September 15, 2016

SDSU Alumni Spotlight

“There is something about being a twin: you always have a friend for life, no matter what.”

This is according to Tom Duffy (’81, accounting) about his identical twin brother, Tim (’79, accounting), who is the oldest by two minutes.

In addition to both Duffys having accounting degrees from San Diego State, they are “both left-handed and sound very similar on the phone,” said Tim. They also both met their wives at San Diego State, with Tim marrying Janet Applegate (’81, geography) and Tom marrying Anne Pettit, who attended, and played volleyball, for SDSU in the late 70’s.

Choosing SDSU

Before coming to SDSU, the two grew up in Connecticut until they moved with their family to Southern California in the late 60’s. After graduating from Taft High School in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County, Tim attended a community college near the family home. He chose to transfer to SDSU in order to “live on my own”. “Going to San Diego State was the best choice of my life,” he said. “The students and faculty were exciting. Living with roommates, studying, working and making a lot of life choices at an early adult age was awesome.”

Several factors influenced Tim’s decision to pursue his SDSU accounting degree, among them a magazine article discussing accounting as a top profession, his mother’s bookkeeping career, and some early classes which got him “hooked on the learning experience” that carried over into his academic career at SDSU.

It was Tim that influenced Tom to follow him both to SDSU and into the field of accounting. “Tim was responsible for getting me into accounting and I really connected with the numbers,” Tom recalled. “Little did I know that 34 years later, I would still be doing it and loving it.”

Finding Their Niche

“Going to San Diego State was the best choice of my life.”
– Tim Duffy

After graduation, both Tim and Tom sat for, and passed, the California CPA exam and they settled into careers and raising families. But after working as a non-equity partner in a firm for several years, Tom and a business partner chose to take a monumental risk by founding their own firm, Duffy, Kruspodin & Company in Encino, California in 1989.

As with almost all new small businesses, the firm had a lean launch before it found its footings. “We had a very humble beginning and struggled our first three years,” said Tom. “Gradually, we managed to develop our system of controls, strengthen our knowledge, provide timely service to our customers and continue to apply ourselves 120 percent to each challenge that came through the door.”

Meanwhile, Tim was working for a large publicly-held real estate company in San Diego where he was eventually promoted to a vice president position. Once the company was sold, he had to refocus his career goals.

Finding Success Together

Ironically, the sale of Tim’s former company and the acquisition of a CPA firm in the San Diego area… Read Full Article