provided
CFO and financial management services
to corporate clients. That's how he
met Joe Hawes, chairman and CEO of
Professional Credit, an ARM firm serving
the health care, government and financial
services markets. Hawes took him on as
a consultant, and eventually hired him

But the big turning point for Purcell
came when his mother-in-law, Mary
J. Sykes, a CPA, hired him to run
her side business, a data processing
company. "It was fascinating; just a great
experience," he recalled. "I got to try my
hand at everything: sales, marketing,
management."
He and Jill had been married for several
years and had three children before he got
the itch to attend college. In high school
he'd taken an aptitude test to see what
career path might best suit him; it pointed
him toward accounting. That, coupled with
the inspiration of watching Sykes work as
a CPA, lit a spark in him. He took a year
of classes at a community college and then
enrolled in the Family Business Program
(now known as the Austin Family Business

Quality Management System

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Do it.
Check it.
Improve it.

A certification designed to:
» Form a foundation for
RFPs, licensing, regulators
and industry certifications
ACA INTERNATIONAL

BLUEPRINT
COLLECTOR 08.20

» Create efficiency
and consistency for
staff and clients

» Develop
» Make continuous
accountability to
improvements
higher standards
across all practices

Build strong business practices people trust.
Visit www.acainternational.org/education/blueprint
to learn more about certifying your company.

19


http://www.acainternational.org/education/blueprint

Collector - August 2020

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