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Corporate Accounting Director

Barbara Etheridge

Tell us about your work -- what do you do? I am the Director of Consolidated Reporting in the corporate office of a senior care (nursing home and assisted living facilities) management company. I prepare consolidated financial statements, monthly projections, and annual budgets . I support department heads and senior management by analyzing trends and explaining variances . I prepare special reports as requested. I assist the Corporate Controller in running the Corporate Accounting Department and special projects. What skills are needed? Analytical skills are a must; ability to work with people ; extensive use of spreadsheets , general ledger and report writer programs ; good verbal and written communication skills ; organizational skills . What was your major? Business Administration (emphasis in Accounting) How did you get started in your career? I entered college intending to major in mathematics . After my sophomore year, I realized that this was the wrong choice. My mother encouraged me to study accounting so I would have "something to fall back on" while I was deciding what to do. I found I enjoyed the subject. My first job out of college was public accounting . Describe your "typical" workday: It depends on the time of the month. The first half of the month, a typical day would include preparation or review of journal entries, discussion of transactions with staff accountants, and meetings with management to discuss various issues or projects. The second half of the month, time is spent reviewing financial statements, analyzing trends, and projecting the next month's results. What is the hardest aspect of your job? The deadlines -- owners and investors need accurate information quickly. What is the most rewarding aspect? Figuring out a particularly complicated transaction; knowing that my work and opinions are valued and used by senior management to make company decisions.