My first lesson in accounting was during the first grade when my father had me put the checks returned with the bank statement in numerical order. By the end of third grade I could balance the home and office bank statements, and thought it was fun. So I went to college and majored in English literature and creative writing.
Literature didn’t pay the bills, so I worked at a series of office jobs with on-the-job training in revenue and collections, supply orders and payroll, and ended up at a neighborhood based social service agency where I helped develop the budget - on 13 column paper. So I went back to school and got a master’s degree in Public Administration.
During my ten years as a bureaucrat, my coworkers gleefully took advantage of my experience and gave me most of the accounting-related tasks. I finally decided to get some kind of certification, and a higher pay rate, for work I was already doing. I completed a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting at Portland State University and passed the CPA exam. My experiences with government accounting and grants led to a position with a CPA firm that specialized in auditing nonprofit organizations.
After 15 years auditing non-profits with federal grants, I was tired of the rigid rules of the specialty, and decided working inside a non-profit would be a welcome change. So I arrived at Stand and soon found myself explaining revenue recognition under generally accepted accounting principles. And a mere two years later I became the “Regulatory Compliance Specialist,” keeping track of lobbying and political action rules and reporting requirements in our 11 states, each of which has its own set of rules!
My childhood was in northern Idaho, then I married a native Oregonian and moved to Portland. My hope is that every child will learn that education is a great adventure!