Employee Spotlight: Yolande Athaide

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We would like to introduce the newest member of our Ops team Yolande Athaide, FinOps Strategist and analyzer of numbers.

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Stefan: Hello, and welcome back to the employee spotlight. My name is Stefan, and I'm the People and Culture Strategist here at Remotish. So today we're going to be talking to our newest employee, Yolande Athaide. And Yolande is our FinOp Strategist and we're super excited to have her on board. So Yolande, tell us a little bit about your role here at Remotish.

Yolande: Hi, Stefan. Thanks for having me here on this call today. So I've been at Remotish now for almost two weeks, and it's really been a wonderful learning experience. I've been meeting the rest of the team and the culture of the company. And about my role, I will be handling much of the work traditionally done by any company's finance and accounting department. So you know, invoicing, handling, and following up on payables and receivables and managing the books, interacting with sales and service teams as they start working with new clients or repeat clients. And they'll also be the element of maintaining expense accounts, really anything financial related. But then beyond the traditional approach, there will be that element that Remotish has always and HubSpot are into process enhancement, reducing anything that's manual that could or that could result in unintentional errors, linking financial and operational aspects of Remotish seamlessly using technology, so that sales and services teams can gain newer insights into how they can work with their clients and further add value not just to Remotish, but also to each of the clients they work with. And for me, that's going to be the truly exciting aspect of the job. Seeing how AI can be used to integrate the finance and operational functions.

Stefan: Yeah, you know, this role is so important, you know, in looking at the financial health of a business, and especially, you know, from that process, side of things, you know, this company, so process oriented, so that's going to play a huge part in the role as well. So, you know, what does an average workday look like for you?

Yolande: That's right now a little bit in, in development. And because I'm right now, just part time with Remotish, 20 hours a week. And as you know, a lot of these functions were handled by Jen, who was doing it full time, along with all the other things she was doing, by the way, so. But for right now, the way I'm typically, what my day typically looks like is I'll start off by reviewing email. I get my Gmail and HubSpot to send me daily agendas of what my tasks for the day are, and my meetings for the day are. Then I'll bbrowse through email and slack activity. See if there any, you know, urgent finance related matters that I need to attend to, either for a specific client or on behalf of Jen or Nicole call or any member of the team. Then I go into project management, just start working through whatever that day’s projects or tasks are, and as I get into the role, part of my day will involve checking QuickBooks daily looking at the expense accounts, the payments that come through, any issues that result that need resolution. As I get more comfortable with the role, I believe I'll be adding on the aspect of digging into developing processes to handle special situations that arise with any other finance matters. For example, and I'm just pulling something out of the air right now. You know, it's not something we've experienced, but let's say there's a commission to be paid, you know, so that and it's making sure that it's all correctly documented in QuickBooks. And the incoming and the outgoing are all matched up in amounts. So then there's also integrating QuickBooks with HubSpot. There are some processes and tool updates that I see possible and it's possible that HubSpot already has it and I just need to get more comfortable with the software. Jen walked me through some settings in HubSpot that partially addressed some of the suggestions I had that I felt could be process blockers or lead to errors. And then she and I were discussing some of the others. And she was, she thought that she was agreeing that some of the suggestions I had would help make the process more fluid. Then there, of course, you know, we at Remotish are big on certifications, so I'll be doing some daily work towards those. And then at the end of the day, oh, midday, and end of the day, I'll do checks again, on my email, Slack, TeamWork, just to make sure I'm all caught up with communications and things that need to get attended to. 

Stefan: That's great that you've, you know, already kind of identified some potential, you know, blockers or challenges with, you know, the current integration, but already having, you know, integration with QuickBooks and HubSpot is important to us with efficiencies, and just having that data flow, you know, effectively into QuickBooks will be helpful. So, I know that you're, you're still learning HubSpot. So what would you say your favorite HubSpot tool or favorite thing about it is?

