August 2015

  Date:  Tuesday, August 25, 2015
  Doors Open:  6:00pm
  Location:  Biltmore Hotel 
    2151 Laurelwood Road 
    Santa Clara, CA 95054 


In This Issue:
~President's Message~
~August Membership meeting~
~August News~

        -Article 1

        -Article 2

~Board of Directors~

~Committee Updates~

~AFWA Foundation~

~Annual Conference~



Eileen Perry 
AFWA - Silicon Valley Chapter President

Right now there is a great deal of discussion going on about not having enough women in leadership positions.  However, many companies and firms are working now to create an equality of women in leadership roles. It is exciting to see the list of " 2015 Best Public Accounting Firms for Women" and see two of the ten headquartered right here in the Bay Area! (Burr Pilger Mayer Inc. and OUM & Co. LLP) I read an interesting article posted today by Forbes which indicated the gender gap will not be completely closed until 2095. Basically, 80 years from now the gender gap will be equal.

Statistics show that gender balanced leadership leads to higher profitability, ROI, and GDP.  Should we be left to believe that businesses would rather wait 80 years to improve their bottom line?  I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of 80 years before gender equality is no longer an issue considering the baby boomer generation AND generation X will be long gone before 2095.  Even millennials will be well past retirement. Anyone now in their 20's will be 100 plus.

If gender balanced leadership leads a company to a better bottom line, why take 80 years to make it happen?  Anyone reading this, man or women, let's work together to speed up the process.  This brings up another interesting bit I read that stated, "GIRLS compete with each other, WOMEN empower each other."  Can you imagine your work environment where both men and women empowered the other like adults?  Hope I am alive to see cohesive and equal gender equality in my field of public accounting where statics show that it is currently 70% male dominated.

I am going to leave my thoughts there on the subject and do what I can in my career to help even the playing field and carve a path for younger generations of women.  Speaking of women in the field of accounting creating a path of for younger women leaders, Monika Miles is the President of Miles Consulting Group and will be speaking on, " Sales Tax Hot Topics and SALT issues Affecting Clients Today" on Tuesday, August 25 th. Please Note: REGISTER online early since the registration will close the Sunday before the meeting.  Cost at the door the day of goes up for guests AND members. See you there!

August Membership meeting
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Sales Tax Hot Topics and SALT issues affecting clients today

Monika Miles      
Monika founded Miles Consulting Group (formerly Labhart Miles Consulting Group) in 2002. The firm focuses on multi-state tax consulting-helping their clients navigate state tax issues such as sales tax and income tax in interstate commerce, including e-commerce. Prior to forming the firm, Monika worked for over 11 years in Big 4 Public Accounting and 1 year in industry. Monika has provided such services as federal and state income/franchise tax compliance and consulting, sales/use tax consulting, audit support, and credits and incentives reviews. She has served clients in a variety of industries including manufacturing, technology, telecommunications, construction, utility, retail and financial institutions. Monika graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a BBA in Accounting/Finance and has a Masters in Taxation from San Jose State University. Her professional affiliations include the AICPA, Vistage, NAWBO-Silicon Valley, and the Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance (formerly ASWA), where she has served in many capacities, including National President (2011/2012). Monika is honored to be recognized nationally as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and also as a 2014 Woman of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

**AUGUST Special- bring a guest for August meeting to enter into drawing for September meeting entry**

AUGUST NEWSAccountability


Networking Myths Busted!
One of the most valuable career-management skills to develop is the ability to network. Unfortunately, for some financial professionals, the thought of working a room can be downright frightening. But networking doesn't require bold tactics to be effective. In fact, it's this perception and others that discourage many job seekers from networking in the first place. By letting unfounded fears deter you, you may miss out on important professional relationships and, as a result, career advancement opportunities.

Following are some common misperceptions about networking.

Myth #1: It's old school. To the contrary, there's clear evidence that networking is gaining popularity. Nearly half (48 percent) of professionals polled by Robert Half said they're doing more professional networking now than in the past, perhaps because workers know the vast majority of jobs are filled through word-of-mouth.
Myth #2: Networking is time-consuming. Trade shows and meet-and-greet events aren't the only venues to forge new relationships. You can and should reach out to people while going about your normal routine waiting in line at the supermarket or working out at the gym, for example. Don't miss the opportunity to make conversation with those you meet outside of professional settings; valuable contacts can come from any number of sources.


