Janke Team Interview Series: Sheryl Perry
Team member since: 2006
Seventh in our team interview series, is Sheryl Perry, Controller –– a dynamic combination of business counselor, financial advisor, coach and friend, to name a few. Having come from one of the big 4 accounting firms, Sheryl has been an integral part of the firm since 2006 and provides valuable insight and wise counsel that we have grown to rely upon.
- Self proclaimed number geek
- Organizes the organized
- Homemade pasty provider
- California transplant
Q: You’re obviously a numbers person. What do you feel are the top 3 most important things you do for the firm?
A: 1) Provide a financial picture of the company’s health: Whether it be via monthly reporting or weekly updates, I provide ongoing financial analysis that enables the company to operate and make financial decisions.
2) Represent Janke’s financial interests to customers and our client’s accounting teams: I take my role as an advocate for Janke very seriously and enjoy working with the customers and their accounting teams.
3) Proactively monitor financial statements/trends: I look to identify any issues that may arise and help to mitigate and manage risk effectively.
Q: In what ways does your Controller position go beyond the accounting role?
A: My goal has always been to be a partner with Tim and Kamela in driving and shaping the business whether it be accounting related, overall business strategy, or gain efficiencies through improved processes. Person Kamela has been a strong role model for me both professionally (although she is in a much different role) and personally. She is a strong business leader who is hardworking, humble and a woman of faith.
“I try to break that barrier by calling the accounting person directly and putting a voice to my name.”
Q: How important is it for leadership to understand management reports?
A: I think it is very important for management to have access to timely financials to see where the data is leading the business. It enables the company to move nimbly and decisively.
Q: Do you feel it’s important for you to have good accounting relationships with the client’s accounting people? If so, why?
A: Yes, however, it’s not something that is usually fostered as most of the accounting departments are very busy and the work is often over email. I try to break that barrier by calling the accounting person directly and putting a voice to my name. This helps build relationships and aids at breaking down the technology barrier.
Q: With your experience, what advise would you give a college accounting major?
A: I would advise someone to do a few internships and see what industry and company size they enjoy working in. There are so many options from startups to large public traded companies and the industries can vary from software, nonprofit, healthcare, government, etc. While accounting is similar across industries, each industry and company has its own culture and nuances. It is important to know yourself and where you will be most successful related to the company size and industry and what opportunities are available to you.
I would also recommend a mentor who is 10–15 years your senior who can help you navigate your career. A mentor can be a great resource to provide feedback, coaching, and general advice as you grow.
Q: What is one of the most interesting observations you’ve made working for Janke?
A: Janke sets itself apart from other firms because of their values, ethics, and the genuine care and concern they have their clients and employees. Both Time and Kamela work relentlessly for their clients going the extra mile all while ensuring the relationship is the priority. They also ensure they have strong relationships with their employees and ensure each person is successful and valued. These traits can’t be taught in a book and are often missing in our high speed technologically driven world. I believe that is what make Janke stand apart.
Q: In your free time, unrelated to work, what do you enjoy doing?
A: Free time?!?! That made me laugh! However, with my oldest just graduating from high school, I am looking forward to having more time to cook, back, and exercise. I am currently enjoying Orange Theory classes and aiming at running a 5K and Sprint Tri in the future.