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Life at Deloitte
People person committed to the audit profession
“I have always felt supported in my career, and I worked for a lot of really great managers and partners especially early on. I looked at what they were doing at the next level and thought that I would like to do that someday, and I look at the level above me now and think that looks good too. That is the thing about audit; there is a well-defined career path.” —Laura Ivory, Fort Worth, TX Senior Manager, Audit Deloitte & Touche LLP
A love of numbers and all things accounting
If you ask Laura Ivory what makes a good auditor, she’ll tell you that you need strong technical skills, and that you have to like numbers and accounting. But before she says any of that, she will tell you that a good auditor must “like interacting with people.” In her opinion, strong communication skills, flexibility, and a willingness to learn from those around you are keys to succeeding in audit.
Laura should know. A decade ago, when she was fresh out of Texas Christian University, she interned at Deloitte. “I think when I interned I went to five different clients. It was neat. I got to meet a lot of different people.” Following the internship, she took a position in Audit in the Fort Worth office. Early on, her focus, as is often the case in Texas, was in oil and gas as well as contract accounting for a defense contractor for several years. Then an opportunity came up in her fourth year to work in financial services. Her senior manager at the time supported the switch, even helped coach her through the process. She says of the change to financial services, “I ended up really loving it.”
Heavy interaction with clients and teams is what she enjoys most
Today, Laura is a senior manager in Audit with Deloitte & Touche LLP. She just completed a two-year Management Development Program, working with a Deloitte National Professional Practice Director for the Central Region. She leads a team of five to 10 people on many projects. And she continues to work in financial services.
In her role, Laura spends a lot time working directly with clients. She presents audit plans to the audit committee and works alongside executives daily to resolve issues. “That is what I like about my job. I get to interact with a lot of really talented people at the executive level.”
Laura also likes helping the people around her improve and develop, which can be a challenge in a profession that has periods of highly intensive work. “I think it is important to listen to what your audit teams have to say and keep people happy and motivated.” She makes this happen day-to-day not only by taking time to teach and coach, but also by celebrating team success. It’s something her team does by getting together outside the office to debrief and spend time together, particularly at the end of the busy season. “It helps you feel good about what you just did, and know that people recognize your hard work.”
Recently, Laura has begun working to help students at her alma mater prepare for careers in Audit. The program she’s leading is an extension of Deloitte’s Women’s Initiative (WIN). “Each candidate selected will be assigned a Deloitte mentor at a leadership level and at the staff level to network with.” The program includes professional mentoring and social opportunities, and the goals are two-fold. First, to help young women improve interview skills, develop as professionals, and find the right career fit. And second, to help Deloitte identify great candidates early on and advance them faster.
Outside work, Laura focuses on family. This includes attending her four-year-old son’s soccer games. “He kicks the ball around, but after a few minutes he is hanging off the goal post and chasing butterflies.” And it includes taking extended family vacations. “I love going to the beach.” She is also an avid reader who is in a book club and often follows the advice of Kindle users (“How many stars did it get?”) when choosing the next book to read.