Christopher R. Alger, CPA, CFE rejoined the firm in 2019 as senior manager in the audit department. Prior to rejoining the firm, Chris began his career at Grossman St. Amour CPAs in 2008, upon completing the Summer Internship Program in 2007. He went to work for Clarkson University as Controller in 2016, and then Cornell University as Director of Financial Operations in 2018. Chris is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York and a Certified Fraud Examiner.
Chris practices in the areas of audit and attest engagements, financial statement preparation, fraud examination and deterrence, and internal control review. His clients include not-for-profits, employee benefit plans, governmental, commercial for-profit, medical practices and healthcare.
Chris volunteers at the CNY Food Bank, and is an assistant coach for the Baldwinsville Little League.
He is a resident of Baldwinsville, New York.
LeMoyne College – Bachelor of Science in Accounting
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
PrimeGlobal, An Association of Independent Accounting Firms
What nugget of wisdom would you offer aspiring accountants?
I cannot overemphasize how beneficial it has been to start my career in Public Accounting. It gave me the opportunity to gain exposure to many different industries, as well as first-hand experience with a number of different clients and working environments. Even if your ultimate goal is to end up in the private sector, I would strongly suggest starting your career in Public and obtaining your CPA credential as soon as possible.
What drew you to accounting?
I had several very influential professors at the University at Buffalo who were able to push me towards a career in accounting early on. In addition to enjoying and excelling in my first few accounting courses, the job market was expanding tremendously at the time (2005) in the wake of Sarbanes Oxley.
What law or regulation in the accounting industry would you like to see changed?
I would like to see more progress made in the “Big GAAP vs. Little GAAP” initiative that was initially undertaken by the AICPA back in 2009. This study focused primarily on for-profit private companies; however, in having worked with a number of non-profit organizations (NPO’s) throughout my career, I believe there must be specific attention paid to NPO’s. These organizations typically have relatively limited resources and fewer overall stakeholders, as compared to for-profit companies. In order to allow greater focus on fulfilling their underlying mission statements, there should be strong consideration given to reducing the amount of administrative burden being placed on NPO’s with holding them to the same standards as private for-profit entities.
What’s your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement thus far in my career has been the ability to have a positive impact on each of the three organizations I’ve had the pleasure of working for. This has been evidenced by the great personal and professional relationships I have been able to build with colleagues throughout each organization.
Who is (or was) the most influential person in your life?
My wife, Cheryl is the most influential person in my life. We are currently working together to adopt two foster children who have been with us since March 2018. I have been blown away by the amount of strength and perseverance she has demonstrated over the past 18 months as we have worked to quickly acclimate to life as foster parents. I cannot imagine being able to go through this process without her!
What is your favorite quote?
Given my allegiance to the Pittsburgh Steelers, I would have to say it’s Mike Tomlin’s, “The Standard is the Standard.”
What’s it like working for a firm that has been around so long?
The biggest advantage is the fact that the overall firm culture and work environment can be relied upon to remain consistent going forward. During my summer internship at the firm back in 2007, the open and collaborative team-oriented environment at the firm is what led me to starting my career here. Even today, the work environment has not changed a bit, and it is the single most significant factor in my decision to go back to Public Accounting.
How do you relax when not working?
In addition to sports (SU basketball and football, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Baltimore Orioles), I enjoy spending time with my wife Cheryl and our two foster siblings, Martin and Serenity. I also enjoy home renovations and working on the Mustangs.
All-inclusive trip to Sandals Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Word that describes you.
What was your first concert?
Eden’s Poets in Baltimore, MD