How did you get into the field of corporate tax software?
I started my career in Big 4 public accounting and then moved to industry where I used Corptax extensively. Year-end close was always the most difficult part of our year, but I found that process improvements and automation made the process better. Corptax also allowed me to eliminate repetitive tasks and focus on material issues, which made me more comfortable with our department’s end product.
Then you made the leap to Corptax…how did that come about?
At the time, I was working at a company called Freescale. We engaged Corptax Professional Services for additional year-end assistance, and they were just so good. Before I even considered making a change, I talked to them about the Corptax culture and their day-to-day responsibilities. They all spoke so highly about the company and their work that when it came time to make a change, Corptax seemed like a really good fit.
I spent six years in Professional Services and then applied for the Senior Manager of Reporting & Analytics position in Content Management and Design Services (CMDS). In this role, my team and I create reports and analytics which help clients better understand their data and communicate results.
What do you enjoy most about the job?
There are two things that make my job really satisfying: I enjoy interacting with people, and I love learning new things. When I joined Professional Services, I realized how much I liked working with clients and with colleagues on internal projects. It was a big change from working in a corporate tax department, and I loved it.
The other aspect I really like is learning new things. I’ve been working for the last year on a project building international reports. Before that project, I had very little international tax experience, but I became extremely interested after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed. This project gave me an opportunity to build an international tax knowledge base while learning how to build extremely useful reports.
How does having a CPA license help our clients?
Understanding our clients’ issues is one of the most complex parts of the job. Having a CPA license as well as industry experience gives me a solid foundation of knowledge to understand clients’ concerns and determine solutions using Corptax. Regardless of whether I am helping a client during year-end provision or building a report using XML, understanding the tax side as well as the technical side of the job helps me provide a better product to our clients.
Can you share a hidden gem of info a client may not know?
I’ve spent the last year focused on international reports, so this is fresh in my mind. For any of the International Columnar reports, you can connect to your data using the Corptax Office POV function or Corptax ODBC, and then use that data for whatever you want. It’s not possible to create a report that covers all customers’ data needs, but with access to their data, customers can quickly configure their data and present it the way they want. And because it’s a refreshable connection, clients can configure it once and leverage it year after year.
Is there anything that surprised you about working at Corptax?
The amazing connections I’ve built with clients have been such a pleasant surprise. I’ve been working with some clients six or seven years and it has become a partnership. It’s nice to get to know them personally and be part of their success.
Tell me one thing you’re learning now and why it’s important.
When I was in industry, I did some compliance, but I was primarily on the provision/financial reporting side. I did a lot of provision implementations when I started at Corptax, but when TCJA came out, I realized there was an opportunity there. The company supported me as I learned the intricacies of international tax. That really helps clients because not only is international tax more complex than ever before, getting it right is more important than ever as well.
What is something big or small that you’re really good at?
I would say asking questions. Knowing the right questions to ask is really important, and knowing the right people to go to if you don’t have an answer is also really helpful in moving things forward. You’re never going to be an expert at everything, right?
What lessons has your work life taught you?
The importance of building relationships and speaking “voice-to-voice” to people on an individual basis. It’s easy to write emails, but taking the time to have conversations with people is always more worthwhile.
Who is someone you admire and why?
One of my interests outside of work is history, and I enjoy reading about great leaders. Recently, I read about Marcus Aurelius, a Roman Emperor, who led his people through a pandemic. He wrote a book called Meditations, and his concept was that there’s honor in doing things that are right, even though those things aren’t always easy.