How I Got Started - Gary Cooper

In my career, creativity and accounting have gone hand-in-hand. I believe that exercising both right and left-brain skills is crucial in helping clients with strategies, tactical issues, and reporting and utilizing information. Overall, blending creativity with accounting has been useful in providing my clients with guidance, direction, and an increase in their cash flow.

In particular, music is a significant part of my life. My father, for instance, was very good at playing the harmonica, and consequently music was instilled into my life early on. I distinctly remember that when I was a child, he would play beautiful Christmas carols with as much dedication and skill as someone playing a piano.

Personally, I took to drumming. I started drumming at 10 years old and played until I was about 19, participating in various bands throughout middle and high school. Drawing was also something that appealed to me; not only did I take as many art courses in high school as was able, but I also participated in art competitions. In fact, fine art was my first declared major. I switched my major to accounting after an illuminating conversation with my uncle, who inspired me to pursue a field that he knew I could excel in and still earn a decent living. Accounting was very easy for me, and that started me on the path I walk today.

Even so, music remains one of my primary hobbies. Every month, my accounting firm, Cooper CPA Group, hosts the Forward Results Band Jam, where we play music and network entrepreneurs from all over Houston, Texas. The Forward Results Band Jam is a critical part of my branding and networking strategy. It’s important that clients and others who might do business with us know that music is important to me. It gives everyone insight into how I approach my work.

While creativity and accounting may seem like an oxymoron, blending the two has proven substantially beneficial to my accounting career. When I am reviewing a client’s books, I don’t just see numbers. I see a story that helps me generate positive results. I am able to look outward instead of purely inward like most accountants might do. My creativity also makes me an outstanding visualizer. I am able to visualize other business segments that may compliment my clients’ core business offerings. I have insight that allows me to take ideas and expand them into profitable opportunities. Perhaps most relevant of all, my creativity makes me a visionary. This means that I am able to understand the minds of entrepreneurs who, typically, are also visionaries, and as such I am able to offer them accounting services on a level that is more personal and more relevant to their specific needs.

Even Cooper CPA Group’s office environment, replete with records and signed vintage posters, reflects my personality and leads to strong communication and bonding with our clients.

On Wednesday, I will talk more about my music career and the Band Jam event that has landed my firm in two Houston newspapers as well as ABC’s 6PM news.

For more information ahead of time, visit