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July 08, 2022
4 minute read

Making a difference: A CPA’s decision to join Airbase and improve the working life of accountants.

Written by Darragh Collins

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your background prior to joining Airbase?

From a young age, I’ve always wanted to go into accounting. I worked hard in school and was fortunate enough to study it at university. After college, I chose the classic public accounting career path and I began to make my way in that space.

But then, after a few years, I grew frustrated with the limitation on work/life balance imposed by this role. I shifted from public accounting to private accounting and worked at a healthcare organization. I found this a little more exciting and got to work on some projects that would help me in my career path, such as changing our ERP system and testing the general ledger shift in software products and managing that whole process.

After a couple of years, I decided that I’d like to get into the nitty-gritty world of startups and took a role with an exciting fintech to test it out. I immediately took to the startup culture. It was really satisfying and rewarding to see the direct impact you can have on the growth of the organization. It was a great experience, and it also exposed me to different departments and different processes. I got to interact with the product team and the engineering team, and actually talk about the product’s functionality and deal with things that most accountants don’t deal with.

I finally got to a point where I was like:

“You know what? I still don’t think I want to do accounting for the rest of my life.”

And, because of my time at a fintech startup, I had developed more of an understanding of what I really enjoyed. I tried to find a company to which I could bring my accounting knowledge, along with my desire to be involved in the growth aspect of a startup.

That’s when I discovered Airbase. I immediately fell in love with the product and already had a deep understanding and appreciation for the problem that it solves. Thankfully, Airbase was open to bringing in folks with accounting backgrounds, and the perfect role opened up for me.

I can now bring my accounting experience to help others in a more suited position within a fintech startup — I couldn’t ask for more.

2. How much of an impact did your experience as a controller influence your decision to join Airbase?

That’s literally why I joined Airbase. I see the value it brings firsthand, and I know what it’s capable of. I’ve seen all the different competitors, and I feel like Airbase is coming from the angle of really focusing on the challenges that accounting teams are going through. We are also addressing the overall user experience for the non-finance team to make it really easy and seamless.

Airbase works on developing specific functionality that helps accounting professionals complete their tasks with ease. Tasks such as month-end reporting are a lot less stressful and these manual processes are cut out. Our goal is to take away some of that time-consuming manual work so it can be reallocated to more value-added tasks. We want the finance teams to actually do their budget variance analysis and cash projections to add more value than just double-checking everything.

Automation is really valuable, especially on recurring tasks. With Airbase, you can set the system up so you don’t even have to review it every month because you already know where it’s supposed to go. I chose Airbase because I know that we can make people’s lives better. And we’re continuing to add features that make people’s lives better. Being a part of that is just really rewarding.

3. How do you use your experience from your previous roles to inform your current position as a solutions consultant?

From a customer perspective, it’s really about understanding their pain points and processes to help them see the value that Airbase brings, and how we can seamlessly fit in with their current process and enhance it.

It’s about helping them see the value and make a really accurate assessment of the Airbase functionality. We need to show them what they’re going to be getting as part of the Airbase offering. My experience comes into play when I can interpret the questions of our customers and prospects a little differently just because I have experience from that perspective. I can help read between the lines and break it down for them. I often need to talk to people that maybe don’t have that background, and explain to them why Airbase is essential and this is why you need this solution.

I wanted to join Airbase because of the experiences I’ve had in the world of finance and because I wanted the ability to provide a direct impact on product development.

Being in the solutions consulting role offers the best of both worlds because I get to help prospects solve their issues and really figure out how we can make their lives better. But then I also get to work on the other side and help bring items from prospects to the product team and just talk to the product team about improvements we can make going forward. I get to have that impact on the internal and external sides. That’s why this is the perfect job for me. I’m really excited about it because I can help people on both sides.

It turns out everything worked out in the end!


To learn more about Airbase, contact us for a product demo.
Laura Hendrix, CPA

Laura Hendrix, CPA

Solutions Consultant at Airbase

Laura is a Solutions Consultant at Airbase. She began her career at the regional accounting firm Rubin Brown, then served as in-house accountant in the healthcare industry. Prior to Airbase, she was Corporate Controller for TrueAccord, a digital debt collection agency. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in accountancy from Missouri State University.

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