Mark Ryburn’s Life of Adventure

This man’s passion for adventure drives him to live life to the fullest

On Nov. 10, 2007, when avid cyclist Mark Ryburn pedaled into St. Augustine, Fla., completing a 2,874-mile coast-to-coast bike ride, it was the realization of a dream first sparked in the fourth grade. “I tend to set long-range goals,” says the 52-year-old.

Ryburn, a product manager for CCH’s ProSystem fx Document and Scan products, has been relentlessly pursuing adventure for 25 years. “I learned then that you can’t wait to live your life,” he says. “You need to do it now.”

That carpe diem doctrine has led Ryburn to hike the punishing Inca trail to Machu Picchu in Peru and outfit a sailboat to set sail single-handedly around the world. (He made it as far as Honduras.) And he loves biking — whenever, wherever.

“The world just looks different at 15 miles an hour than it does at 70 miles an hour,” he observes, adding that the meditative, solitary sport of cycling offers much-needed time to think. “Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day that we lose focus of why we’re here. Any time we get out of our element and get a chance to recharge, it’s always a good thing.”

That may be why Ryburn is able to bring so much passion to his work at CCH. The product he conceived and co-created, CCH’s ProSystem fx Scan, was designed to make 1040-document preparation paperless by scanning client-source documents, intelligently sorting them, and then outputting them to a single PDF. As the product manager, Ryburn believes his mission is to help his CPA customers get the most out of every workday.

“I’ve been a CPA for 30 years and I know how hard the profession is,” he says. “Anything we can do to make their jobs faster and easier is what we need to do.”

Meantime, Ryburn is already planning his next out-of-office expedition: competing in the Ironman New Zealand triathlon.

“My definition of adventure is experiencing something I didn’t know I could do. By overcoming obstacles we learn that nothing is impossible,” Ryburn says. “Our limitations are really mostly within our minds. When it comes down to it, we can be and do most anything we choose.”

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This story is from the CCH e-newsletter First Choice, written specifically for tax, accounting and audit professionals.   First Choice offers tips, tricks and ideas about how to increase your public accounting firm’s productivity and efficiency.  Every issue also features insights with a tax, audit or accounting professional.

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