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A Day in the Life – Gena, Compliance Coordinator

What is your title? Describe what you do.

My job title is Compliance Coordinator. I coordinate the scheduling of the payroll compliance audits and complete compliance billing each month. In addition, I am responsible for status reports for our clients as well as assisting managers and fellow admins as needed.

Why did you get into public accounting?

I am actually a criminal justice major and then I was on the law school track at American University. I got my master’s but did not continue on to getting my law degree. I was with the Department of Juvenile Services for 14 years working with troubled youth. Then I went on to work at JBS International, a government contractor, supporting grantees who held criminal justice related grants with SAMSHA.

A little over three years ago, I just wanted a change. The contracting world is very hard because contracts end — nothing is permanent. A friend working at Calibre let me know about an opening and I applied. I am very grateful that she thought of me and that I was given the opportunity to work here, despite the fact that my educational background is not in accounting.

What are three things you do every day? Do you have any morning “rituals”?

My day starts at 8:30, but I am usually here by 8:00. I get myself organized, maybe check my personal email, pay a bill, buy something on Amazon : ).

It’s surprisingly hard to come up with three things I do every day because every day is so different. Three things that stay the same everyday include:

  • Working with the auditors and the managers everyday by assisting with projects, schedules, and travel
  • Corresponding with our clients
  •  Working with Excel and Access in some capacity

Everything else is different!

What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of your job?
This going to sound funny, but the most challenging part of my job is probably assisting auditors when an employer cancels a scheduled audit. If the cancelled audit is within a week and travel has already been arranged, we try to get another audit scheduled to take its place. Nobody wants an audit on a few days’ notice and it is very difficult to make that happen. We often try fruitlessly to get a replacement audit and that is very challenging. If the cancelled audit isn’t on a Monday or a Friday, we try to move scheduled audits around so that there are consecutive days. Many times employers don’t want to move a scheduled audit. Ultimately, it is what it is and we figure something out. But it stresses me out…mostly because I have no control over it…ha!

There are a lot of rewarding parts of my job. I work for a great team of folks who I have fun with. The opportunity to work in this department has allowed me to grow in ways I wouldn’t have expected. I thought I knew Excel when I got to Calibre, but it turns out Excel can do a LOT that I didn’t know about. I have learned a lot as my responsibilities have expanded and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to grow. I have learned a lot about things unrelated to my job from the Calibre family. I have learned about private business operations, management styles, fiscal intelligence, day to day fun facts, and more — all from the people I work with!

What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a role like yours? Are there specific character traits or skills/certifications you should possess?

Honestly, I got really lucky and fell into this job. BUT, I do know that a desire to work hard and drive to grow has helped me be successful here. I think having strong communication and organizational skills is important. Also, we use Microsoft Office programs and it’s helpful to have strong working knowledge of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access, etc. That skill set is transferable and great to have anywhere you go. I think it’s important to always continue to grow those skills in any way you can.

What makes Calibre CPA Group different than your previous workplaces?

I worked at restaurants and retail during college and this is my third job since college. I don’t like to move around if I can help it. Calibre is by far the best place I have worked. I feel like Calibre genuinely cares about their employees. Everyone works hard, but there is a great work life balance. We have happy hours and lunches. We have a beautiful holiday party in December and a fun event in the summer. The end of tax season is celebrated companywide at a local restaurant. We have a social committee that puts together celebrations throughout the year. We are given access to available Nats tickets during the summer. We get bonuses and gift cards out of appreciation. Calibre is also very philanthropic. They have volunteer opportunities, participate in charitable events, and have various drives throughout the year.

What bit of trivia do you know that is very interesting but also very useless?

I have a Fact/Crap calendar that sits at my desk that everyone can see and weighs in on. It has a lot of fun facts that I have learned. Some of them I save because they are so much fun! So here goes—when Disneyland opened in 1955, admission was $1. I thought was neat because it’s so expensive now. I don’t think Walt Disney would have wanted it to be so much to visit and enjoy his Magic Kingdom.

What is the last TV show you binge-watched?

The Middle (we are watching it now). It is so funny and just a mindless thing to watch at the end of the day! It’s about a family who lives in Indiana who live a very modest life and life isn’t perfect, but they make the best of it. It’s very relatable which makes it even more funny!