The California Society of CPAs called Chrislynn Freed “the profession’s professor” when it featured her on the cover of the January/February 2021 issue of its magazine. Freed, who is professor of clinical accounting at USC Leventhal, was installed as the 2020-21 president of the CalCPA Education Foundation in August.
As president, Freed’s priorities include building community and support for CalCPA faculty; focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts; innovating educational products; and developing more learning opportunities for CalCPA members.
“Throughout my career, I have been most passionate about growing the next generation of leaders in our field,” Freed said. “From managing junior employees when I worked in public accounting to mentoring students at USC, I am excited to now lead CalCPA’s educational initiatives to advance our profession and help people build meaningful careers within it.”
“Chrislynn Freed assumes her role as president of the trustees at a crucial time for CalCPA,” said Anthony Pugliese, president and CEO of CalCPA and the CalCPA Education Foundation, in a statement. “Her perspectives and experiences as a CPA, top educator, and engaged volunteer leader will help guide us along our strategic path to greater success. This path includes upskilling the profession, enhancing their competencies, and creating more value for our members and customers through relevant, timely professional education.”
Freed, who has been a member of the CalCPA Accounting Education Committee since 1998 and served as co-chair for five years, felt it was the natural next step to get involved in a leadership role with the Education Foundation.
“My combination of practicing in public accounting for more than eight years, which included a rotation in Laventhol & Horwath’s national office to develop firm-wide education, together with my more than 30 years as an accounting educator gives me a unique perspective of how lifelong learning plays a vital role in an accounting professional’s career,” Freed said.
Freed joined USC Leventhal as director of professional programs and CFO in 1989, a role she served in until 1994, and became a professor in 1990. From 1990 to 2004, she was also director of master’s programs. Among numerous honors, Freed received the CalCPA Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 2013, three Golden Apple Awards, the USC Mellon Award for mentoring undergraduate and graduate students (twice), and the USC Parents Association Teaching and Mentoring Award.
A senior manager in an international CPA firm before joining USC Leventhal, Freed’s interests include financial accounting and auditing. She is a member of USC’s Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures and the Advisory board of the University of Florida’s Fisher School of Accounting where she earned a BS in accounting. She earned an MBA from USC Marshall in 1992.