Emily Conley, CPA

Audit and Assurance

Dream big and trust the process.

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Meet Emily

Emily is a skilled audit services expert with a specialized focus in the audits of privately held manufacturers, nonprofit organizations and employee benefit plans. She assists clients with audit review and compilation, Uniform Grant Guidance and preparation of financial statements.

Emily has extensive experience managing and coordinating external audits for clients in a variety of industries. She has controllership experience working with clients on their monthly closing process, financial statement preparation, account analysis and reconciliation, budget analysis and various other accounting processing and special projects.

Prior to joining Armanino, Emily worked for Brown Smith Wallace, CBIZ MHM, LLC and Arthur Andersen LLP. She received both her Master of Accountancy and her B.S. in commerce and business administration/accounting from the University of Alabama. A Certified Public Accountant, Emily is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Missouri Society of CPAs (MOCPA). She regularly attends the AICPA annual conferences for benefit plans and nonprofits. Emily is also a member of the American Society of Women Accountants and serves as chair-elect of the MOCPA Women’s Initiatives Committee.

Contact Emily Conley


Professional History


  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Missouri Society of CPAs (MOCPA)


  • American Society of Women Accountants
  • MOCPA Women’s Initiatives Committee, Chair-Elect


  • University of Alabama


  • Brown Smith Wallace
  • Arthur Andersen LLP


Q. Make a prediction, describe your vision of the business future.
The number one struggle my clients face right now is staffing. I work a lot in the manufacturing industry, and I have clients that are regularly short 60-100 people in their manufacturing processes. They have orders in hand but not the staff to fulfill them. As a result, a lot of clients are looking into process automation and robotics to fill staffing shortages. From an audit perspective, it’s fascinating because we look at relationships analytically; we look at labor costs and we look at the cost to manufacture a product and how this evolution of adding more robotics is going to impact our clients. I really do think the future growth for my clients will include automating some of these processes just to combat staffing issues.
Q. Without naming names, tell us about your favorite client and why you enjoyed working with them.
One of my more interesting clients imports fine linen from overseas, mainly Italy, and brings it back to the United States and uses it to produce sheets and bedding for high-dollar, high-net-worth customers. Over the years, I’ve watched them adapt as the retail landscape transformed from brick-and-mortar stores to an increasingly online presence. This client had to take many steps to retool their business model and pivot it to a digital market, including finding and identifying their online customers. It was fascinating and inspiring to watch them take that leap of faith and help them acclimate to a digital world.
Q. Describe your work style.
People describe me as the calming force in the room. I am good at bringing down the tension and helping people find a solution and a path forward when the pressure is high. My definition of success is seeing the people around me succeed and become more empowered to make decisions. I always make myself available and find time to meet with people who are seeking my help. If I do my job right, I am developing people and empowering them to work to the best of their abilities.
Q. What’s your proudest moment?
My family has a different dynamic. I have two sons, and the younger one has special needs. To see my younger son succeed at things that the rest of us take for granted is something that makes me proud every time it happens. It gives such a special meaning to life’s mundane tasks.
Q. Who is (or was) the most influential person in your life?
My dad. He owned a small CPA firm and worked on the tax side. I started doing bookkeeping for him in the eighth grade, and he was so patient with me and helped me push myself to reach my highest potential. My dad taught me teamwork and empowerment and independence. Because of him, I found my niche in middle-market accounting.
Q. If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to aspiring accountants or consultants, what would that be?
I would tell them to dream big and trust the process. If there is something you want to achieve, put together a game plan and do it. However, remember that not everyone’s path is on a particular timeline and careers don’t always go from A to Z without a detour of some sort. A career isn’t a sprint, and there will be times when you have to pace yourself. Be flexible, roll with the punches and, most importantly, take care of yourself.
Q. What do you love most about your work?
The relationships I build! I am very much a relationship person, and numbers are just one language that I speak. I love meeting clients and prospects and recruiting. The work itself is just part of the package.
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