What led you to this career?
I attended the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh and was interested in accounting and finance from the get-go since I really enjoyed math in high school. Starting out, I didn’t know if it would be managerial accounting, auditing, or tax, but during my junior year, I interned at Kimberly‑Clark in tax accounting and found it to be a good fit. I am a CPA and have enjoyed various positions in the tax industry for twenty-five years.
Prior to Corptax, I worked at Sealed Air Corporation. The company relocated out of state, and my daughters were already in high school, so that led me to Corptax, Sealed Air’s tax software provider. I’ve been in Corptax Support Services for almost six years now, and like many at Corptax, I really like the technology side of tax and greatly enjoy helping customers.
Was anyone in your family in math or accounting, or did you cultivate it on your own?
It was something I cultivated on my own. In fact, I was the first four-year college degree in my family. My parents worked their careers at a cookie company called Rippin’ Good Cookies in our hometown of Ripon. My dad was an oven man, and my mom packed cookies. I worked one summer boxing cookies and quickly realized factory work was not for me.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Being in a support role and working with clients is extremely rewarding. They’re very appreciative as you answer questions and help keep them on track. I enjoy working with a wide range of customers – some are new customers just starting to use the product, while others have more complex questions about how to leverage their products fully. It’s all about building those relationships and helping them have a great experience with our software.
Do you get any questions time and time again, or is it a broad assortment?
As part of the Support Group, we work with clients based on our skillsets. We get questions from new customers and also experienced customers doing advanced tasks in the system. I support Corptax Provision, Compliance, and Office, so I get a variety of questions. And it also depends on the time of year. For example, in January and February, we get a lot of rollover and provision questions and in the fall, it’s compliance.
What are some of the things you enjoy most about clients?
Their creativity. Take Corptax Office, for instance. There’s a lot of flexibility in how you adapt that product to your process. It’s gratifying to see how customers use Office for their specific purposes—they are quite inventive. Before Corptax, when I was at Sealed Air, I was a Corptax Tax Transformer Awards finalist and my entry was about using Corptax Office for provision process improvements. So it’s always fun to share Office-related tips I learn from clients with other clients.
What’s the best advice that you were ever given, and who shared it with you?
It’s not necessarily just one person, I’ve heard this from family and friends, but “just be yourself” has always stuck with me. And I’ve always said it to my kids as they’ve been growing up. I believe being genuine and honest with yourself about who you are is important. You may not be the best at everything, but if you can be happy with who you are, that’s a big thing. And I think to go along with that, it’s important not to dwell on things you can’t change. Be happy with what makes you, you.
What key lesson has your work life taught you?
There is always more than one way to do something to achieve the end goal. That fact not only helps you learn, but also cultivates patience as you work on a team. Working in Support Services really shows me how many different ways you can use Corptax to achieve your goals.
What are some challenges, opportunities, or evolving trends you see coming in the next five years?
Working with Corptax Office and Data Exchange and other solutions allows me to see the evolution of data management and automation. It’s already occurring, and it’s just going to get more and more important as we go forward. For example, Schedule M adjustments—when I started in 2002 using Corptax, we used calculation‑based Schedule Ms and manual entry, then we evolved into automated adjustments, and now we’re posting those automated adjustments with BOTS. So automation is going to grow within accounting and within Corptax. Automation gives people time to do analytics and planning. More and more, we see customers using Corptax Office with third‑party apps like Alteryx to manipulate and analyze data. Automation makes tax work easier.
And are most clients open to that?
Yes, most clients are looking to become more efficient with processes, whether provision or compliance, which gives them more time to step back, analyze and spot tax savings, and do value-added projects. Clients say the high-level work is satisfying, and I’m glad I can help them get to that point.