Women In Construction Week 2020: Spotlight on Liz Crabbs, Controller - Unlocking Steady Growth.
Accountant. Because wizard was already taken.
Our business was founded on the understanding that one of our greatest strengths will always be a talented and tenacious team. We were in need of a strong and experienced Controller to help organize our growth, and in the fall of 2019, Liz answered that call. Since joining the team, Liz has brought a steady hand to management oversight and control of all finance and accounting department functions. Liz earned her Master of Science, Business and Management, at the University of Maryland, College Park and is a CPA equipped with over a decade of accounting expertise. Let's discover the motivation behind Liz's success at R-PCI in this quick Q&A.
Why did you want to become a CPA and do you have a specialty?
I wanted to become a CPA to help businesses grow and flourish by providing them with sound financial advice. Also, employment options for a CPA are so vast, there are so many areas to specialize in and focus which keeps this industry, and the profession, fresh and exciting. I specialize in construction and real estate.
Why did you get involved in construction?
During my time in public accounting, I was able to work with many different industries, specifically on the tax side. I was able to deepen my knowledge and ultimately, managed a book of hotel and real estate clients that were heavy in ongoing renovations and construction transactions. I was able to take this knowledge and apply it to my current role.
What makes you unique?
I am a problem-solver, and will go above and beyond to fulfill a task and get it done! I also have the ability to perform well under short deadlines and in fast-paced industries, like construction.
What do you enjoy most about working at R-PCI?
The freedom to be a decision-maker, knowing that my team and I are part of an exciting growth spurt.
What advice can you share about being a successful accountant at a construction firm?
Always be willing to keep an open mind and be inquisitive. The more questions you ask, the better equipped you'll be with the tools necessary to drive success in your endeavors. No two days are ever the same, so embracing change and challenges, while remaining optimistic, is key. Also, don’t take tough days home with you. We owe it to ourselves to decompress and refuel ourselves for another day.
What are some of the challenges you face as a woman in a predominately male field?
Maintaining an all-inclusive atmosphere as well as adhering to a zero-tolerance policy for harassment. Given the #MeToo movement and an overall increase in women in the industry, new policies must be continuously scrutinized and mandated.
What advice would you give to young women considering a field in construction?
Challenge yourself. Get out there and understand the possibilities that the industry has to offer – because there are so many! Also, relationships are vital in this industry. Networking is important, even if you are the only woman (or youngest!) in the room. The more you do, the more comfortable you become. Use this to your advantage to stand out.