Executive Profile: Louisa Else, Tax Practice Leader
This month, we wanted to share a little more about our newest Executive Team member, Louisa Else. Louisa started with Fine Point in July 2019 as a controller and the manager of our growing tax team. She quickly jumped in on both sides, especially dedicating herself to expanding and defining the young tax offering, and moving up to be the Tax Practice Leader this past August. In this role, Louisa continues to serve as a controller for many clients, leads the tax team in all manners of income tax support, and works with the other members of the Executive Team on the larger goals for the company.
Long before joining Fine Point, Louisa has been an advocate for less traditional work models for the accounting world. She started her career at BDO in Anchorage, Alaska, where she fell in love with both the mountains and the challenges and victories of business taxation (with plenty of individual returns thrown in too). Within a year of starting her career, she had her first child and realized that while the work and the team culture that comes with public accounting is so rewarding, it is one of many careers where the "traditional" path leads to difficulties for parents. She requested permission for a flex-work schedule, a relatively new offering at that time. She became the first associate-level staff member to be granted a full-time, flexible schedule. She began working remotely two days a week and in the office the other three days. She has gone on to utilize the technology that allows her to excel for her clients and her family by employing either formal or informal flexible schedules at all of her jobs since then.
That drive is what brought her to Fine Point as well - the vindication that here was a firm doing what she had been saying for years was possible. It takes work and it takes people with dedication to the philosophy, but it is successful. By empowering the team members to work when and how it works for them, Fine Point provides a service level of highest caliber because the employees are excited about the work they are doing, and are also able to function outside of work in the way that they need, without sacrificing time on either side.
Louisa gained her CPA in 2014 and has worked in tax departments of all sizes, both at traditional public accounting firms and with internal tax teams. She has experience coordinating with outside auditors, controller teams, and working with teammates scattered literally all across the globe. Her favorite part of her work at Fine Point is working with clients to develop a tax plan that is a year-long relationship. She shows clients how putting the time in throughout the year makes the traditional tax crunch in the first couple months of the year run much more smoothly. This unique approach to a tax department and the growth it has seen since Louisa joined Fine Point is one of the things she is most proud of in her career.
Outside of Fine Point, most of Louisa's time is dedicated to her two high-energy children, but she also enjoys movie marathons with her husband, all the football watching they can fit in, crocheting, reading, and journaling. During COVID-19 quarantine, she even taught herself to knit, cementing her "old lady in a 30-something's body" status. Her family is also always counting down to their next visit back to those Alaskan mountains.
Looking forward to her future at Fine Point and her overarching career, her goal is simple: "Everything I do is done with my kids at the heart. I want to build a career and an example that shows my daughter there is a way to be both a highly successful, career-driven woman while also being a present, engaged mom. I want my son to see the same, and to know that he can support any future woman he meets with that same encouragement. Working parents of all types can and should keep kicking at the doors that block us to build meaningful careers that recognize these priorities, so that there are fewer doors for our kids to have to kick and they can find their own improvements to add."