Photography by John Nienhuis
Makeup by Kristin Lindemann
6 On Balance May|June 2012
Danica E. Olson, CPA,
named new WICPA chair
By Cynthia M. Hodnett
On Balance May|June 2012
On the surface,
it may not seem that CPA Danica E. Olson,
accounting manager for the Milwaukee Bucks,
Inc., has much in common with the team’s
towering players. However, they do share a
common interest in numbers. While the
players focus on their stats, scores and
salaries, much of Olson’s job involves
managing the team’s finances.
Now Olson has
a new focus:
of the WICPA.
“I didn’t really think
about becoming chair,
but I was excited when I
was asked,” she said. “I
was also kind of scared
because I feel like I’m too
young to be chair. When
I take over as chair, I’ll be
40. I’m only the fifth woman, which is pretty
exciting because there aren’t a lot of women
in top leadership roles.”
Olson’s professional experience, drive
and personable demeanor will be an asset as
chair, said James W. Woloszyk, CPA, director
of finance for the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I think all of those things, plus her being
from industry, will bring a different perspective
compared to some of the previous
(chairs),” Woloszyk said. “She has a lot of
energy and can listen to those around her.
She’s not afraid to express her own opinion,
but she’s not afraid listen to other people’s
Increasing member involvement is one of
Olson’s goals as chair.
“We talk a lot about the younger generation
being the future of the profession, and
when we look around at our events, we
don’t see a lot of them there,” she said. “We
do a good job with getting them to events
like the Brewers game, but what other events
can we offer them?
“A lot of people don’t feel comfortable
in going to events by themselves, so why
not set up a buddy system and start with
our board members?” she said. “If you look
at our board, it represents a lot of different
industries and firms. Maybe each board
member would be encouraged to bring at
least one person to a WICPA event.”
Olson got involved with the organization
shortly after joining in 2000. As a new
member, she attended a KnowledgeShare
Network Breakfast Meeting, which educates
accounting professionals and their
clients about trends affecting the accounting
industry. At the meeting, several WICPA
members encouraged her to become active.
Since then, Olson has served on the board
of directors as its liaison of the Young Professionals
Committee. She has also served
on the Education Foundation, Inc.
“She epitomizes what this profession is
all about — hardworking, honest, dedicated
and interested in improving the profession
as well as her own skills,” said CPA Carver
Smith III, search practice leader at Baker
Tilly Search & Staffing, LLC and WICPA
“Danica is extremely genuine, committed
and gets things done,” Smith said. “I’m
looking forward to continuing to serve on
the board under her leadership.”
the CPA profession
Olson also wants to continue promoting
financial literacy. She also wants to encourage
students to consider accounting careers,
which she has done previously as a speaker
at networking events at the University of
“I enjoyed doing that because I got to
talk with them about my experiences as a
CPA,” she said. “As CPAs, we need to talk to
students about the things you can achieve in
A Milwaukee native, Olson developed a
strong interest in numbers at early age. She
decided to pursue a CPA career after taking
her first accounting class in high school.
“I really enjoyed it and I knew it would
open up a lot of career options,” she said. “I
8 On Balance May|June 2012
knew I wanted to go to Marquette (University),
and I knew they had a good accounting
program. Plus, I wanted to get my
master’s degree. I knew HR would be a good
fit with accounting.”
Olson graduated from Marquette with a
bachelor’s degree in business administration
with specialization in accounting and
a master’s in human resources in 1993. The
following year, she earned her CPA designation.
Her career includes accounting positions
at Rite-Hite Corp., Boston Store, and
the company that is now U.S. Bank. She also
worked at Dai Shin Technologies, where she
eventually became controller.
After leaving Dai Shin Technologies,
Olson took her current position with the
Bucks. There, she enjoys a variety of duties,
including calculating the amount of taxes to
withhold in the states and cities that require
professional athletes to pay income tax.
She also does general ledger reconciliation,
resume screenings and exit interviews.
“I think the thing that most people find
interesting about my job is that I do the
payroll for the staff, the basketball players,
and the coaches,” she said. “I have written a
million-dollar paycheck. I have seen literally
the amount of taxes taken out of one check
that’s more than my entire year’s earnings.
Olson also teaches accounting at DeVry
University and University of Phoenix.
Although her schedule is busier than ever,
she finds time to spend with her family and
friends. She and her husband, Andy, enjoy
traveling and spending time with her two
cats, Chloe and Meg. She also plays in a
women’s tennis league.
Cynthia M. Hodnett is editor of On Balance
magazine. Contact her at 262-785-0445 ext.
3004 or email@example.com.
“I can get all of my work done
and still do my volunteering
opportunities,” she said. “I’m
a really busy person. I thrive
on tasks, so adding one more
won’t be a problem.”
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On Balance May|June 2012