Accounting Alumnus Kashak ’97 Speaks to SAA

Posted on 12/13/2018 8:01:54 AM

On December 5, 2018, Chris Kashak, chief operating officer of One Planet, located in Pittsburgh, spoke to 65 accounting majors at a Student Accounting Association meeting in the Eberly auditorium.

Kashak earned a double major in accounting and MIS in 1997 from IUP, and was a student in two accounting classes in the mid 1990’s taught by Kim Anderson, the SAA faculty advisor who invited Kashak back to campus to speak to current students about his career. Immediately after graduating from IUP, Kashak worked in public accounting for four years with Schneider Downs in Pittsburgh as both an auditor and an IT consultant. He continued his education at Carnegie Mellon University, earning an MBA in Strategy, Organizational Behavior, and Marketing in 2003.

Chris Kashak with the newly-elected 2019 SAA officers

Chris Kashak, 1997 IUP accounting alumnus and COO of One Planet, spoke at an SAA meeting on December 5. Kashak is shown with the newly-elected 2019 SAA officers as follows (left to right): Kelly Kumetis, senior vice president; Kaitlin Albright, vice president; Kim Anderson, faculty advisor; Chris Kashak; Jordan Schofield, vice president of finance, and Matt DeCesare, president.

Kashak’s current company, One Planet, is a foreign language software company that translates other companies’ documents into foreign languages. Kashak stated that the language of business is too complicated and nuanced for a program like Google Translate, so his company manages the process of having freelance language experts translate the business documents. His company also ensures that the layout and design of the documents are correct, since translating the same content to another language will usually add volume to the document.

Kashak said that although his current job does not directly involve accounting, having an accounting background and being a CPA are always helpful. He was able to use his accounting knowledge involving the new lease rules recently enacted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Kashak was able to help his client come up with a more efficient process to translate the important changes in the lease agreements rather than translating every lease document.

Additionally, Kashak said his accounting background was useful in getting his MBA. There were many students in his MBA classes with backgrounds in engineering who needed his help to understand business transactions.

Kashak’s advice to students was to take advantage of networking opportunities because they result in far more beneficial connections with other people than one would think. He impressed upon students the importance of applying themselves academically and being involved in student organizations such as the SAA. He also talked about the importance of volunteering, which he finds not only enjoyable and fulfilling, but can also lead to important business connections.

This was the final SAA meeting for the fall 2018 semester. 

Eberly College of Business and Information Technology