Women in Technology -- Nicole Ksiazek
This year, we’ve kicked 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 Nicole Ksiazek, Senior Practice Development Manager in the Sage Intacct Accountants Program.
Brittany Benson: Nicole, can you tell me a little bit about your role at Sage Intacct?
Nicole Ksiazek: Of course! I’m so excited to be part of the Women in Technology series. I’ve been with Sage Intacct for three years now; it’s been wonderful! My current role revolves around educating Partners on the program resources, while also providing ongoing, strategic guidance specific to their Client Accounting Services Practice.
We’re an entirely remote team and cover all areas of the United States. Our team really works well together to drive things forward and to push each other to think a little bit outside of the box; maybe more so than we would as individuals.
Brittany: Can you detail a little bit about your path to this role and how you got involved in the world of technology?
Nicole: Let’s say that curiosity lead me down this path. One of my first positions was as an Accounting Manager for a treasury management software company, which sparked my interest in technology. After that company was sold, decided to go back to get my CPA designation which involved field work with an accounting firm – I had been working with multiple start-up companies in a consulting capacity and was able to fold them in to their Accounting Services Department – after that, I learned all of the various accounting systems we were using and became the go to person for system functionality. Eventually, working with multiple systems for clients was not conducive to scaling and growing the business and I led the system selection for the firm to standardize on Sage Intacct. This also led to my involvement in the Advisory Board for CPA.com’s Digital CPA Conference, Sage Intacct Advisory Board and facilitating the CPA.com Client Accounting Workshops. CPA.com is the business and technology arm of the AICPA.
Brittany: Can you tell us about a woman who has inspired you?
Nicole: I have always had strong female role models in my life, starting with my mom who said that I could do whatever I put my mind to. Another role model that I admired was in one of my first positions – she had been a schoolteacher, raised a family, and then went back to school to become a programmer and worked in developing treasury management software, which at the time was a male dominated field.
Brittany: If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Nicole: Take a few risks and don’t be concerned about asking for help when you need it.
Brittany: What advice do you have for women interested in pursuing a career in technology or a role like yours?
Nicole: I would say look at the individuals in your field of interest – what types of projects are they working on, what types of organizations are they involved in, what type of certifications do they have and then keeping asking to be put on the difficult projects and the ones where the path may not be predetermined – those are the best learning opportunities.
Also, sometimes people think it's going to take too much time to do a particular course or to go down an education path. I believe it’s important to find the time to do the things that you want to do – especially when education is involved.
Brittany: What’s the best part about your job?
Nicole: Getting to work with a variety of CPA and BPO Partners and helping them put their plans to work – they keep me on my toes – one day I can be working with a not-for-profit issue, another day helping to decide the best technology stack for a family office or researching a new process.
Brittany: In regards to the partners… What’s been a rewarding moment that stands out to you?
Nicole: I had a partner recently that took the time to look at all of our resources and have conversations with me ahead of some of the work that they were trying to do in their process. From that advanced research, we were able to help them narrow down a list of clients that they should be going after, and then also look at the functionality.
Sometimes people try to overcomplicate the process when an easier solution could be there for them. We were able to help them eliminate some of the noise around them, and really hyper focus their practice and since then, they've become one of our top partners. That was very rewarding for them and for us.
Brittany: Do you have a vision for the future?
Nicole: The Client Accounting Services field of accounting is at such a turning point right now. When I went to school, an accounting degree was primarily focused on tax and audit. I would love to get involved in educating the next generation on this emerging area and how technology will play a roll.
Brittany: That’s fantastic! What are some of your off-work passions?
Nicole: Off-work my family definitely keeps me busy – I have a 12-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son who are involved with tae kwan do (both are black belts) and swimming.
Working at Sage Intacct has allowed me to maintain work life balance and focus on them when I need to! They also help me to pause and think about things in a new way as they are discovering the world. When we are not working or going to school – we enjoy travel, skiing, visiting National Parks and helping out at church.
I am also involved with the not-for-profit, The Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund, which provides financial assistance to families who are caring for seriously ill, disabled, or injured children. I have two fantastic children and thought to myself, “I think it's time for me to give back because I have been fortunate where others are not.” I called them and asked what areas they needed help in. They asked me to come and work on the finance committee and I’ve never looked back.
I joined Crossfit Montco gym about four years ago and love it – it keeps me healthy and continues to help me challenge my strength. I even started to do some competitions recently!
Brittany: What is some imparting knowledge that you would like to share with readers?
Nicole: I think that curiosity is going to drive a lot of what we do, especially in our profession right now. I love that our team is always curious – it is fantastic. We don't just say, “Okay, I guess that's the answer,” but instead, “Let’s dive into that a little bit further. Let's see if we can bring others in that might help us to understand that a little bit better.” Whether it's our partners, somebody from CPA.com, a colleague from our internal technical team… we try to really come together and solve it.
Curiosity around technology drives a lot of what's happening in this field and also the profession.
I have been told I am an optimist. I think this comes from the fact that I truly believe we can figure out a solution to whatever problem, issue, or challenge may be put in our path. If you believe this, I truly think it makes the impossible, possible.
If you’d like to connect with Nicole directly, you can reach out to her on LinkedIn. To learn more about careers with the Sage Intacct team at Sage, please visit here.
To check out the other blogs in Sage’s Women in Tech blog series, view:
- Women in Technology -- Melody Williams
- Women in Technology -- Stephanie Kleber
- Women in Technology -- Carmen Cooper
- Women in Technology -- Stefanie Maragna
- Women in Technology -- Amy Platt
- Women in Technology -- Aravinda Gollapudi
- Women in Technology -- Meg Deering
- Women in Technology – Wanda Pansky
- Women in Technology -- Nancy Sperry
- Women in Technology -- Kathy Lord
- Women in Technology -- Nancy Rivas
- Women in Technology -- Tina Wang
- Women in Technology -- Victoria Keeshan
- Women in Technology -- Susan Vincent
- Women in Technology -- Eileen Wiens
Brittany Benson is the Senior Corporate Communications Manager at Sage Intacct.