As director of accounting at Pearl Technology, Ali Wilson plays a primary role in assuring that the company functions well. That’s because a company’s financial story is very important, according to Ali, and “helps the company plan for future growth while retaining its past history.”
How She Serves
Ali works out of Pearl Technology’s headquarters in Peoria Heights. If you ask what her typical day entails, she doesn’t think she has one. “On my drive to work, I think about all I want to accomplish that day and—once I enter the doors—most of that changes.”
Ali admits most of her efforts have been spent on getting the financial statements prepared to present revenue and expenses according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). “I also assist the accounting staff on any items they need assistance with, and I help other departments with financial analysis—both on a customer and department level.”
Ali is also one to pitch in wherever she’s needed. “I hate when anyone says, ‘That’s not my job.’ In my mind, when I work for a company and I’m asked to do something, it is my job to do whatever I can to help move the company forward. So, even though it may be out of my comfort zone or daily responsibilities, it’s important to accomplish whatever I’m being asked to do.”
Ali joined the team about a year ago, and she’s been going strong ever since. Having worked with Dave Johnson 27 years ago, she wanted to work with him again. “Dave is one of the people who is responsible for where my career is today. Getting to work with him again was a draw for me, but I also did not want to keep putting in the long, crazy hours of public accounting. I’m glad to continue using my experience and knowledge to help move Pearl Technology forward.”
What Her Experience Means
Prior to joining Pearl Tech, Ali worked as an auditor for public accounting firms in Illinois and Virginia. She also assisted clients with monthly books and helped prepare tax returns for individuals, corporations, and not-for-profits.
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Ali has audited many different types of organizations, which helps her approach financial issues in different ways. “Being an auditor helps me know how to dig and find when numbers are not presenting properly. It also helps me look at accounting processes to determine if they can be changed to be more efficient and stay within the internal controls needed for an accounting department.”
Ali has a passion for accounting. “I love digging in and helping to tell the company’s story through financial statements. Yes, I’m a proud accounting nerd, and I wave my nerd flag proudly. I enjoy contributing to Pearl Technology’s success however I can.”
For years, Ali thought being a public accountant was her calling, but “working at Pearl Tech has taught me that my work before prepared me to work in private industry and to be able to help this company obtain its goals. Sometimes I miss the clients I had before, but I really enjoying working with this team. They’re a great group of people who work hard day in and day out, and I truly enjoy working with all of them.”
Ali says she was so excited about getting hired at Pearl Technology because of what the company offers to businesses of all sizes—not only in Central Illinois but beyond.
What Sustains Her
Ali’s biggest achievement is raising her daughter to be a good, kind adult. She also has three “bonus” boys as the result of marrying her husband. “I have also helped shape the three boys into the wonderful young men they have become.”
Obtaining her CPA and CFE designations have also been huge achievements. Obtaining the CPA designation was a long, brutal process for Ali, but she never gave up and prayed hard that God would help her through it.
Ali’s family and hobbies help keep her going. “My husband and I live outside of Mason City and have four wonderful children. Our daughter is married and lives in Seattle, WA. Two of our sons live in Richmond, VA, and the third lives in Memphis, TN, with his fiancée. We also have a yellow lab, a pound puppy, and a cat who thinks he’s a dog!”
Since Ali lives almost an hour away from the office, she enjoys the drive. She doesn’t have to sit in traffic, which makes it better. The time in the car helps her think about her day on the way in and unwind from the workday before she gets home at night.
Ali and her husband live on a small farm, and she enjoys gardening. “During the summer, I have a vegetable garden and love working in it. I love seeing the fruits of my labor when the vegetables come in.” Her hobbies also include baking, canning, and deer hunting.