In business, we look to the people who land the sale, who make an impression on our clients, who are the face of our company. But at Coreio, we recognize that just because you’re behind the scenes, doesn’t mean you aren’t essential to our success One such group is our Finance team. We call them our unsung heroes.
We work as a team and we succeed as one Coreio—that’s central to our values. Our team of accounting, payroll and finance staff truly live that value, working as one interdependent unit to ensure our success.
But what do they actually do? According to Scott Glen, our VP of Finance, the accounting department “ensures that our employees and vendors are paid accurately and on time. They assist in the preparation of detailed financial analysis and reporting to senior management.” The billing department’s team members “are responsible for ensuring all billing items are one hundred percent accurate prior to submitting invoices to clients and that all billing items are captured each month,” in the words of our Sales Operations Manager, Diana.
But who are they, and how do they feel about their role “behind the curtain”? We asked our Finance team members a few questions to learn more about what they have experienced and give us a better understand of their accounting and financial world.
Question: Why did you get into accounting and/or financial services?
Wilfredo, Accounting Clerk, who started in our warehouse in 2005:
For job security. Accounting is the heart of the business. Businesses need accounting to evaluate their performance using financial information.
Kim, Accounts Payable Clerk, who started as a Rebate Coordinator in 1998:
I took General Management in school and my first job was a billing clerk. I went to Ryerson and took some Accounting courses. So, I fell into it and the rest is history.
Rosetta, Team Lead, Accounts Payable, who started as a billing clerk in 1989:
In order to advance my career, I decided to upgrade my education by taking an accounting course…while juggling my family, work and classes.
Nicola, Accounts Receivable Collector’s Clerk who started in 1997:
I started when I began at a mid-size printing company learning the business from the ground up. I ended up in accounting there which led to collections, billings, order processing, and project management positions.
Carlton, Payroll Coordinator who started in 2015:
I got into accounting for the structure it provides.
Monique, Accountant who started in 2001:
I was first exposed to accounting in high school and I really liked it; so I decided I should try it as a career.
Lisa, Client Services Billing Coordinator who started as a receptionist in 2001:
It actually just fell into my lap. I started at reception and after three months I was given the opportunity to join the accounting department. (In 2006, she joined the billing department)
Sherry, Client Services Billing Coordinator who started in 2012:
It just fell into my lap. And when it did I realized it’s something I enjoy doing.
Question: How does your role contribute to Coreio’s success?
Regardless of their position within Coreio, our accounting and billing teams contribute to our success. For some, it could be an easy-to-explain function: “I collect the money,” says Nicola. However, Rosetta‘s contribution is a little harder to explain for the non-Finance specialist: she oversees many items that, if not done, would affect the financial security and legality of Coreio’s business. She makes sure deadlines are kept and taxes are paid. Being with the company for close to three decades helps her add even more value: as she says, “my knowledge and experience is a major contribution.”
Carlton adds that his role ensures “our employees are happier and more likely to stay with the company.” When decision makers need the company’s financial health reported, Monique is able to provide information that “assists the owners and managers,” in making business decisions.
Lisa expresses what could be the motto of our unsung heroes: “I’m a team player who’s willing to jump in and help out.”
Question: What do you like about being a part of the accounting/financial team?
The number one thing that our financial unit cherishes is the team dynamic. They all like “the comradery,” as Nicola says. Carlton likes “everybody working together to complete all the tasks.” “The Accounting team is a fun group,” suggests Monique. Rosetta agrees, we “treat each other with respect.” The ability to be there for one another is one of the chief tenets that Coreio encourages, and we are happy that this 30+ year department has found the rhythm.
Question: What do you like most about accounting/finance?
Wil offers that, “accounting is the language of business.” What he likes most is ”sharing information with other coworkers on how to address problems and to provide solutions.” For Kim, it’s “the number crunching and deadlines.”. Rosetta likes the brain stimulation accounting offers her and Carlton likes the scheduled environment that payroll offers him. The variety of the billings is something that Lisa likes as “no two billings are quite the same.” Whereas Sherry likes that her job “involves communicating with other team members at Coreio.”
Question: What’s a typical day for you?
Nicola describes it simply: “My job has a large customer service component to it as it’s my responsibility to contact clients regarding outstanding Coreio invoices. Then I work with internal Coreio associates to ensure any client issues are resolved in a timely manner so that the client will approve and process our invoices.” For Lisa, her day is consists of, “Timesheets, timesheets,” and “more timesheets.” Sherry adds, “my day would include…reviewing service orders…for billing…and distribute invoices.”
Rosetta’s day includes invoicing as well. She pulls them, matches price and quantity then posting to our systems. Monique usually spends her “days preparing and entering financial data into the accounting system.” Kim processes and advises the vendors of payment details, and prepares reports for project consulting with VP of Finance Scott Glen. For her, “closing off the month end and meeting our deadline,” means a job well done. Kim summed up her day in three words, “not much excitement.” Exciting or not, Wil believes, “All days are busy days.”
Question: How much has accounting technology changed since you started?
“Computers do the heavy lifting and it allows us instant access to data and financial information,” Wil says, reflecting a decade in the role. Kim, a two-decade veteran agrees, “Manual processing before took…months…involving lots of paper. Now we have quicker turnaround and analysis for reporting.”
Rosetta, whose tenure is nearing 30 years, has some specific examples of the advancement in printing technology: “When I started, I was using a dot matrix printer feeding carbon invoices into a printer versus a LaserJet printer.” Back in the day, she remembers, “when I had to use a tape to back up our system and keep it in a fire proof safe.”
“Now we are able to run a report at a push of a button,” Nicola agrees. “That is a beautiful thing,” echoes Monique.
Question: How annoying is it when the items you are calculating or working on don’t add up?
It can be, as Wil describes it, “depressing when you are working on a certain account and it doesn’t balance.” Kim adds, it “can take you a day or two to balance your reconciliation.”
Whereas Nicola takes a more positive look at the issue, saying, “With technology at hand, it is easier to find the discrepancy and is just a matter of reviewing your work one more time.” Carlton makes it a mission to find the discrepancy: “It is a challenge I like…and I am greatly satisfied when I figure it out.” Sherry splits the difference: “A wee bit annoying, but that’s part of my role to check and re-check.”
Question: What stereotypes about accounting/finance do you believe are not true?
Accounting is not only about number calculations, but is also involves financial transactions, assisting clients and vendors in achieving their goal, communicating with coworkers to analyze problems and finding the best answer to a solution.
That it is boring. Actually, balancing and learning about new systems can be fun.
Most people believe that all accountants are boring: but like other professions, it takes all types.
Boring, repetitive – No. It’s more than just generating a bill.
I believe that most people think accounting is absolute but is more subjective than most people understand.
I do not carry a baseball bat and ask questions later.
They’re right. Accountants and Finance team members are not the isolated number crunchers that the stereotypes make them out to be. They are funny, happy and creative people. They have the ability to work as a team and enjoy that comradery, which in turn helps Coreio function better. So, when you think about your next pay cheque, your next expense report, your next client bill, remember the people who deal with these transactions every day: your calculator-wielding unsung heroes.