Fourlane Establishes Gift for Next-Gen Accountants
Scholarship to prepare accounting students for advisory positions.
Firm in the belief that strategic-minded accountants can drive and shape industries, Austin-based Fourlane has endowed a $375,000 scholarship for students at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.
The gift is an effort to boost accountants beyond traditional bookkeeping roles and into advisory ones, said Marjorie Adams, co-founder and CEO of Fourlane, a provider of financial systems services and Intuit’s No. 1 Elite QuickBooks Solution Provider since 2010.
“Companies are automating most of their bookkeeping and tax activities, and Fourlane has never done tax or audit,” Adams said. “We’ve always specialized in advisory — giving our customers the data they need, and then advising leadership in their decision-making.
“So, the partners we hire need to think strategically,” she said.
A former soccer coach with a passion for teaching, Adams began her accounting career in a manufacturing firm, but an early encounter with a business consultant changed her trajectory. “From her, I realized I could still teach, but businesses growing up instead of kids,” she said.
She founded Fourlane in 2009, dedicated to clients seeking to push beyond their initial $1 million goal. “Many times, clients in the $2 million-plus bracket feel isolated, and having people who can confidently help you make decisions is very important,” she said.
Adams’ philanthropy is tied to her passion for educating and creating opportunity. “I got a scholarship in college, and it had a huge impact, knowing somebody’s in your corner,” she said.
A California transplant, Adams said she immediately “fell in love with Texas,” and she learned about UT when she toured the campus with her two younger sisters before they enrolled. “We went to a lot of different schools, but the inspiration and opportunity here are so different,” she said.
Several McCombs students work as interns at Fourlane, where they learn to be inquisitive and to glean a lesson from every interaction — essential skills for accountants in this new era, Adams said: “The software is chasing traditional bookkeepers and accountant roles, so you have to increase your value at the same pace.”
Texas McCombs’ Department of Accounting has spent the past 16 years ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report for both undergraduate and graduate degrees, and its doctoral program also sits at No. 1 in the Public Accounting Report.
Steven Kachelmeier, McCombs chair of accounting, says the school is deeply committed to training accountants for today’s dynamic landscape, where they are increasingly called to find and communicate the strategic insights within the data.
“The department is very grateful to Fourlane for its generous support of our students,” Kachelmeier said. “As accounting grows and shifts with industry demands, our program strives to provide state-of-the-art insights that enable students to pursue a variety of interesting and gratifying careers. Scholarships such as these will help to ensure that goal.”