From a Newspaper Controller’s Inspiration to Modern Construction Finances.
Explore Kim’s path from being inspired at her family’s local newspaper to navigating diverse roles in construction accounting. Learn how she brings a unique touch to her day-to-day responsibilities, and her contribution to the success of TOCCI.
What first got you interested in accounting?
“When I was in High School, I worked one summer at the local newspaper in the accounting department. I remember being absolutely fascinated with how the controller could add on a calculator without looking at the keys and at the time I was very impressed.
I enjoyed the work so much that I would ask a lot of questions and the controller would show me how the bank statements were balanced and reconciled. Having an OCD type personality, I liked how after each task was completed you knew if it was correct since the basic premise in accounting is that everything has to balance.
After this experience I decided to take an accounting class in high school. I was impressed even more with the subject that I knew that’s what I wanted to study in college.”
What types of construction firms have you worked with?
“My first job out of college was at a public accounting firm in Boston that specialized in construction. After obtaining my CPA license and being in public for over six years I went on to work for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston for a few years. At that point in my career, I wanted to learn and grow, so I decided to pursue other opportunities.
I decided to shift back to the construction industry, working at Modern Continental Construction Company as the controller of the construction division. Modern Continental was a billion dollar conglomerate involved in Boston’s central artery project.
After that, I took a position at Testa Demolition and then eventually Benevento Companies. When I had my children, I took a step back in my career and focused on raising them. Once they were a bit older, I joined the team at TOCCI and have been here for five years.”
What may people in a construction company not realize and/or understand when it comes to accounting and your day-to-day responsibilities?
“I don’t think people realize that accounting is a lot more than just processing paperwork. At a smaller company especially, my day-to-day duties are more diversified. At larger companies, most accounting professionals focus on monthly closings and financial statements because those tasks are too big to get pulled into anything else.
Here, I am able to help with bank accounts, accounts payable and payroll, job closeouts and working with project managers to help with requisitions in the billing process or cost reconciliations. I enjoy interacting with different teams and having my hands in all sorts of tasks.”
“Kim is a pleasure to work with and one of the most valuable team members here at TOCCI. She willingly accepts any task from various members of the team and treats it as her own, seeing it through to completion. Her effective management and professional accounting skillset have helped to reshape the financial processes for our organization. Kim’s compassionate, humble and understanding personality has gained her the respect of all TOCCI, and we look forward to many more years of success with her participation.”Paul Neenan – Chief Financial Officer
What makes your role rewarding?
“What makes my role at TOCCI rewarding is being able to help and support other employees.
Whether it’s helping to keep the kitchen stocked and clean, prepping the conference room or assisting team members with accounting requests. It is very rewarding to use my accounting background to assist in getting things done.”
What are some of your proudest accomplishments when it comes to your role?
“I don’t consider myself technologically advanced, so keeping up with new tech and maintaining those processes is very rewarding for me. My last company was completely paper based. Transferring everything digitally and automating processes is something I’ve gotten pretty good with.
Here at TOCCI, I helped implement TimberScan which processes digital images of all our payables. No more paper invoices! Also, keeping track of your cash is extremely important. At TOCCI, with the help of the CFO we monitor the cash daily and have accurate balances at all times. This is especially important in today’s world of fraudulent activity.
Another task I started is closing out subcontracts at the end of each job. With the help of Janet, TOCCI’s Senior Project Coordinator, we reconcile all final contract values in Procore, Timberline and Textura.”
Can you share a lesson or any insights that have made an impact on your career?
“When Modern Continental went out of business, it taught me that you can always come back and continue your career, taking valuable knowledge with you to your next role.
Also, when you stick with something and continue to learn over the years about that subject, you gain a lot of experience and come very knowledgeable, which helps you to keep growing in your career.”