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Peter McGuigan ’81

Posted in: Alumni Profiles


When Peter McGuigan ’81 graduated from Montclair State, he didn’t just leave with a bachelor’s degree. He also brought with him an inextinguishable amount of determination and a passion for accounting. When he first arrived here, he already knew that this was the path he wanted to take and nothing was going to stop him. He paired his major with a minor in political science and developed his interests in governmental affairs, political process, and its relation to taxation.

McGuigan recalled upon his time at Montclair State fondly. “I loved the experience, I made a lot of great friends those first few years that I have kept right up through today,” says McGuigan. He made a lot of memories, between his part-time job at the Rathskeller where he made pizzas and checked IDs, to his time on both the lacrosse and wrestling team. Although his course load proved difficult, he found them to be fascinating and impressionable in his career. They provided him with evidence of how the accounting profession interacts with governmental aspects, how to adopt, implement, and plan tax laws. The courses and opportunities he faced here at Montclair State directly impacted his career choices and transition into adulthood.

“Montclair State has been one of the best experiences I’ve ever chosen to take, it offered a cost efficient way to create value for myself in terms of career choice,” says McGuigan. “That’s why I feel such a sense of obligation to the University and to give back to the community which helped me to grow.”

Post-graduation, McGuigan became a certified public accountant in the state of New Jersey as well as New York. He made his way into both regional and national accounting firms as an auditor and then as a tax manager before finding his true calling.He made his way into both regional and national accounting firms as an auditor and then as a tax manager before finding his true calling. He went on to establish and run his own accounting firm, McGuigan Tombs & Company, which provided a specialty in service for construction industries, largely within New Jersey and the five boroughs of New York. Due to this niche specialty, a large number of regional firms expressed an interest in purchasing his firm. After 25 years of service, McGuigan’s company was absorbed by Withum Smith & Brown, where he is currently employed as an audit partner.

McGuigan is also a member of the Feliciano School of Business Advisory Board, which involves offering strategic direction to the school’s growth, and helping to make decisions on how to best serve our business students. He first became actively involved this past November, when he was invited to teach an accounting class at the University. Having prior experience teaching courses at Manasquan High School over the past 20 years, he found it to be a very fun and enjoyable experience, both for himself and the students.

His advice to any students currently enrolled in the Feliciano School of Business “would be to keep your eyes wide open.” “Don’t just look forward, always be looking to the left and to the right. Consider all of your options because accounting will allow you to be valuable in many arenas. It’s core value will never be dismissed.”