Eamon Murphy ’18 came to Saint Rose thinking accounting would be his fallback to law school. After taking some accounting courses, he realized that what he really desired for his future was a career where law and accounting intersected.
Today, he is a criminal forensic auditor in the financial crimes unit of the Albany County District Attorney’s Office. We recently caught up with him about his work and life (a second intersection at Saint Rose was meeting the woman who would become his wife).
What do you do in a typical day?
As a criminal forensic auditor working in the financial crimes unit of the Albany County District Attorney’s Office, I find that my days are both structured and unpredictable.
I spend much of my time evaluating both personal and business financial records for evidence of financial crimes. The saying, “The devil is in the details” is apt for my role, as I’m usually immersed in the granular elements of a case.
Between working from home and the prevalence of electronic records, I’m normally engaged through my computer, but financial crimes are rarely solved in front of a screen alone. Instead, my analyses inform dynamic and interactive aspects of investigations, such as conferences with attorneys and investigators and interviews with witnesses and victims.
Evidence gathering and evaluation takes a significant time investment, but it’s only half the battle, so I also communicate the results of my work by synthesizing and documenting my findings in written reports. In addition, while I have not had the opportunity yet, I will also testify in grand jury sessions or trials.
No summary of my typical day would be complete without mentioning the administrative demands of any profession: continuing professional education. It isn’t glamorous (or cheap), but identifying areas where I need to develop skillsets in order to provide value to my organization is imperative. I set aside a few hours per week for web-based fraud trainings and reading industry publications.
Did you expect to be working for the district attorney, tracking down white-collar criminals, when you chose accounting as a major?
No. I came to Saint Rose having enrolled in a 3+3 dual degree program with Albany Law School – I had every intention of becoming an attorney and mainly chose accounting as a practical fallback. While I’d always been drawn to the law, once I was exposed to accounting, I knew that I wanted a career where the two intersected. After that, I was sure I wanted to work in law enforcement.
Once I’d settled on that target, I sought every opportunity that would help me achieve it. For me, this meant countless interviews and a handful of quality internships. One of them was with the District Attorney’s office after my sophomore year. It captivated me in a way that I still haven’t experienced anywhere else. I took a brief detour in public accounting in order to become licensed as a CPA, but I knew from my experience with the financial crimes unit, that this type of work was where I made an impact, so once I was able to go back, I did.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned over your career?
There is no substitute for hard work. Think back to a meaningful success and consider whether it’s attributable to luck or your own devoted effort. The odds are good that it was primarily the result of your own sacrifice and commitment. Whether you’re thinking about your studies, work, friendships, or relationships, putting in hard work will yield enduring positive results.
How has your Saint Rose experience helped you in your work and life?
Most importantly, my experience at Saint Rose included meeting the woman I’d eventually marry. At the end of my freshman year, I attended a new-recruit mock trial meeting (this was when I still expected to go to law school after college), and my future teammate and I instantly connected. Over the next academic year, as we practiced direct and cross-examinations, our connection grew into a friendship that fortifies and strengthens to this day.
In terms of work, Saint Rose was chock full of organizations rich with opportunities to develop skills relevant to the workplace. Being a member of the mock trial team, has paid dividends with respect to learning how to testify as a witness, anticipating and responding to attacks from attorneys, and understanding courtroom procedure.
At Saint Rose, I also competed in the student-managed portfolio and Fed challenge. These finance and economics competitions allowed me to take academic information and apply it to dynamic challenges that reinforced the education I received in the classroom. I can think of few better ways to prepare for the working world.
Would you like to share any other reflections on, or fond memories of, Saint Rose?
My fondest memories of Saint Rose include watching soccer games with friends on warm nights, ordering dinner from Ruby on Madison Avenue, and pouring endless refills of coffee from the dining hall to get every last bit of needed productivity. The things that bring you joy will be different, but if you haven’t found them, I encourage you to try; if you have found them, I encourage you to do more of them. Make the effort to see what is in front of you, especially the simple things, and then make the most of them.