Yolande: Oh, so, while we were, you know, if you could check back with me next week, I may end up having a completely different answer. But this week, Jen and I were working through some of the monthly tasks that happen in HubSpot. And, you know, being able to she was, I was learning how to attach a relevant deal to an invoice in HubSpot. And there's a view that you can set just for recurring deals. And then within that, it was something that Jen and I worked out together right on the spot, you can set the view to just show the deals for which you have not already linked to the most recent recurring invoice because what was happening is, every time I looked at the recurring invoice list, clients list, I did one, I would attach an invoice. And when I went back, it would reset me to the top of the list of clients that had already been taken care of. And so then you scroll down, and you'll find the one that you last attended to. Well, we found, we managed to set a view that will just show the ones that are still left to do so you can move swifter through the process. And as we get more clients that's going to be those are just little things that they seem like they're not important when you have, you know, the existing clients set. But as we grow, it's going to be important to save time on little matters like that. So now you can move forward with the day.

Stefan: Yeah, that's that's huge, just being able to find ways to utilize HubSpot. You know, as we look towards scaling, right, so now that you've found this, this, you know, process in place that will support growth. So that's awesome.

Yolande: Thank you.


Stefan: So switching gears a little, you know, we've talked about work life, let's talk a little bit about life life. So what's the best thing to you about remote life, because we're all passionate about it even before COVID? 

Yolande: Yeah, this remote work life is the way of work that I've known for the last 20 years as well, because you know, that I've been an entrepreneur. And we've, you know, we've been consultants. We've had the flexibility in our workday. And that makes a huge difference. You know, when you're like me with when you juggle a lot of interests, a lot of responsibilities. You can enjoy your work, and you can also enjoy having a little freedom to do other things that you like or need to attend to during the day. Even if it is traveling with friends, I mean, traveling, for example, or just taking care of some routine personal matter. So those, that's kind of what I really love about remote and flexible work schedules. 

Stefan: I agree 100% with you there about, you know, having that flexibility and, you know, here at Remotish, we support that and allow people to schedule their, their day accordingly and, you know, things come up so yeah, I totally agree with you there. So what blogs, podcasts groups? You know, what would you recommend our readers and visitors follow? You know, what are some of your favorites? 

Yolande: It's a great question. I'm not much of a podcast listener. I have subscribed a few actually one one in the legal area at one point, because I also have a law background, and then a couple in the finance, but they really, I mean, I think, you know, it almost was easier to do it when I was, you know, we were in the car for some time for, say, dropping off my children to school, they're all grown up now. So there's not a whole lot of traveling happening, but some of the blogs or groups and newsletters and daily articles that I follow are as the news McKinney McKinzie, newsletters, they have blogs, daily reads, you can subscribe to depending on your interests. And then there's on LinkedIn, I've joined the finance club and the small business owners group. There's a couple of women's leadership groups that I'm, I've joined. And typically there's in my there's always going to be some sort of nonprofit that I'm following or interested in. Specifically, one I'm, I'm very, I try to do something for every year is this thing that promotes women and girls in, in the tech field, and so they, they do these competitions, where they prepare business plans and develop apps. And then they submit it and then, you know, I help as one of the judges sometimes. So that's one thing. And then Harvard Business Review, there's daily insights, tips, articles that I get in my inbox, and I'll scan through them and then dig deeper as I need to or have time for. And then the other ones, two others that I began subscribing to add to my children joined, one joined Harvard College and the other was at MIT, is at MIT. I subscribe to the Harvard Gazette and MIT daily and you learn a lot about what's going on in AI and research in various fields. For those, so those are the ones that I really love.

Stefan: Very interesting about you taking part and judging for some of those ideas that, you know, the women are submitting for, for, you know, an entrepreneur business. So very cool. I'm sure you've seen all kinds of ideas come through. 

Yolande: Yes, really interesting.

Stefan: What do you do, when you're not analyzing the numbers? You know, tell us a little bit about what you do, and you're not wearing your Remotish hat. 

Yolande: Um, spending time with my family is a big one for me. My husband has been my business partner for you know, so we've been married, almost 25 years now. We've been business partners for well over 20 years. Then I have two children in college, as I mentioned. But you know, beyond that, I love to read, I love to play music, playing piano, which I don't do as much anymore, because we don't have a piano right now. But I'm hoping to fix that soon. Just listening to music. I love attending performing arts events. I enjoy coding. I'm not super fast at it. And I told Nick not to challenge me on it, because I would fail horribly on any challenge against him. I'm sure but I do like messing with it. Sometimes and you know, there. I've used it to solve a lot of little, little process or not solve maybe, but enhance several processes in my work over the years. Then other little things that I like doing. I do sewing projects, my daughter loves solving logic puzzles. I love trying out new recipes or recreating elegant safe ones. And then baking I mean, like I said, I've got a lot of interest so I could go on with that forever. 

