Shannon Nash, CPA, JD – 2020-2021 Most Effective Ladies in Accounting

Shannon Nash, CPA, JD

2020-2021 Most Impressive Women of all ages in Accounting
Chief Financial Officer

What assistance would you give some others following in your equivalent path about the alternatives for females in the accounting career?

1st, make your “board of administrators.” No one would make it to the C-suite on your own, so for me, I carved out a smaller group of individuals that acted as my board of directors. It is really about developing interactions and assembling a main workforce that you can bounce thoughts off of and consider tips from as you navigate your occupation route. Next, count on your supporters. Supporters are unique than mentors in that they are typically people today who are vested in your job results. They will not have to be inside of your company but find a person to help with your vocation aspirations and aims by opening up their accessibility to help you.

Upcoming, devote in yourself. For me, this indicates continuing schooling — to remain aggressive, you have to make certain you regularly retool for your business or placement, whichever that may signify. A deficiency of time off are not able to prevent you. You have to have to keep curious to continue to be competitive, and element of that is being a life-extensive learner. Sadly, gone are the days when you can assume your employer to give you with added schooling, so you will need to arrive out of pocket and place some money on you.

Eventually, build your “manufacturer” and acquire a platform. If you want to get to the future amount, you have to brand name and industry you. Your manufacturer adjustments over time, so you require to be flexible and pivot in excess of the a long time. Part of it is figuring out what you happen to be passionate about and what you can talk about confidently. For case in point, in accounting, if you have been especially adept at serving to your business apply ASC 606 Income Recognition rules, lean in and make that element of your expert id.

What actions would you give to companies to be additional powerful in retaining and advancing women?

Tech companies thrive when they innovate. And the greatest improvements – across each and every operate of a corporation – occur from diverse groups and assorted leadership. Providers will need to replicate on earlier techniques that have led to a deficiency of variety in senior leadership roles. If you are an government and trying to make a constructive change inside of your small business, glimpse at how you can reimagine your recruiting and retention guidelines in a way that sets the goal of getting varied – a metric that matters.

When our CEO joined the corporation two yrs in the past, one of his principal objectives was to diversify the govt leadership staff and transfer absent from the stereotypical white male tech govt. In the previous 6 months, the business has extra 3 C-stage executives in crucial finance and advertising roles. Each and every new govt was both equally the greatest man or woman for the task and represented a various background, irrespective of whether by gender, race, color, or faith.

I assume this is a good start, and I’m thrilled to get the job done for a leader who has place variety at the top of his list of priorities. With the national spotlight now targeted on social justice troubles, providers are searching at their D&I plans and reassessing what they have accomplished, or not accomplished, to advertise a far more assorted workplace. It will consider the endeavours of numerous – from faculties, nonprofit companies, and corporations – to commence to have an impact on authentic alter. I imagine there is hope that we can make progress, but that progress will not take place right away.

At last, small business leaders have targeted on employing for diversity and not investing ample time making a enterprise tradition that accepts and supports men and women of all backgrounds, the “I” in Diversity and Inclusion. I’ve witnessed quite a few programs focus exclusively on finding numerous personnel in the door and then do nothing to retain them. There ought to be more hard work created to develop and apply inclusive guidelines and a lifestyle that supports persons.

Why did you pick out to get the job done in – and remain in – an accounting-relevant industry?

I have often observed enthusiasm and accomplishment in finance and figures – I was an accounting significant and CPA  just before I went to legislation faculty. Just after graduating from the College of Virginia Faculty of Regulation, I worked at numerous legislation firms, including K&L Gates and Cooley. I expended the much better section of a ten years doing the job on company, transactional and tax matters. At a selected stage, I strike a fork in the road and understood I desired to do the job nearer to the enterprise. The strategy of business operations and owning a P&L energized me, and I felt a job shift back to finance was a a lot more successful way to reach my ambitions.

Soon after building the transition again into finance, I was lucky to have various roles in company finance and accounting departments, which sooner or later led to positions as VP of Finance with Cumulus Media Inc and CFO with Insidesource Inc. The depth and breadth of my function at Insidesource aided change me into an functions targeted finance chief and ready me for my present-day placement.

As Chief Accounting Officer of, I control Accounting, Finance, Revenue Operations, Payroll, and Procurement. This job has me focused on standard finance and accounting roles, together with employing new accounting criteria (ASC 606 Rev. Rec and ASC 842 Leases). I also focus on automating program and manual processes, managing technological know-how and information analytics, and in the end evolving the Accounting and Finance capabilities, releasing up our time to target on extra strategic difficulties. At last, I’m partnering with our company leaders and go-to-current market teams to help the firm run a lot more proficiently and efficiently, which is significantly vital as we fast scale the Company.

I believe that acquiring a background in the two law and finance has designed me a greater government. Portion of my role as CAO is to carry out a danger examination within the small business. CPAs are trained to see things as black and white, whilst lawyers generally see items as shades of gray. This vital pondering degree is component of my DNA now as you by no means drop your lawful/analytical capabilities. This has in the end served me acquire positions that can be substantiated and provide as a foundation for decision building.

What ebook(s), blog(s), or podcast(s) do you endorse that have guided you on your journey?

