Who's Who of Professional Women


Sandra Kuba

Sandra Stearns Kuba, a certified public accountant (CPA) and a chartered global management accountant (CGMA), is well-regarded in several industries for her diverse portfolio of knowledge in the fields of accounting, internal controls, and forensics. Having worked in such industries as not-for-profit management, public accounting, law firm accounting, manufacturing, hospitality, and technology, she has excelled as the owner of the eponymous Sandra L. Stearns, Certified Public Accountant in Windermere, Florida, since 2017. As the owner of her own accounting firm, Ms. Kuba focuses her attention on assisting clients with their tax needs and working in collaboration with bookkeepers, among many other duties. Recently, she accepted a managerial position at Intuit, where she will work while continuing her entrepreneurial role.

Prior to her current appointments, Ms. Kuba served in accounting-related positions with the American Heart Association, Belkin International, and Orange County National, as well as a certified public accountant with Intuit and Disney. Possessing more than 30 years of professional experience in her areas of interest, she has always held a favorable reputation of mutual trust and respect with her clients, many of whom value her expertise and her honest and forward-thinking nature. Impressively, while working with Disney, Ms. Kuba assembled their Product Online Transmission Tool, which was subsequently nicknamed “Mrs. Potts,” and selected as the repository for all dining and tour events within the company. The tool, which was created in 2015 and updated in 2016, remains in use today. Ms. Kuba emphasizes that her varied experience in several vocational sectors has contributed to her overall success, allowing her to expand the scope of her skill set beyond what conventional accountants do.

In a pivotal and personal career highlight, Ms. Kuba recounts being the courageous whistleblower to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding financial and tax fraud and internal control issues against one of the largest and most well-known companies in the world. She claimed that employees at the company falsely inflated revenue for years. Some of the alleged methods included falsely recording complimentary golf games, complimentary meals, including test meals, and other free promotional products and services provided to guests and employees as revenue that was paid in full. However, says Ms. Kuba, it was actually charged to various company expense and asset accounts, known as a “gross up scheme” and it was stated “the company paid for it.”

Software flaws and a lack of internal controls, Ms. Kuba continued, allegedly allowed these and other misstatements to be entered, which were violations of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and against the rules and regulations of the SEC. She claims that, in addition to manipulation of data from one department or business unit to another, the company recorded many small transactions, misrepresenting their actual value and, when totaled, significantly increasing the company’s revenues and gross profit margin. Ms. Kuba further alleged manipulation of tax owed by adding free items to packages and moving the money from items paid for by guests, including tickets, to the free items. She additionally showed the SEC that the ticket revenue was not based on usage as reported in SEC filings because there was no ability to track usage. Instead, she said, it was based on estimates that were easily manipulated.

Ms. Kuba states that the findings were the result of her education, training and experience. However, she says it was not well received by those in the company because it went to the top of the organization, and information obtained by the State of Florida had strongly proven the possibility of fraud, saying that it was “the most egregious exhibition of corporate cronyism in modern American history”. This was only a portion of the situation Ms. Kuba says she reported, and, if Florida continues with the investigation, she continued, the remainder will “undoubtedly surface,” including that many of the same employees involved with schemes Ms. Kuba reported were also involved with the alleged fraud found, involving the company and a government agency, by the State of Florida.

Ms. Kuba says she also exposed that subsidiaries under the same firm’s corporate umbrella that were supposed to be separate entities were set up so that the accounting department in one reported to executives in the other, much in the way that the captured government agency was operating as part of the company. This, she says, enabled the elimination of competition from companies similar to the subsidiary and allowed easy violation of the Florida Wholesale Exemption. Ms. Kuba states that Florida’s findings supported her statement in 2017 regarding her belief of a criminal ring inside. Moreover, she says, “It may rival Enron and could result in being declared a criminal organization under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.”

Along with securing her CPA and CGMA designations, to prepare for her illustrious career, Ms. Kuba pursued formal education at Elmira College, where she earned a Bachelor of Accounting in 1983. She began studying accounting when she was 16 years old, noting that her high school teachers encouraged her to enter the profession after realizing her aptitude for mathematics. After accruing many years in her field, she attended DeVry University, receiving a Master of Accounting from its Keller Graduate School of Management in 2016.

To remain abreast of developments within her specialties, Ms. Kuba has maintained active affiliations with numerous industry-related organizations, such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She was also inducted into the Pacioli Accounting Society and the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society in light of her prowess in academics and finance. As a distinguished figure in her field, Ms. Kuba’s sophisticated knowledge and level of education set her apart from others in the industry. To this end, she endeavors to lead with the heart in all the work she performs, and she consistently seeks opportunities to build businesses up and protect businesses from financial risks.

As a testament to her success, Ms. Kuba has been bestowed with pertinent accolades. To wit, she received awards from Disney executives, such as the award for the Vacation Planners Reward Program and the Food and Wine Festival Award. She also received the Southern Tier Scholar Award in 1978. Living and working by the motto, “Never say never,” she aims to continue expanding Sandra L. Stearns, Certified Public Accountant in the coming years. With several seasoned accountants retiring from the workforce, she would also like to train younger accountants to excel in their respective roles.

Born in Elmira, New York, Ms. Kuba was married to her beloved late husband, Robert Kuba, for many years. She has two children, Bobby and Shaina. Outside of her work-related activities, Ms. Kuba enjoys traveling, reading, writing, swimming, and collecting paper dolls.


Most Popular:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *