Liane Decker

"YPTC is a great place for me to be at this point in my career..."

I worked in public accounting for seven years, both while I was a student at Drexel University and afterwards. I was in auditing, and was made a manager. In addition to my manufacturing and insurance clients I worked with several colleges and universities and that began to introduce me to the nonprofit sector.

I continued to work in the for-profit model for a number of years. I spent the last 10 or 11 years as a controller and prior to that as a director of financial reporting. The complicated accounting work I was doing was challenging for me as an accountant, but after several years it opened my eyes to several things I wished I hadn’t opened my eyes to. It wasn’t anything unethical, it was just unnecessary greed. I was ready for another model.

As a controller I had known about YPTC for a long time and so it was a logical Google search for me when I was ready to make a change. I’ve had some experience with nonprofits – I’m on the board of a farm education center and the friends of my library – but nonprofit expertise wasn’t my greatest strength before I started volunteering with them. Working for nonprofits was my main motivation for coming to work for YPTC.

I thought I had had some pretty good gigs going on but I came to YPTC and found it is a really interesting company. YPTC has a similar heart as a nonprofit organization. I found out I already knew a lot from participating in nonprofit boards and, more importantly, how much I liked working in the nonprofit realm.

Each of my clients is really passionate. Accounting generally isn’t considered to be a field that’s particularly passionate, but the vast number of people you work with here are passionate. They’ve made a choice to be with their organization. That changes the attitude, and whenever you’re talking with people at your clients’ offices the conversation invariably revolves around the organization’s mission. That’s really unusual and invigorating for me. It’s what I was hoping for and it came to be the case.

There’s a lot of social involvement among YPTC staff members. Each month we have a staff meeting where I get the professional training I need and we’re continually learning about what’s new in the nonprofit industry. But we always spend time talking about our clients or forming groups to raise money for clients or causes that our staff are passionate about. We may only get together for three hours a month but even spending 10 or 15 minutes of that time talking about nonprofits is really telling about a company.

I work part-time, usually two to four days a week. That enables me to do some of the things I want to do outside of my job, such as my continuous commitment to organizations I wish to help and to have a family life. Our full-time employees have a shortened work week which is great. Everyone I’ve talked to – as well as myself – seems pretty confident about drawing the line for the work week and being able to have a weekend. A lot of business models in professional services require you to work late nights and weekends but that hasn’t happened to me and I don’t see that happening here.

I have one long-term client and I’ve picked up several others, some in the Philadelphia area and some I work with remotely. Sometimes the travel can be a bit of a hike but it’s fun. We operate independently: yes, we have an organizational structure and managers who support us but the majority of what we do is one-on-one in our clients’ offices without a large hierarchy over us.

This is a great environment, a passionate environment, to come in to, which is unusual for accounting. If you’re looking for work-life balance you’ll never find anything better than here. For me it’s all of the things I need. The money’s nice but more importantly you’re doing something really valuable. Our clients value us and the skill sets we come with enable us to advise them in many ways.

YPTC is a great place for me to be at this point in my career. I feel valuable to Your Part-Time Controller. I know that I add value to my clients and that what I’m doing is a way to help them continue to meet their mission. And because we’re part-time we can do it more efficiently and with more skill.