Employee Spotlight – Richard Bhola

What year did you join Scott and Company? 

Where did you go to college?
All of my education was obtained outside of the US. I have been in public accounting since 1997 and became a certified accountant in 2002 through the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) based in the United Kingdom. I was fortunate to start my career directly out of high school since my high school diploma included basic business and accounting subjects, and I studied part-time while working.

Why did you choose Scott and Company?
In a way Scott and Company chose me. I was referred to them by a recruiter who I had worked with in the past and who knew what I was looking for in my next career move. After meeting with Don Mobley, Managing Member of Scott and Company and Michael Slapnik, Audit Member—I felt like I could work well with them and continue building on the great business built so far. I have learned over the years that it’s important to work with people who you can see yourself getting along with, but more importantly people that will help you grow. I sensed I could have both at Scott and Company. The fact that they won Best Places to Work in 2019 and have been on the list of best places to work for several years was also an indication to me that they were people-centric—and that’s something I am passionate about. I believe that if you treat your people well, they will do their best work. And if they do their best work, our clients will see and feel it.

What do you enjoy most about living in Columbia?
I have been living in Columbia since June of 2012. Moving from the DC area was initially a shock, but it quickly grew on me. The weather here is great and since I am a golfer, it was nice to know that I could golf almost every day of the year. There is a lot to do here in Columbia and it doesn’t require significant amounts of effort to do them as compared to living in a bigger city. We could rent a boat and go on Lake Murray, visit the farmer’s market on Main Street on Saturdays, and there are lots of parks located within short driving distances for hiking and camping. I also love that you are not far from great locations like Charleston, SC, Savannah, GA, Myrtle Beach, SC, Asheville, NC, etc. I also enjoy going to shows whenever one that I am interested in comes to town—I particularly enjoyed going to see Kevin Hart and lately Dave Chapelle.

What book or movie do you recommend to others and why?   
One book I would recommend that everyone read is The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani. This was a book recommended to me when I made a decision a few years ago that I wanted to become a reader—funny enough I didn’t read much other than what I had to for work. Reading it was eye opening and I realized that many of our limitations, including my own, are placed on us through things we learn growing up and we have the power to stop believing those limiting beliefs and come up with new empowering ones. It also allowed me to see that once we are willing to take that step our lives can be transformed significantly. Since then I have continued on the journey of reading. I am currently working on reading 52 books in 2020, and a significant portion of them will be focused on personal development.

What interesting fact would you most like your readers to know about you?
As much as I have enjoyed my journey which started growing up in Guyana, South America, having the good fortune to have amazing experiences in places I could never have imagined, the one thing I desire to do the most is to inspire the world to be better. I wholeheartedly would like to make a positive contribution to the world I live in and to play a positive role in people’s lives both in my community locally and internationally. I know that much of my success in life was achieved because I always had a support system—people who without direct benefit would show up and be willing to play a key role in my life, people who to this day are always available for me to call on if needed. This is what makes me excited to wake up everyday and be my best self.

If there is a special photo you would like to share, please provide a copy with brief explanation.
The photo below is me running my first marathon at Kiawah Island at the end of 2019. I am not a super fast runner but I am a runner. I started running in 2016 and have continued running since. In 2017 I ran my first half marathon after running mostly 5Ks in 2016 and 2017. In 2018 I ran two half marathons and encountered difficulties in both, but managed to finish. In 2019 I ran 3 half marathons with two of my best times and in December 2019 I ran the Kiawah Island Marathon, not really training much for it, just to see if I could survive for 26.2 miles—I did it in just under four and a half hours. Growing up I never believed I could run and I certainly would never have imagined running a full marathon, especially as I got older with a busy career, a long commute and co-raising two kids. This is the power of personal belief, so that’s what this photo represents for me.