My Name Is Carolyn Padbury — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Sunnybrook Park in Toronto, Canada | Photo by Carolyn Padbury, Aha! finance

July 8, 2022

My Name Is Carolyn Padbury — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

by Why I Joined Aha!

Accounting is exactly what I always wanted to do. I realized this during my high school accounting classes — the subject matter not only made sense to me but also aligned with my sensibilities. I find it deeply satisfying to work within clear rules and parameters, follow formulas, and analyze large amounts of data.

Accounting is all about organizing and quantifying information. No matter how complex a transaction is, you can always distill it into a series of debits and balancing credits.

After studying accounting at university, I joined a small vegetarian food manufacturing company and did general accounting work — everything from accounts receivable and accounts payable to processing payroll and reconciling bank accounts. Six years later, I was ready to advance my skills and experience a different industry.

I accepted a position at a fast-growing education company specializing in continuing development for medical professionals. Over the next five years, I managed the organization's end-to-end accounting cycle and acquired valuable audit experience. Eventually I took over the accounting and government filings for a foreign business unit in Australia — a huge growth experience given the different financial regulations.

Working as an accounting generalist gave me a holistic understanding of how the organization functioned and what cross-functional teams needed. And because I interacted regularly with a variety of customers, vendors, and team members, I had the context to answer tricky finance questions that arose. I learned that it is not always possible to answer every question directly. Sometimes it is more helpful to extrapolate from what I did know to come up with a solution that met the person's needs.

This is one of the best parts of accounting — thinking critically about the data to help folks answer business questions and make better decisions.

When the medical education firm was acquired, the future of the company felt uncertain. I began searching for a new position. I knew I wanted to be part of a growing organization and collaborate with a close-knit, supportive team.

I discovered Aha! on LinkedIn and applied to an open finance manager role. The book Lovability immediately inspired me. A profitable company with a goal-first mindset that espouses the values I believe in? It was incredibly appealing. In prior jobs, I had seen how frequent changes in business direction often led to piecemeal products, confused customers, and overall instability. And I had worked for companies that were not always profitable, which is challenging when you are an accountant!

Now as part of the Aha! finance and operations team, I see firsthand how we live our values with the Bootstrap Movement. Our vision is clear so we understand what we are all working towards. In my role, I follow up on invoices, code transactions, and process customer, payroll, contractor, and expense payments. This work touches each area of the business and serves as the foundation for our company to operate smoothly every day.

It is gratifying to use my full-cycle accounting expertise to create a more lovable experience for our customers and teammates.

Before here, I thought that working at a fully remote company would mean losing out on culture and connection. But we still have all of the camaraderie of an in-person office. I collaborate closely with a supportive team and enjoy conversations with my coworkers about life, work, and everything in between.

Being remote also makes me more productive and less stressed. Each day of the work week, I fit in walks and quality time with my dogs. I have finally escaped the "living for the weekend" mentality I once had. I am truly happy to do what I love at a company whose values I believe in.

That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.

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