Expert of the Week: Terese Hayes

Terese Hayes

Staff Accountant at U.S. Vision


What is your professional background?

I have been in the accounting industry for four years now. I have an associates in business administration and bachelors of science in accounting. 


What inspired you to choose accounting for your career?

I've always been intrigued by business and the process of administering an organization. Accounting is the basic function of how a business is performing, so I had to study the subject and fulfill my interest.


Beyond simple adding and subtracting numbers, what is it that people should better understand about accounting?

Accounting is really basic math and principles. It's not a difficult subject to learn. I think that it is a bit misunderstood because the majority of people think that it's complex math and very tedious information to interpret. I'd say that accounting is 40% principles, 35% analytical thinking, and 25% math. It's a craft that can be learned like anything else with diligence and practice.


What’s your average day like?

Everyday is different! On average, I'd say that it's pretty steady. After a while a rhythm is set and I am able to prioritize my tasks (cash reports, deposits, account reconciliations). All good things.


What has been your greatest accomplishment at U.S. Vision?

I had a really great review recently and I was presented the opportunity to work at a higher level and take on a bit more of responsibility. This gave me great confidence in my work ethic. I felt a sense of accomplishment and reward to be acknowledged by my supervisors in this manner.


What are the most common mistakes that can occur?

I find it very common to make mistakes in all of my assigned duties, but I pay very close attention as I work through my tasks. Therefore, I keep mistakes at a minimum. It's very important to have great attention to detail in this industry.


If you use software programs, what have you found to be effective?

The process to create a Balance Sheet and/or Profit and Loss statement is much shorter than what I remember as a student! For example, Oracle can generate these financial statements with a couple of clicks and of course a set of procedures to follow for the individual running the reports. I believe that as technology continues to progress, more accounting functions will be processed more efficiently and in a much shorter time span.


What opportunities are now becoming available for businesses to take advantage of?

Businesses are now setting up operational efficiencies, which is simply an outline to minimize costs and influence a culture that focuses on communication and the company's bottom line. All companies are in business to gain and sustain growth. A company without a healthy operations system and profits would be like a ship without a sail. The business will decline before it starts. 


What do you foresee in the near future?

I'd like to join professional associations such as the Young CPA Network. It's vital to network with those of like minds. Networking is essential to social and professional relationships. I'd also like to get involved with business associations at Rutgers-Camden School of Business, my alma mater. 


What about the long term?

I would love to be a mentor to aspiring accounting professionals. Pursuing a degree in accounting could be quite a challenging task, as it would be to get a degree in general. I want young professionals to know that it will be tough, but very achievable. 


What books/blogs/materials about accounting would you recommend?

Bloomberg BNA Accounting Blog, Accounting Coach, The Rise and Fall of Enron-the biggest accounting scandal in history. The latter would be an example of what not to do as a professional:).


What advice would you give to someone looking to becoming involved with accounting?

This is a great industry to work in. It's a rewarding occupation and there is a large window of opportunity to partake in. Whether one were to work for the state or become certified, the options for an accountant are limitless. An individual interested in this field should know that they'll always be learning as accounting evolves. This is a steadily growing industry and I encourage those that are interested in studying accounting to go for it.


Find Terese Hayes on LinkedIn.

I would love to be a mentor to aspiring accounting professionals.

Emphasis added by Steve.