Posted on August 4, 2011 with No Comments
David DePiano, CPA ‘04
Major: Business Administration – Accounting Concentration
Director of Financial Reporting
Dyn – Manchester, NH
How would you describe what you do on a typical day to someone who is unfamiliar with your field?
I am responsible for making sure Dyn’s financial statements are presented to company management timely and free of errors so that they can make the best decisions with the information they have. I am also responsible for managing the internal control environment and overall financial process of the company.
I also may need to work with our banking and financing partners to ensure both Dyn and our vendors are paid for goods or services. I am responsible for compliance with our banking agreements.
What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?
Before you even start looking for internships or jobs, get to know all of your professors in the relevant areas. They may have “in’s” at many of the organizations you want to work. Second, reach out to alumni working in some of these types of organizations inquiring if there are open positions or internships. Lastly, consider “doing a project” or report on a company you are interested in. Dyn has occasionally hired students who complete a class project while at the company.
After you get a job or internship, understand that you will likely not know everything you need to know. Ask questions, take notes, and work hard to learn your job. Also, do your research into the job before you go on any job interview. Ask intelligent questions during the interview process.
Describe your best day at work:
One of my best days at work was when I was able to solve a problem the organization had for a long time. There was a situation where certain financial information was deemed impossible to obtain due to IT system limitations. By sitting down with the business process owners, I was able to determine that the data was easy to obtain and only required a thought and Excel mastery. The result was access to information that was not available for the better part of 8-10 years.
Throughout your career, challenge the status quo and never accept “it isn’t possible” as an answer until you exhaust all avenues.
Tell us about your path to this position. Did you expect to hold this job when you were a college student?
My initial job out of UVM was with the international accounting firm, Ernst & Young. My career path took me from a staff accountant at a Big 4 public accounting firm, to a smaller regional accounting firm, to an analyst in the information systems department at a hospital, to my current role at Dyn. I didn’t expect I’d be a Financial Reporting Director for a company before my 30th birthday.
What is your favorite part of your work? Most challenging part?
My favorite part is to prove that working in IT or the Finance department doesn’t mean you work in a “cost center” (a department that typically doesn’t generate revenue). Providing value to a user makes you very valuable and prevents the need to spend money on additional software, hardware, or additional human resources. I also love the fact that my current employer empowers all employees to pursue the things they are interested in and excel at. I was given the opportunity to program my own web application to obtain information from a production system since it did not have certain reporting capabilities. I can’t imagine being able to do this at many companies.
The most challenging part is prioritizing work in a fast-moving company where timely information is key, and you must also complete special projects and respond to unexpected issues. Time management skills, interpersonal skills, and the ability to respond quickly to changes are vital.