The Corporate Years
Early in my finance career, I was a teller at the main Bank of America branch in San Francisco. We served the multi-layered population of the city: wealthy elites, professionals, civil service employees, blue collar workers, artists, welfare recipients and homeless folks.
Instead of keeping professional distance, I talked with each customer as one real person to another. I tried to get each of them exactly what they came to the bank for. I believe every customer deserves that. My conversations were always interesting and customers waited in my line even when other windows were open. I was quickly promoted to Teller Trainer.
I carried my personal customer service and try-it-my-way approach into Quality Control and Loss Mitigation in the restricted stock department (think IPOs), as a manager of 40+ stock brokers at Charles Schwab headquarters.
I upped my learning curve in diplomacy and negotiation as I resolved regulatory issues and “lost-opportunity” lawsuits while satisfying three kinds of customers: holders of restricted stocks, managers & executives, and Schwab corporate attorneys. Real person to real person conversation, quick thinking, and seeking the simplest solution to a complex problem worked most of the time.
While serving as part of a team of three to plan the design, implementation and launch of a new Charles Schwab Asian- Pacific Division located in China, I discovered that I am more entrepreneur than corporate.
I took my people and accounting skills to Portland to work as a freelance financial analyst for a major tech company. As the interim International Finance Analyst I was responsible for coordinating intercompany accounting transactions, including intercompany billings, cross-charges and transfers, currency conversions for over 39 countries and audit support.
I got to fully express my natural talent for creating processes and systems as I designed and implemented quality assurance processes that yielded a 25% efficiency in audit compliance. After a few years in this role I realized I could make a bigger difference working with small businesses and individuals who didn’t have access to a large team of tax and accounting professionals at their daily disposal.