aX Profile: Getting to know aX Accounting Manager, Louise Santos
A Day in the Life
An average day for Louise is hard to define, but one thing remains the same: she’s usually working very closely with the account and sales teams to meet both internal and client needs. From running credit checks as part of client onboarding to approving expense reports, she handles all aspects of finance at AUDIENCEX.
At the beginning of each month, Louise is busy working with Account Managers to invoice clients for services provided the previous month, as well as preparing commissions for aX’s sales team. In the middle of each month, Louise helps to process and collect payments from clients—assisting them with billing questions along the way. Toward the end of each month, she takes care of final finance reviews for employee expense reports and reimbursements.
When Louise and the finance team are not busy with month end and invoicing, they work on developing new processes to streamline aX’s financial operations.
Life Before AUDIENCEX
After graduating from Loyola Marymount University, Louise started her career in public accounting at CohnReznick LLP within the audit and assurance services group. She worked with clients from various industries including manufacturing & distribution, retail, hospitality, and travel. She ultimately specialized in technology, more specifically digital advertising and SaaS.
It was through this position working with such a wide variety of clients that helped her to discover the industry and company culture that was most appealing. She spent most of her year at CohnReznick LLP visiting client offices, which helped her interact with members of their finance and accounting teams as well as their operations teams. This experience taught her how to ask the right questions about each organization so that she could better audit their financial statements. One of Louise’s biggest clients was a publisher, who sparked her interest in the ad tech industry—preparing her for the position she now holds at AUDIENCEX.
If anyone is familiar with the world of public accounting, work/life balance is often a challenge with busy seasons and client deadlines. After working through six busy seasons, Louise knew she was ready to make a switch. She didn’t want to move directly into private industry, where some do find a balance but fall into “boring” work that can be attributed to repetitive processes and the “number-crunching” that often gives accountants a bad reputation. AUDIENCEX is the perfect balance because it gave Louise the opportunity to transition into private industry, while applying what she learned over the years to help implement and drive the processes of a growing company. She can honestly say that she’s never been bored at aX—as new challenges or projects come her way daily.
As a CPA, Louise is required to fulfill continuing education credits to maintain an active license. This is a great way for her to keep up with any new developments in accounting standards and practices. Additionally, because her role at aX supports a lot of the other teams within the company, she always tries to stay informed about changes within the industry, which ensures that aX’s financial processes continue to evolve as well.
Teamwork Makes the Dream work
One of the things Louise likes best about her role is that it affords her with the opportunity to interact with almost every team at AUDIENCEX! As the company grows, it’s important for Louise and her team to create efficient and effective processes and to help teams understand why these processes exist. She always tries to find ways to make each team member’s work life a little easier—whether that’s providing reminders to submit expense reports or finding a better way of pulling reporting to help aX Account Managers with invoicing.
On her team, Louise is known for remembering a lot of random details. She interacts with almost everyone at AUDIENCEX, as well as clients and vendors, and somehow remembers most details for each of those interactions off the top of her head. She is also lucky enough to have an amazing accounting intern, so it’s fun to act as her mentor, by providing her with real life experience and guidance as she navigates a potential future career in accounting.
Louise turns to her mom and sister for support. The three of them are very close and share everything with one another. Her sister also works in the digital advertising industry within the AdOps department of her company, and they love to share that in common.
Professionally, Louise also has some great mentors who she worked with at CohnReznick. Theresa Rumsey is a Director on the Audit and Assurances team who took Louise under her wing when she was just starting out as an audit associate and exposed her to so many different clients and industries—shaping her career choices.
Louise describes Theresa as everyone’s go-to person in the firm, and one of the smartest people she knows!
Outside the Office
As a native of Orange County, CA and an Annual Passholder, Louise’s favorite thing to do on the weekends is go to Disneyland. It’s the perfect way for her to catch up with family and friends!
When she’s not hanging out at Disney, she loves to participate in and help plan LMU alumni events as often as possible. Her favorite event is the annual Wine Classic at the end of January. This event is essentially a giant wine tasting day in the main basketball pavilion, and it’s all for a good cause—raising money for scholarships.
In college, Louise was a member of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity, and she is still very active as an alumni advisor to local collegiate chapters and serves as one of the officers in the Los Angeles Alumni Chapter. The LA Alumni Chapter holds various social and networking events throughout LA—the next stop is a happy hour at a local pub called Brennan’s (which is located in close proximity to aX), and an evening at the Magic Castle!
Louise loves pandas—she thinks they’re so cute!
Throughout the day, you might see Louise scroll through Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter. She likes Instagram to see what her friends are up to, and LinkedIn to see what’s going on with the companies and people she is connected with. Her Twitter feed is a mixed bag of entertainment, news, and adtech, but she definitely has to stay off of it when she doesn’t want spoiler alerts of her favorite shows.
Louise is currently binge watching the show You, Seasons 1 and 2. Her sister started watching it first and she decided to follow suit so she could contribute to conversations about it. She took an extra day off for MLK weekend (yay for unlimited PTO and holidays!), so that’s when the binge started.After watching a couple of episodes, Louise was hooked. She says, “Even though Joe is a serial killer (spoil alert!) there are moments when you want to root for him because he watches out for his neighbors, and the characters that he clashes with are villains themselves. Plus, the plot twist at the end of season 2 is unnerving!”
3 Fun Facts About Louise
Louise is a big fan of popular country music. In fact, she just made it to her first Stagecoach last year to see some of her favorite artists including Sam Hunt, Old Dominion, and Luke Bryan. She is also a die hard Backstreet Boys fan, so if she has her headphones on, there’s a good chance she might be listening to them.
Even though she grew up in California, Louise was born in the Philippines and grew up speaking the local dialect, Kampampangan.
Louise loves to travel— with the goal of exploring a new place every year! In the last two years, she has been to Spain and Singapore. Later this year she plans to visit Italy. Although she visited when she was in high school, there are plenty of regions she hasn’t been to.
Favorite Office Memories
A member of the aX team joined a local choir and the team heard they were planning a local holiday concert. After some investigation, Louise and other members of the team were able to find out which choir it was—secretly organizing a group to surprise her. The concert was held at a large church and the team had seats upstairs in the balcony. She was completely surprised when the lights turned to the audience for them to sing a long and she realized most of the aX team was there.