Women in Technology -- Amy Platt
This summer, we’re kicking off a Women in Technology blog series focusing on some fantastic women in leadership roles here at the Sage Intacct office of Sage. These women come from all walks of life, and are mentors, moms, bosses, and even beekeepers. Their stories and wisdom inspired me, and I trust you’ll find the same.
This profile is with Amy Platt, Senior Practice Manager for Software & Services, at Sage Intacct.
Brittany Benson: Thank you for coming today, Amy. Could you tell me more about you and your role at Sage Intacct?
Amy Platt: I have been here at Sage Intacct for seven years. I started off as a Project Manager, where I was responsible for delivery of implementations for new customers. Then I transitioned to the Practice Manager role for Add-on Services where I managed the team responsible for working with existing customers. Anytime customers came back for additional services like advisory or additional implementations, they would work with my team.
Then, I moved up to my current role as Senior Practice Manager for Software & Services, where I manage the teams delivering implementations for new clients that are mostly in the Software/SaaS and Professional Services verticals. We focus on Contracts, Advanced CRM Integration, and other complex products that we have as part of the system.
Brittany: Could you tell me about how you got involved in technology?
Amy: I originally started in a different route than technology. I’m a CPA and spent some time in public accounting. Then, I went into the private industry where I was the Controller for numerous companies.
At one point, I took a few years off from the traditional workspace when my kids were small. I ran a hyper local website for parents where I lived that included everything from local businesses that they could leverage for kids to parenting articles. I had a very large network of local businesses owners and parents that I worked with.
At the same time, I never really left accounting and was also doing some independent QuickBooks consulting. I was doing bookkeeping for a handful of small businesses and working with their tax accountants to complete their tax returns when I got a call from a local company that was implementing a software ERP system that I had used previously. They wanted me to be the middleman between them and the implementation team on the client side and the software company to make sure that their requirements were clear, as well as ensuring they understood what the software was going to do.
I had a friend that I worked with fresh out of college that had called me about openings at Intacct. So, I interviewed with Greg and Derek and then started here in May 2012.
Brittany: What a great story! Are there any women that inspired you?
Amy: Yes, one of my former bosses. It’s hard as a mom, a new mom especially, to have a job in the professional space. When I had my son, I worked in New York City, so I was commuting every day, and my husband was commuting to New Jersey. It was hard especially since the area that I lived in didn’t have a lot of full-time working moms, let alone ones that commute. I was working twelve hours a day and had a nanny watching my son full-time.
Facing the difficulty of choosing between staying home with my son and working full time was a difficulty that not only I faced, but my friends who were professionals did too. It made us all think that maybe we should have gone to school to become something else where the salary would be equivalent to what a babysitter would be paid, so that we would have an opportunity to be home with our kids.
When I had my son, I was working for a woman who had a child at home as well. She had a great career and showed me that there is a balance, but I had to ask for what I want, or the possibility wouldn’t be there. At that time, working from home full-time wasn’t an option. She taught me that I could ask to work from home two days a week and that I shouldn’t think that people are looking down on me for doing so. She helped me realize that it’s okay to ask for such accommodations because I have another role outside of work and that is being a mom. My boss taught me that I must take control of my own destiny.
Brittany: That’s great advice. And if there was any advice you could give your younger self?
Amy: Be prepared to experience that push-and-pull. There will be times where you want to work but you also don’t want to be absent 12 hours a day from your kids. There were days where I would leave when my son was sleeping, and I would come home to him sleeping again for the night and I felt like I had no idea what went on during his day.
You must be prepared for that push-and-pull and whichever you must do, you can’t feel guilty about your choices. Instead, you teach your kids what you’re doing and why you’re doing it so that they may understand your absence. My kids know that even though I’m busy with work, I’ll always be there for them.
Brittany: That’s a great way to prepare an expectant or hopeful mother about the stress of balancing work and personal life. What advice would you give a woman that is interested in pursuing a career, either in technology or specifically in a role or career path like yours?
Amy: There’s a lot of media coverage today about the gender pay gap and different inequalities women feel. The technology industry used to be dominated by men, but there’s also many women that are smart that have great ideas. Find a place where you’re comfortable and where you know you’re good at your job and that will make everything easier.
Brittany: What’s the best part of your job?
Amy: I have an amazing team that is delivering high-quality services , and I know that they can handle whatever may come their way. I also think Sage Intacct is a great company to work for where I feel so supported in everything I do.
I have a great manager who I can go to with an idea about improving something, and he tells me to try it and let him know how it works. If it works, we’ll roll it out the idea to the rest of the team. It’s amazing to be able to know that your ideas aren’t just going to get brushed off, but always considered, regardless of if it works or not.
Brittany: Do you have a vision for the future?
Amy: From a professional perspective, I want to keep improving on what I’m doing. Sage Intacct has really grown from when I first started here. Seven years ago, professional services was made up of seven people, all reporting to Greg Ekker. Now, we’re 30+ people in. I would hope to still be here with a larger Sage Intacct.
Brittany: And is there anything personal you would want to share?
Amy: My son is going to be going to college in two years, and then my daughter three years after that. It’s awesome but it’s totally crazy. I feel like my college days were not that long ago! It’ll be interesting to see where my kids will want to go in life. Looking at my son, I was thinking he maybe would go the accounting/finance route but he is very art oriented. It’s very different from what I’ve always been doing so we’ll see where life takes them.
Brittany: Besides your kids, are there any other passions that you have?
Amy: Yes, we have a dog that we’re all slightly obsessed with. We always take her wherever we go. My kids are also really into sports. My son plays hockey on three different teams and my daughter does competitive gymnastics. We’re constantly on the go with whatever sporting event is happening and whichever state it may be in. When I’m not busy with the constant chaos of being a mom, I like to spend my time reading and watching a lot of trashy TV.
At the end of every day though, my passion is my family.
To check out the other blogs in Sage’s Women in Tech blog series, view:
Brittany Benson is the Senior Corporate Communications Manager at Sage Intacct.