  • Weblogs
    • AICPA Insights
    • Accounting Nowadays
    • The Lawyer Whisperer 
    • The Broadsheet (Weekly Newsletter by Fortune Magazine)
  • Podcasts
    • How I Designed This (NPR)
    • Women At Get the job done
    • SaaStr
  • Guides
    • Unapologetically Formidable, by Shellye Archambeau
    • Alpha Girls by Julian Guthrie
    • Biased: Uncovering the Concealed Prejudice That Designs What We See, Consider, and Do by Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt

McKinsey & Organization issued their 2020 Women in the Office research that essentially says that the recent pandemic is beginning to affect the strides women, in particular girls of colour, have built in the profession. What advice would you give to employers to guidance females through this time so that the foreseeable future of our workforce isn’t negatively impacted?

I am most likely stating the noticeable below – but we are all adjusting to a new way of carrying out small business throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The extent to which our environment transformed overnight was most surely not a scenario research in organization school, incorporated in quite a few properly-regarded business enterprise continuity options, or even a circumstance mapped out particularly ideal in a danger analysis design. So business leaders, myself integrated, are figuring it out as we go together and accomplishing our best to give workers as a great deal information and steering as feasible.

I’ve identified that the staff and teams that are adaptable and continue to be open up to exploring new methods to triumph at their position have the greatest possibility to boost his/her worth to the organization. Executives are leaning on their teams for a lot these times, all though inquiring them to do far more with much less. And that force is most likely felt extra so by gals who, in lots of scenarios, have the extra task of handling a merged “home-life” and “work-everyday living.” No matter whether it’s orchestrating several WFH demands with their husband or wife, facilitating young children all of a sudden at residence, altering to distant finding out, or coordinating and shifting in-person university schedules. If there’s one matter I would urge businesses to contemplate incorporating far more of correct now is versatility. Girls might want to modify their working hours to account for homeschooling or may even appear with a number of new coworkers in the history – and which is alright. Women of all ages are climbing to meet today’s troubles in so several techniques and continue to want to set by themselves up for good results afterwards in their occupations. Aid them do that.

What tips would you share with younger women CPAs striving to reach similar accomplishment in this job?

Complex competencies stay critical, and with the adoption of AI, it’s a should for any young CPA.  Really don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and learn specialized platforms and software for the reason that it is not heading absent. Whilst this is far more of a specified and training most practitioners will get in college or at their companies, youthful women of all ages CPAs will have to ensure their tough expertise are polished and aggressive to get ahead. 

The flip aspect is the significance of tender expertise.  Staying a very good communicator is significant if you want to go up the corporate ladder.  Also, being a supervisor signifies you need to figure out how to immediate personnel with several challenging and soft abilities. You are functioning with many different personalities and interaction variations – and what is effective best for your workers accountant may well not get the job done as an electronic mail to your CFO.  I very propose taking PowerPoint and small business email crafting courses – the lessons you understand will serve you perfectly in the course of your career. 

Ultimately, as you go into management and leadership positions, invest in oneself, and take leadership lessons. Whether or not your employer offers a continuing schooling credit rating or you go into your pocket to pay back for the course – it’s a need to, and it is truly worth it.

I get the job done on this a lot, and final year I pushed myself properly out of my consolation zone with a yr-extended application referred to as American Leadership Discussion board. The coursework centered on mindfulness skills and many approaches to deal with hard conversations, capabilities I employ every day in my existing job.  The program’s cornerstone is a week-long camping vacation wherever we had been necessary to absolutely unplug and survive as a crew by placing the techniques we had uncovered into action.

I’m not a camper and didn’t expand up hiking, so this was much out of my convenience zone. One critical aim all through the Discussion board was mindfulness, and it’s a little something I practiced a whole lot all through that 7 days in the wilderness.  One particular night time it transpired to me – the worries we confronted as campers ended up kind of like handling a crew — all out in character jointly. Some men and women really do not want to do everything, so how do you inspire them? Others would like to carry out unique responsibilities – so how do you build do the job that will gain the overall workforce? You also understand about your boiling issue, and mindfulness teaches you wherever you want to do the job on you to greater existing to some others and inspire them to concentration on what is important. Mindfulness and remaining an effective chief will take continual perform – and you have to be open and willing to obstacle you, understand, and evolve. In the finish, challenging discussions are even now challenging, but I approach them differently and know that I’m better for it.

Describe one particular person who has been an significant mentor and sponsor to you and how that individual assisted shape the course or concentrate of your skilled daily life.

I have two: 

Larry Bailey, CPA, has impacted thousands of professions/folks instantly and indirectly by just getting a trailblazer.  Larry was a pioneer earning an MBA in finance from the College of Pennsylvania’s Wharton University of Business, followed by profitable roles with KPMG Peat Marwick, LLP, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. In the 1970s, he grew to become one particular of the 1st African American companions at a significant accounting firm.  Lots of men and women owe their careers to Larry.  The classes he taught me have formed my management model and ensure that Larry’s legacy is nonetheless ongoing.

The other is Debbie Allen, as in A few-time Emmy Award-profitable director, actress, choreographer, and producer.  Debbie taught me the gentle techniques of how you shift folks to be thriving in their roles and that all people is important to the business, from the assistant to the star of the display.  She designed it her mission to know anyone in her business.  She’s been a leader for more than 40 many years, and I’m confident that each individual human being who has worked with her has a personalized story that has formed their existence and management.

These leaders have remaining me with classes that I use each and every day in my management with my groups. If I can glance again and say that I got all these people into major positions, and they handed a little bit of my wisdom (which I obtained from Larry and Debbie) to the subsequent era, that would be magnificent.

You should share a own rule or principle that you adhere to.

A chook sitting on a department is under no circumstances afraid of breaking that department for the reason that her have confidence in is not in that department but on her God-provided expertise. Often bet on oneself!  

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