Bosnian War Refugee Fulfills American Dream By Earning CPA License, Starting Successful Financial Services Firm

By Vanja Djuric, CPA, MBA

July 1, 2009 – Vanja Djuric (BBA ’06, MBA ’07), a Bosnia war refugee, recently earned her Certified Public Accountants license. The owner and principal accountant of Direct Tax and Financial Services in Fort Worth passed all four portions of the examination on her first attempt. What’s more impressive, the 25-year-old entrepreneur did so in a language she only began speaking at age 13. When Djuric arrived at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport 12 years ago, she knew just a few English words from movies, wasn’t sure in which city she had just landed, and was simply grateful that she and her parents were safe from the war-torn streets of Bosnia. Through Catholic Charities, the family was placed into an apartment and young Vanja was enrolled in the eighth grade. “It was hard to fit in at first. I focused on my math classes, because numbers are numbers in any language,” Djuric said. “I couldn’t speak English, but I could finish a math test in five minutes and earn the highest grade in the class.”

Djuric worked hard to assimilate into the new American culture. The burgeoning Internet marketplace caught her eye, and with the full support of her parents, she started her own business venture at the age of 17. She sold used CDs and DVDs through E-bay, using her father’s credit card to purchase inventory. Her entrepreneurial success allowed her to pay tuition and earn both a bachelor's degree in accounting and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Texas at Arlington.

After cutting her teeth in the audit world at a large accounting firm in Dallas, she opened the doors to Direct Tax and Financial Services in December 2008. Djuric assists both individuals and small businesses in fulfilling their accounting and tax obligations.

“If I were still in Bosnia, I would probably be unemployed or working for minimum wage,” Djuric said. “Here, I was able to put my talents to use and truly fulfill the American dream.”

For more information, contact Vanja Djuric at 817-370-6235 or visit