As a major metropolitan area, Houston is home to many local, regional and national philanthropic organizations. While they are called non-profits, this does not mean that they do not need strong, solid business practices and the same level of high-quality employees as major corporations.
Houstonian Jack Blanton discusses how he uses his background in accounting to help Neighborhood Centers successfully serve its clients.
What degree program did you study?
“I received my BBA in accounting from the University of St. Thomas.”
What does your current position entail?
“I am a General Ledger and Special Projects Accountant. I am one of several people who make sure that federal contracts are billed correctly. We do regular journal entries and, when the need arises, perform additional journal entries to correct any problems. In addition to my General Ledger duties, I am a Special Projects Accountant. This title means I will perform various duties for the Senior Accounting Managers, Assistant Controllers and the Controller at any given time. I am in charge of several monthly reconciliations, run data analysis, assist in our audits and I am currently assisting in the conversion from our old accounting software, Fundware, to our new software, Financial Edge.”
Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?
“My education partially prepared me for my current position. I learned the basics in school and then built on them to get to my current job. Accounting has large differences from one job to the next, I could change jobs tomorrow and still have a learning curve at the new job. School taught me the basics of what I needed to know to then learn how to do my job.”
Do you have any advice for people who would be interested in pursuing a similar career?
“You need to learn all the little tricks about all the different programs you will use. I use Excel on a regular basis and am able to perform much more complex data analysis because I have taken the time to master Excel. If you are using a program, just mess around in it and see what all you can do. Every now and then, I am making a spreadsheet and discover a new way to do a formula and realize that it would help make another spreadsheet work better.”
Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.