Welcome to our Meet the 50 Team series, where we give you the lowdown on how the people at 50onRed get stuff done. This time we’re sitting down with one of our Staff Accountants, Mark Quitevis!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your role here.
I’m the newest member of the Accounting Team at 50onRed. I’m originally from Los Angeles but moved to San Francisco in 2010 after finishing my studies, where I was fortunate enough to be able to work with two really cool startups in the advertising space: Revision3, Inc. (ex-Digg and Tech TV founders) and Credit Karma, Inc.
I left San Francisco in mid-August of 2014, and my girlfriend and I camped across the country to my new home of Philadelphia, where I started at 50onRed a few months later. I work closely with Alexa, John, Michele, and Peggy to support AP, AR, revenue recognition, reporting, and month-end close functions of the business.
How did you first get involved in Accounting?
I know lots of people say this, but I just kinda fell into it. Like many fresh high school graduates, I had no idea what sort of career to pursue. I attended California State University, Fullerton, which was known for its Business program. I went in without a concentration, but after taking more and more classes, Accounting seemed like the concentration I was most interested in. It’s not the most magical way of finding a career path, and I probably didn’t realize this at the time, but the Accounting field plays to a lot of my strengths.
Accounting is a service department to the rest of the company. I can help to make raw data valuable and communicate it to others. I like that about it.
Who are your mentors here, and what have they taught you?
Everyone on the Accounting Team has been a huge help getting me up-and-running here at 50onRed. Even with the same Accounting functions present wherever you go, the procedures are usually different. John and Alexa have been really great for taking the time to teach me the new processes and methodologies that get things done around here. Sometimes, you can get caught up in the details dealing with so much data at the transactional-level, but the entire team–especially Michele and Peggy–are always more than willing to explain the bigger picture and all the moving parts from a higher level.
You work among a lot of developers and designers. What’s the best part about working with innovative, tech-savvy peers?
I’ve always thought of myself as fairly tech-savvy since I first started customizing my AOL profile with copy-and-pasted code I found on the internet. Even now, I could spend hours on Reddit trying to keep up-to-date with whatever’s trending.
It’s nice to know that at work I don’t have to worry about missing anything importantly unimportant. I can just lurk #random on our Slack network to stay on top of everything happening outside the office.
What must-have tools do you use to get through the work day?
I love (and I mean love) MS Excel. Not to toot my own–TOOOOOT! Sorry, had to do it. Let’s just say, I’m pretty good with Excel.
I was really fortunate to have an old boss teach me some valuable tricks with Index, Indirect, and Match functions. Because Accounting is a lot of manual input and data entry, I make templates with these functions whenever I can to automate any manual process I might run into. It takes a bit of time to make the templates, but it’s worth it. With templates, data entry or data manipulation that would’ve otherwise taken an entire day to do is cut down to a fraction of the time and effort. Manual data entry and manipulation leaves room for a lot of human error, so I try to minimize it whenever possible.
You’ve only ever worked for startup companies. Why do you choose to stick with startups, and what makes them unique places to work?
I enjoy working for startups because I get to use my talents to provide service to other departments and have more opportunity to see the results firsthand.
At startups, I can avoid being pigeonholed. I’m not really interested in specializing in one Accounting function. Instead, I appreciate working with smaller, often under-staffed, teams because it tends to give me the chance to get involved with many functions of the Accounting Cycle. I’m more able to understand the business because I can support more than just a small, contained portion of it. I get to add more tools to my Accounting toolbelt and see my work be useful to the rest of the company. I think that’s something unique to startups.
You’re pretty into guitar pedals. How did that start?
I’m a music fan and play guitar. I still have dreams of being part of a successful music project.
I enjoy music that has weirder elements, but that are still melodic and accessible. Guitar effects were a way to make my guitar not sound like a guitar without having to learn a new instrument. Laziness, really. I spend a lot of time on forums reading about them and watching demos. It’s a problem. I often wire and power my pedalboard, only to take it all apart to try a new signal path or accommodate a new pedal. Here’s how it looks right now.
You’re originally from California. How has your experience working on the East Coast differed from the West?
I’m not certain it’s changed all that much, actually. I was afraid after moving here and starting my job search that I’d have to cut my hair and trade in my hoodies for suits. I did put on my professional disguise for a few interviews, but in the end I knew that that wasn’t the environment I wanted to be in. I wanted to be in a more relaxed setting, where I could forget the formalities and how horrible I was pulling off this suit, while still being myself and focusing on doing good work.
What makes Philly such a cool city?
I haven’t been here that long, but I can say the pride natives have for the city is the strongest I’ve felt anywhere I’ve lived. Even before moving here, I heard great things about the music scene and have already seen a lot of great shows at various venues around the city. And, of course, the food. I got here just in time to huddle in for winter, but I’m excited to venture out more as the weather gets better.
What are your favorite perks working at 50onRed?
Seamless Thursdays, fo’ sho’. I’m such a sucker for eating out. I also like the Honest Teas we stock in the fridge.
What advice would you give those on the job hunt looking to work here?
With so many moving parts, new technologies, and stakeholder-relationships to understand, the industry can be confusing. A basic understanding of the different platform technologies and how they relate to different stakeholders will help you understand how 50onRed operates in the space. Once you’re here, everyone is very helpful answering questions.
Want to learn more about 50onRed and see what opportunities we have available? Head over to our Careers page.