People

Eugene C. W. Ma, CPA

Expertise

Eugene Ma, San Francisco CPA and AccountantEugene Ma has 12 years of professional experience in MGO’s bay area assurance practice. He is a leader in the firm’s transportation and transit industry group and has served a wide variety of clients including publicly-traded companies, privately held businesses and government entities.  He also has extensive expertise providing audit and assurance services for emerging leaders in the cannabis and medical marijuana industry

Industries Served

State and Local Government
Cannabis

Professional Associations and Leadership

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
California Society of Certified Public Accountants

Education

Saint Mary’s College of California
Bachelor of Science and Economics, Accounting Henry Rand Hatfield Award

Q&A

Why are you passionate about public accounting?
I am passionate about public accounting because there is never a dull moment in my daily routine. I have the opportunity to work with a vast array of clients and people from different backgrounds. Accounting always presents a challenge, whether it’s understanding and researching complex transactions or working with others. Teamwork means not just working with the MGO team, but building a dynamic relationship with our clients. I am blessed with the opportunity to learn and better myself from those experiences.

Why do you like working at MGO?
MGO’s culture fits my boring and eclectic personality to a T. One of our mantras speaks to “limitless opportunity” and my career at MGO is a perfect example of the opportunities that I have been afforded. Where else would I have been able to serve a client that conserves a national/iconic monument, work with some of the busiest airports and seaports in the San Francisco Bay Area and serve public and private technology companies?

Describe a favorite client or client story.
I can pontificate about how I helped a client with a highly technical matter but that would just be boring. As I mentioned before I value client relationships the most. There was a specific moment when I realized that my relationships with clients were not just about business but personal connections I had created with the individuals. It was on a particular “Auditor doughnut Friday” at the clients. I brought in Kripsy Kreme doughnuts and the controller, while appreciative told me with a slight Cheshire cat grin that the doughnuts were too “light and airy” for their preference. The initial thoughts going through my head were of disbelief but I soon realized it was their way of welcoming me to the “family” it was there form of a little hazing.

What qualities do you look for in job applicants?
I look for candidates with outgoing personalities (to counter the boredom) and those who take pride in their work. Also of importance are the individual’s interests outside of work since being a full-time CPA is a daunting task and one needs to self-balance.

Who are you outside the office?
I’m just a normal goofy guy out of the office. My hobbies can be best described as eclectic. I love eating food but I don’t really like to talk about it. I feel food is meant to be enjoyed in the moment so, if I’m asked how the meal that I had three days ago was, I will probably respond with “I don’t remember” because there was probably a meal I just had that was just as good.

Another pure simple pleasure that I enjoy is reality tv. I am a reality tv junkie it’s a pleasure in life that I can’t explain.

Though I’m not a pure “gear head,” I do own my fair share of cars and would love to own more. Every so often I see a deal but I have to be practical and reasonable with my spending after all I am a boring accountant only certain cars will be added to the “fleet” maybe in the future. And if you’re wondering if I have named my cars, the answer is “no,” not yet at least.

Who has been the most influential person in your career?
While one can say, there are many individuals that have help form and shaped my career can be a cop out, it is ultimately true. We take and use different avenues to get us to the end game, my “tiger parents” would be so proud. I can say I’m heavily influenced by two distinct quotes:

Bruce Lee’s infamous quote: “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

Donald Rumsfeld head scratching yet painfully obvious quote: “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

So in a nutshell, be flexible, willing to change for those unpredictable things in life and that has been the greatest influence on my career.