David Pardes, M.S., MBA, a tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco, brings 12 years of wine industry experience, and a bit of humor, to his decade’s-long career of teaching finance, accounting and taxation to vineyard and winery owners and executives.
Why do you teach?
I enjoy educating people and seeing the curiosity in my students. When I’m able to step in and help them understand why things are done a certain way and it sets them on the right path or leads them to a career change, that’s what I find rewarding. I had a student who was deciding whether or not to pursue an accounting career in the wine industry. I was able to walk him through the steps of what it would take to be successful and saw him get his first job in the industry. Conveying my passion to students and watching them receive it, learn from what I’ve taught them and then apply it is why I teach.
What do you want students to take away from your taxation and accounting courses?
I want to take the fear out of accounting. Taking a step back and understanding the facts at hand makes the subject matter something that everyone can understand.
Why is it important that vineyard and winery owners understand relevant tax and accounting issues?
It’s all about cash flow. If you don’t understand your costs, then you don’t understand how much to sell your wine for. And if you don’t sell your wine for enough, you’re going to run out of money really quickly. Business is always about the numbers, and you need to account for things properly in order to make good decisions.