New Cincinnati KPMG managing partner has always loved a challenge

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager 

As the first female managing partner of the Cincinnati KPMG firm, Patty Basti, CPA, said it’s a milestone she didn’t set out to achieve but has always searched for ways to make a meaningful impact. 

Woman smiling for camera.

“I've worked very hard to get some great experiences and all of my roles that have led me to here,” Basti said. “But it's interesting when I look back at my career and think about how I got to be where I am today. It zigs and zags, it’s not a straight line.” 

A graduate of Miami University, Basti started her career at KPMG in external audit before leaving for Chiquita in the late 90’s, when the company was headquartered in Cincinnati. In 2007 she returned to KPMG in the advisory practice. 

Basti described herself as a Type-A personality and said she likes to constantly feel challenged to achieve career growth, a major factor of why she decided to return to KPMG. 

“A firm like KPMG affords that opportunity to work on business challenges and work with clients and coworkers who are at the top of their game,” she said. “And it's a great place to work to continue to stay fresh and develop in your career.” 

And although Basti said returning to KPMG felt like “coming home,” things had evolved since the last time she was part of the firm. The office location had moved, she came back to a different practice and found many new faces among her coworkers. 

“I understood what KPMG stood for with ethics and integrity and our culture,” she said. “So, KPMG was very familiar and comfortable to me. But it was different enough that there were new challenges, new relationships and new opportunities in the marketplace.” 

Throughout her time in the profession Basti said she always kept her CPA license active and that made her transition back into public accounting easier. She said one of the most valuable lessons she’s learned has been about relying on your network and key mentors to help you understand where you can improve. 

“It's easy to hear good things from people, it's more challenging to accept where you have blind spots,” she said. “Mentors that provide that value are critical to a career.” 

Basti said as managing partner she’s looking forward to continuing the focus on people, growth and community for the firm. KPMG has been investing in culture both as a firm and at individual offices, she said, and she’s excited to continue that focus on culture along with diversity and inclusion efforts. 

“The fact that I am the first woman to be the Cincinnati managing partner is evidence that our firm is bringing females into leadership positions,” she said. “And we're looking for ways to celebrate our diversity and ensure that we represent the same diversity our clients have. It’s very humbling for me, and I'm very much honored to be the first female managing partner.”