Kiki Moritsugu is an Accountant II at Education Analytics, and she joined EA in 2019. Kiki has more than 10 years of experience in accounting and bookkeeping work, and she is originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

How would you describe your role on the Finance team?

My official title is Accountant II, which means that I am a bookkeeper, an accounts payable specialist, and a member of the payroll team. I also help manage the company credit card accounts, create policies and procedures and internal controls policies for our fast-growing company, administer several financial software apps that we use in support of staff, and conduct trainings for all new employees on how to utilize and navigate these apps. The Finance and Accounting team at EA is pretty small, so we all wear a lot of hats.

What interested you in working at EA?

My previous job in this type of work was as the one-person accounting team for a toy store here in Madison, called Capital Kids. When I was brought on to work at EA, I found myself working as part of a team and working on non-profit accounting work, which is very different from retail! EA has afforded me the chance to grow my skill set and knowledge about this kind of work. I have been at EA for 5 years and now, I’m a certified non-profit accounting professional. EA’s emphasis on growth for its employees is what made this certification opportunity possible. I am also a professional actor, singer, and dancer, and working at EA has given me the flexibility to grow as an accountant and as a performer.

We know that every day is different, but what would a typical day at EA look like for you?

A bookkeeper’s job is to maintain the books. What that actually means is that I have to ensure all transactions, in 5 bank accounts and 5 credit card accounts, are accurately recorded each month. 10 accounts doesn’t seem like much, but that actually translates to hundreds of transactions each week. I have had to create efficiencies and automations to help make this a manageable task, especially since this is only one of the tasks I am responsible for. The other thing I do is receive vendor bills, enter them into our system, and ensure that they are processed through the appropriate approval workflows and paid in a timely manner. I manage the support for the timekeeping software we use as well as the expenses reimbursement software, so often I will need to answer questions, solve problems, or support the staff in any way I can.

Kiki in the 1988 Canadian national tour of the musical, Cats.

What skills do you possess that you find helpful in your role?

Communication skills! As an actor, I am a natural born communicator or, as a natural born communicator, I am an actor. I'm not sure which came first, but I do know that I love to talk! Much of the work we do at EA is collaborative, whether it is my team discussing whether an expense is unallowable or not, or working with other teams to create efficiencies and solutions as we continue to grow.

What is the most rewarding aspect to your role?

Teamwork. The finance and accounting team work together very closely, and we all bring disparate skills to the table. The ability to lean on each other and learn from each other is very rewarding. I also enjoy puzzle solving and a lot of my work involves figuring out puzzles, whether it is problem-solving software, or policies, or creating solutions to solve inefficiencies within our department or company-wide, there are always puzzles to solve—not just wordle!

What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on at EA?

Creating and implementing a credit card management system that integrates with our accounting system has been a great way to learn how to take a project from inception to completion. I really enjoyed pinpointing everyone’s needs and then finding the solution that best met them, from the individuals who needed the freedom of using credit cards, to the supervisors who needed oversight of their card use, to the accounting team that needed an efficient way to record transactions into our system, and to finally having the ability to see the system in use and working!

If you had to choose a different team to work on at EA, which team would you pick and why?

I joke when I’m training new employees that I don’t actually understand what the program teams do at EA so I would probably choose one of the G&A (General & Administrative) teams. I also joke that I am the finance IT person, since I spend a lot of time as the admin for various software and I’m not trained in IT at all! Of course, the reality is that I don’t have formal education in accounting either and yet, here I am working in finance and accounting and really enjoying it. Having said all that, if there were no limitations on what I could do or learn, I would probably choose the People Operations or Impact teams. These teams require strong communication skills coupled with an understanding of human nature, and those skills are definitely in my wheelhouse.

What changes do you anticipate in your field in the next year?

We are a small team with a lot to keep track of for a rapidly growing organization. I can see more automations becoming the norm within our processes, although I also feel like we will always need the human touch. Automated processes are only as good as the people who create, monitor, and audit them. We have to maintain rigorous internal controls and strive for efficiency and accuracy while at the same time being able to adjust to changing requirements and needs.

What is something you enjoy in your free time?

Because I have two full-time careers, and I am a parent, I don’t have a lot of free time! When I’m not working at EA, I am often in dance class or running to rehearsals or driving to Chicago for an audition. But when I’m not doing those things, you can usually find me reading a murder mystery book or watching something mindless on the TV. Mindless because my mind is usually in overdrive and that’s how I relax.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A ballerina, a gymnast, a figure skater, and a movie star, not in that particular order. In my life, I have performed on Broadway, in the Canadian national tour of Cats, and in theatres all over North America. I’ve also worked in film and television over the years, so I guess I fulfilled those wishes somewhat. Besides that, I have worked as a restaurant server, personal trainer, magazine editor, personal assistant, and office manager of a bar because you always need a day job when you are a freelance performer. Never in a million years would I have guessed that I would become an accounting pro. But life is long and unpredictable—and that’s the best part of it!

What is something that you would tell your younger self about your career?

To say yes to everything. Not to set limits, not to follow a prescribed path. It is impossible to predict what life will bring and being stuck with one set of goals in mind will preclude you from the many possibilities and opportunities that life will bring. I have lived in different cities, worked many different jobs, had several careers, have two great kids, and if I do say so myself, have had a pretty great life—so far, anyway. And none of it would have been possible if I hadn’t had the courage to say yes.

Interested in working for EA?

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