Lessons and Memories of Life in the Calibre “Hive”: Allen’s Evolution From Auditor to Senior Director of Finance
How have you progressed in your field since working at Calibre CPA Group?
I began working at Calibre as an Auditor early on in my career in 2006. From there, I left public accounting and went into the association world where I served in various roles ranging from Controller to Director of Finance to my current position as Senior Director of Finance for the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
How did your time at Calibre prepare you for this evolution?
My position as Auditor with Calibre exposed me to a wide range of organizations through the team that I was a part of. I was able to play a hands-on role in each audit because it was a smaller firm. Even early on, I was able to be involved in the entire process and this helped me advance my career and further my industry knowledge.
What has kept you in the accounting field for all these years?
I think the accounting industry is evolving a bit. In the past ten years there have been changes and new resources. Especially from the industry side, you need to have a good handle on the accounting world but we’re also getting into financial modeling. Some of the challenges keep the industry fresh and keep me in the loop.
What is some advice you would give to CPAs just starting out in the field?
I would reassure new CPAs by telling them it’s ok to ask questions, especially when you’re starting out. It’s ok to be a beginner, to be new at something new. While there will always be challenges, it helps to tackle them with a positive attitude. Being a CPA is a great opportunity to learn a lot about businesses and auditing and you should approach the process with an open mind.
Why did you choose to work at Calibre? Did it meet your expectations?
From the moment I first made contact with the Calibre team, I had a good feeling about the people. When I was in college trying to figure out what to do with my life, it was all about the emotional response. During the interview process with Calibre I felt like they appreciated people for who they were as individuals. The size of the firm was also a draw. I liked the idea of not getting lost in a large firm and people knowing your name.
I learned a lot about accounting from moving beyond the classroom and actually working in the field, seeing how different organizations are doing things and how financial decisions can impact companies and organizations.
My decision to work at Calibre met or exceeded my expectations because I made close friendships and came away with a comprehensive view of the accounting field. There are people who I met there that I’m still friends with today. Some of them I still talk to on a weekly basis. The camaraderie and friendships were real and lasting.
Do you have a hobby or interest outside of work that brings you joy during your downtime?
With work and family life, it’s challenging to find a lot of time for hobbies, but I’ve always made time for beekeeping. I grew up on a farm with an orchard and our family got into keeping bees from that perspective. We sold the honey and gave it to family and friends which was a social and rewarding pursuit. Beekeeping has always helped me relax because it is different from my normal life in finance. It’s amazing to see the fruits of your labor in a visual way. Bees are also interesting because there are a lot of parallels between their society and that of humans; everyone has a role in the hive and a job to achieve the goal. There is a lot of interesting crossover between bees and humans.
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