RINA Legend – Jim Kohles

12/3/2021

Legends recognize, confront and, above all, respect their adversaries. They know that ultimately this is better for everyone. The path to legend is forged through challenges and in the company of partners and friends. Ultimately, at the end of the day, companies are the people who make them up.

One of the legends of RINA is without a doubt Jim Kohles who recently celebrated his 50th year at the firm.  Yes, you heard that right – Jim started at RINA in November 1971 which also happens to be when Intel released the world's first microprocessor, the 4004.

RINA staff line upRINA staff line up
In the early days RINA showed off its new staff in line-up photos like these two.
Because of his height, Jim is on the end of each grouping!
In Jim's early days at the firm, there were regular intermural athletics

Currently, a Principal in the Walnut Creek office, Jim served as RINA's President for 16 years and Chairman of the Board for 10 years. Jim is synonymous with RINA’s passion for building lasting relationships with our clients and their companies. He understands the emotional investment each client has in their respective company and how it fuels their desire to grow the business. More importantly, he shares each client’s commitment to succeeding. Whether working to solve accounting, auditing, or tax planning issues, Jim agrees, there’s no greater feeling than seeing RINA’s clients achieve their dreams. We are so proud of Jim and his accomplishments.

Cowboy Jim at an early RINA party

We sat down with the man to ask him about the past, present, and future.
 
Question: What do you enjoy most about working here? 
The best part of RINA has always been the congenial relationships with fellow workers and clients.  Not without some stressful elements but rewarding when you can work through those issues.
 
Question: What do you enjoy doing outside of work? 
When I was younger, it was always sports, very predominately basketball but significant time with racquetball, volleyball and grudgingly softball as RINA had a team back then to go along with our basketball team.  Now I am spending time with home maintenance and improvements and following the Warriors.
 
Question: How has accounting changed since you started at RINA? 
The basics have changed dramatically due to technology.  This has also modified the relationships with both fellow workers and clients.  However, there are still opportunities for contacts, you just have to work a little harder to find them.
 
Question: Any advice for someone just getting started?  
Ask well thought out questions and look for opportunities to make informed observations to clients based on what you have learned from other work experiences.  
 
Question: What will be the future of accounting? 
Less number crunching and more informed consulting.
 
Question: If you didn’t become an accountant – what do you think you would have done? 
I was briefly torn between Engineering and Business but when I took a preference test, business dominated my responses. 
 
Question: What has been the key to your success? 
Patient supervisors during my early years.  

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