Stefan: Would you say opera or play? What would be your go-to?

Yolande: You know, my preference is a play, but my husband loves opera and I will go with him for that because it's kind of it's not you know, they're, they're quite interesting once you get over it, it can the first time or two can be difficult as as person I knew once said to me being sung to in a language you don't follow, but you know, they do provide the subtitles or surtitles. So it's, I would prefer a play, but I would go. I like musical plays more than just necessarily just random, you know, regular play. But. 

Stefan: Awesome. Move, moving on, what's your personal motto or mantra? 

Yolande: I think I'll go with the one that we have up on my page on the Remotish website, that I can do anything that I set my mind to. That's typically you know, what I raised my children telling them that if you want something, you can do it, you know, your mind to it, and you can do it. And interestingly, recently, I was visiting my children and my son said to me, that I exemplify that in every aspect of my life. And you can imagine that's wonderful to hear from your he's, he's an adult now. So to hear that from your child is simply incredible. 

Stefan: What a great, it's got to be a great feeling. Tell him to write that down also. So you can mark that, you know, I told my daughter when she was younger, the same thing I said, You can do whatever you put your, your heart and mind to and she loved hearing that. What would you say is your guilty pleasure? 

Yolande: Oh, yeah, you know, I, I love dark chocolate. And then I like Nada Moo Ice cream. I like the vanilla flavor of ice cream. I love dark chocolate, but I don't really like chocolate ice cream. So these two, Nada Moo is a flavor is a brand I recently discovered as I tried to watch sugar intake for health reasons, and you know, it's pretty incredible. Makes you feel like you're eating ice cream and can enjoy the decadence without the sugar. 

Stefan: Right? I have not heard of Nada Moo. So I'll have to look that one up. Do you have a unique talent? 

Yolande: Oh, this is an interesting question. I'm not. There's not really something I've thought about in general. But I would say that there has never not yet been a task, no matter how, you know, nebulously described or outlined that I have not been able to chunk into smaller pieces and address satisfactorily. Pretty much. I've had success in anything I've done. So I would think I mean, yeah, maybe that, but that is something I'd like to I should think about. 

Stefan: So basically, no mission is impossible. In your eyes.

Yolande: That's my belief. I believe that no mission is impossible. You're right. I like the way you put it Stefan. 

Stefan: All right. And, you know, where do you live? And why do you love living there?

Yolande: Um, so currently, we live in Houston, Texas. I live in Houston with my husband. It's the city that became my home when I moved here as a single, young adult, 22 years old. For my MBA studies from at Rice University. I came in 1992 from India. And in May, my husband and I will be moving to Boston, Massachusetts. And right from the time, so I visited Boston a lot even right from the time that I was dating my husband. When we started in 1996 going out together, you often took me back there he was in New York at the time, took me back there to visit places where he had attended. You know where he loved when he attended grad school at MIT. And it's, I just think it's so beautiful in that part of the country. I think I told you all in my panel interview as much as I love the wide expanse of Texas and you'll understand this Stefan and it's nice to be able to drive about an hour or two hours in any direction and in another one of those, these 50 states.

Stefan: That's yeah, that's a huge point because I've driven to, you know, I live in Katy and we drove to San Diego one summer. And, you know, it's one full day just to get out of Texas. So I feel you there. Well, that concludes today's employee spotlight. I want to thank our listeners for tuning in. I also want to thank Yolande for sharing her very interesting professional journey and some personal fun facts with us today.

Yolande: Oh, thanks, Stefan, for hosting me, and thanks to all our listeners. 

Stefan: So if you've all enjoyed this interview, you can head over to remotish.agency, check out the other Spotlight Interviews. So these can be found by heading to the header of the website, clicking on the resources link, and then clicking on the blog option. Then, this will take you to our catalog of blogs written by team members including our various employee spotlights. So again, my name is Stefan. That's it for today. Until next time, happy hubspotting.

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