What do you wish you knew before, that you know now? I have so many things during my 11 years auditing in the nonprofit arena. There are a wide variety of nonprofit organizations that do SO many different things and the funding sources and mechanisms vary drastically. Another very important thing that I have learned is that there are a lot of misconceptions about nonprofits. It is true that the public remember the bad stories they hear far more than they remember the good. Lets help spread the word about all of the great organizations!
Tell us your personal journey: Like a lot of people that I meet around the valley, I moved to Arizona from a much colder climate! I grew up in a small town in central Montana. How small? Well, my high school graduating class only had 33 students so pretty small even for Montana standards! I attended college at Montana State University – Billings and double majored in accounting and business management. I moved south to Tucson shortly after graduation.
My first job in public accounting after arriving in Tucson was at a small local firm that specialized in nonprofit audit and tax work. I was not sure that I was going to like auditing nonprofits because the accounting course taught in college for nonprofit accounting is lumped in with governmental accounting and who would be interested in that? This is definitely something that can be placed in the something I wish I knew before that I know now…..nonprofit accounting is NOT like governmental accounting! What I found was that not only did I enjoy auditing but being able to do my work at organizations around Tucson and see the wonderful and much needed services they were providing to the community made me like my job all that much more. After working at the firm in Tucson for 8 years I moved to Phoenix and found a new home working with Eide Bailly, a firm that has provided me the opportunity to continue my audit work with nonprofits. Currently my list of audit clients is made up 100% of nonprofit organizations.
I recently joined YNPN – Phoenix to meet other young professionals working in the non-profit community. I am also on the Young Professionals Council for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona.