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Binita Pradhan

Member Spotlight

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Binita Pradhan

Ascend N. California Chapter Advisor

Binita Pradhan leads BDO’s West Region Third-Party Attestation (TPA) practice, with over 20 years of experience in public accounting and has experience working with a wide range of industries including technology, financial services and healthcare organizations. Binita is a member of the AICPA SOC 2 Task Force which authors SOC 2 guides and the AICPA SOC Supply Chain Task Force which authors SOC for supply chain guides.

 

She is the national co-leader for BDO’s Multicultural Alliance, which is focused on diversity, equity and inclusion at BDO and within its communities. She also chaired the Technology Committee for the CalCPA. She is a frequent speaker and has been quoted in and published many TPA related articles.

Binita was recognized as one of the most influential businesswomen in the Bay Area by San Francisco Business Times and by Ascend as a High-Impact Leader in 2018. She has been involved with Ascend for over 16 years, having various leadership roles including serving as Ascend Northern California Chapter President from 2019-2020. Today, she serves as a Chapter Advisor.

Why did you join Ascend?

I give the credit to BDO, my firm that I joined 17 years ago. I got an opportunity to attend an Ascend NorCal event through BDO’s sponsorship of the event. It was so much fun and great to be with fellow Asian professionals with shared values in a room together.

The mission of Ascend spoke to me. I had grown up in public accounting “trial by fire,” if you will. I thought to myself how valuable being part of a group like Ascend would have been when I was coming up the ranks.

Growing up in public accounting, one routinely attends many networking events. To me, what differentiated Ascend was the warmth and welcome from everyone. It was like entering a family gathering. I have been involved with Ascend in various capacities for 16 years now.

How did you become a member of the leadership team at Ascend?

With Ascend, it’s never been about what role I am in. Knowing the mission and seeing what we’re trying to do at Ascend, happy to help anyway I can. I started volunteering and, over the years, I took care of all the sponsorships. Then, I took over as Treasurer. At some point Ascend NorCal’s then President Darcy Lopes nominated me as the next President and the Ascend NorCal ratified the nomination. As I was coming into my second year as President, I nominated Faye and Kats and they were both ratified by the Ascend NorCal Board. As is the process for Ascend NorCal, after serving in the President role, I am now on its Advisory Board and there are four of us on the Advisory Board.

What advice would you give to members on how to help leverage the power of Ascend?

Building relationships are so important whether in our personal life or professional life. We get somewhere in our life not just because we are good at what we do, but because of the connections we’ve made and the relationships we build through networking. From my experience, Ascend members have always been warm, generous and giving. Leverage the power of Ascend and build your network.

What do you think makes Ascend so special? Perhaps you have a favorite special moment you can share?

It’s hard to pick one moment, there are so many moments, big and small. It’s a not-for-profit and everything comes to fruition through so many people’s hard work. I have had a pleasure of serving on the Ascend NorCal Board with some of the smartest, most successful and down to earth folks. Over the years, including weeknight and weekend meetings, we have become friends and I continue to connect with fellow Board members and ex-Board members on various personal and professional matters and vice versa. Warmth, a sense of belonging and continued friendship – that’s what makes Ascend a special and safe place.

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What advice would you give to members on how to help leverage the power of Ascend?

Building relationships are so important whether in our personal life or professional life. We get somewhere in our life not just because we are good at what we do, but because of the connections we’ve made and the relationships we build through networking. From my experience, Ascend members have always been warm, generous and giving. Leverage the power of Ascend and build your network.

- Binita
You’re a busy executive at BDO, active in industry task forces, an advisor with Ascend… What advice do you have on work-life prioritization?

I haven’t quite figured that one out yet! But I think it’s so important for every one of us to know and be very clear on our priorities.

For me, family comes first. I’m very ambitious and I work very hard, and choosing family first doesn’t mean I don’t care about my career.

It’s really like they say about filling the jar of your life with the big rocks first, your priorities. If you know what are the most important things that matter to you, those are the big rocks and you put those in first. Next, you fill in with lesser priorities, the smaller rocks, the pebbles and then the sand. If one fills one’s jar with lesser priorities, the pebbles and sand first, you can’t fit the important big rocks. That’s the analogy I would suggest to anyone.

Know your priorities and make time for them. For me, it’s knowing it’s my family grounds me and helps me feel less conflicted.

 

What are 3 characteristics you try to bring into your everyday leadership style?

  1. Always starting with a win-win mindset. In any relationship we have to think not just about ourselves but also the other party, whether it’s personal or professional. No matter if it’s a relationship with your subordinate, your superior or your client, if you want that person to be engaged and work across the table with you.

  2. Taking risks calculated risks and living fully.

  3. Networking and building relationships. This goes back to leveraging the power of Ascend.

 

What do you value the most about your culture?

I don’t know if it’s because I was born and raised in Nepal, but I don’t see myself away from my culture. I feel like everything I do, my culture is so deeply embedded in it.

What’s your favorite place to visit in NorCal?

There are so many beautiful places in NorCal! Capitola, Santa Cruz, Monterey… If I had to pick one favorite, it’s Tahoe.

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