As a child, Cristian Rath says he knew he wanted to be the one who broke his family’s generational poverty.
“I was born into a family of extreme poverty, trapped in a never-ending cycle,” Rath says.
At the age of 10, he decided to pour everything he had into being the first person in his family to graduate high school and college.
“I believe people deserve better and have spent my entire life accomplishing this mission. My childhood was difficult, but it taught me to look at the possibilities,” Rath says. “I knew I could become more and I knew that I could help others in the same way.”
Rath took his first important step on that mission after graduating college and landing his first job.
“My proudest professional accomplishment is being hired at Abacus CPAs because I knew that day I’d broken the cycle of poverty,” he says. “I knew my dream had become a reality and the struggles from my past were a distant memory.”
Rath says he now focuses on helping others achieve their goals, whether they be clients or co-workers.
“I know a trusted adviser is someone who overcomes their circumstances and reaches their goals to focus on the client – helping them overcome their circumstances and achieve their goals,” Rath says.
“Because of Abacus, I will relentlessly pursue what is best for my clients, so they can make smarter decisions.”
Rath says his commitment to clients is round-the-clock. He says he makes that level of commitment because accounting is about people, not just numbers.
“Anyone can input information into spreadsheets, but what matters is building long-lasting relationships with people,” Rath says. “I am always in contact with clients, fielding messages from social media and phone calls in the middle of the night. I work to do what is best for my clients, whether creating networks or helping them find the best resource.”
When not in the office, Rath can be found volunteering for a number of community groups.
For example, he serves on the board of directors for Champion Athletes of the Ozarks, which focuses on building confidence and life skills for people with disabilities through sports. He also serves as treasurer for Rotaract Club of Springfield and My Final Chapter, which helps adult cancer patients nearing the end of life enjoy one final dream.
“After everything I’ve been through in my life, I recognize that my personal growth and success would not have been possible without great community support,” he says. “It’s my turn to give back, and I’m honored to be able to do it.”
As Rath looks to the future, he has a personal goal to make partner in the next eight years. But his aspirations are still tied to helping people; the bigger the platform, the greater the impact.
“I want to know that I did everything I could to bring hope and opportunities for families like mine to break the cycle of poverty. I want to provide co-workers, clients and community with the tools, knowledge and support to make a difference,” he says. “When I achieve this, I will look back on my life with pride and peace, knowing I fulfilled my purpose.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May the all-items inflation index surged 8.6% over the past year, the highest increase since 1981.