Whether Asking for a Raise or Negotiating Salary, Confidence is Key to Career Advancement- by Accountemps
Self-confidence is the foundation of a successful career in any field, but many U.S. workers are hesitant to assert themselves when it comes to asking for a raise, according to the recent Robert Half Confidence Matters survey . In fact, respondents said they are more confident about speaking in public (66 percent) than negotiating salary with a new employer (61 percent) or asking for more money at their present position (56 percent).
Whether you're an accountant on the job market or a finance professional seeking a raise, confidence matters when it comes to career and work success.
Know your value.
When was the last time you benchmarked your salary against industry standards? Among the workers surveyed, 59 percent checked within the last year. Twenty-seven percent, however, have never looked up their "going rate," with women less likely than men to benchmark their salaries. Keeping up to date with salary trends is vital when it comes to salary negotiations. onsult the 2015 Salary Guide from Robert Half for the latest salary ranges of more than 375 finance and accounting jobs.
It's not easy asking for a raise.
Even though the vast majority (89 percent) of respondents believe they are due for a raise, only 54 percent say they intend to ask for more money this year. This lack of confidence makes other unpleasant tasks preferable to salary negotiation: cleaning the house (32 percent), looking for a new job (13 percent), getting a root canal (7 percent) and undergoing an IRS audit (6 percent). Self-confidence seems to be correlated with years of experience: The longer a worker has been in the workforce, the more he or she is likely to ask for a raise than go through any of the above unappealing options.
Are women less confident or just more careful?
If confidence manifests itself as having the nerves to ask for a raise, males between the ages of 18 and 34 who live in the western part of the United States comprise the most confident demographic. This group was also most likely to have checked their going salary rates within the past 30 days. In comparison, female respondents in general tend to be more risk-averse, professionally and financially. Although more women than men believe they deserve a raise, they are less likely to ask for one.  
Regardless of your job title, self-confidence is key to career advancement . It's crucial to understand that if you don't research your worth and ask for a raise when appropriate, you could be leaving money on the table. So take a chance. Know your value, build up your confidence and start earning what you deserve.
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. More resources can be found at .


Board President:
Eileen Perry

Program Director:
Nicole Sheets

Newsletter/Web Chair:
Amrit Dhaliwal

President Elect:
Edronda Guiriba

Scholarship Director:
Julia Becklund

Hospitality Director: 
Allyson Girardi

Sue Stokke

CPE Chair:
Marvel Khan

Hospitality Co-Chair: 
Barbara Lietzan

Lois Vega 
CPE Co-Chair:
Deborah Rosengarten

Immediate Past President:
Nicole Letellier

Membership Chair:
Fiona Stephenson, ACA



Chair: Nicole Sheets


There is an excellent line-up of programs for the Silicon Valley Chapter this year, and most of them qualify for CPE!  Check out the line-up as we have engaged some dynamic and outstanding speakers coming up for 2015.

Speaker: Monika Miles CPA


Speaker: Dr Frank Wisehart

Speaker: Lynda Boman CPA

Fiona Stephenson, ACA
  • All Levels of Accounting & Finance
  • Bookkeepers
  • Corporate Accounting Finance
  • Public Accounting
  • Management & Educators
  • Recruiters
If you would like to join the Silicon Valley Chapter of AFWA, follow the link to our National website:
Please feel free to complete the application or forward a copy to someone you think would benefit from joining our Chapter.
Prestigious status of professional affiliation
  • National contacts for networking and professional information
  • Forum for CPE
  • Scholarships
  • Leadership opportunities in supportive arena
  • Subscription to Accountability e-newsletter 
  • National and regional conferences at a discounted rate
  • Access to Career Center
  • Access to AFWA's LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter groups and National online membership directory
  • Discounted membership to the Institute for Management Accountants (IMA)
  • Discounted products and services through affiliation agreements
    • CPA review courses, CCH tax & accounting books, Long Term Care Insurance and Bank of America credit card
Email Fiona-

Hospitality Chair: Allyson Girardi
CPE Chair: Marvel Khan

Reservation and cancellation policy:  
Reservations or cancellations are requested by noon on the Friday preceding each meeting.  Email Allyson- to reserve or cancel. The goal is an accurate count for the hotel.  Unreserved members (not guests) incur a surcharge of $5.00.
Reserved members or guests who are no-shows will be billed if not cancelled by noon the preceding Friday. We do want you to come to the meetings and reservations are helpful but if you have to cancel let us know beforehand to avoid incurring the cost of the meal.
WE ACCEPT CREDIT CARD PAYMENT AT THE DOOR with higher cost. Online registration will close on Sunday before the event day. 
Volunteers are always welcome at our monthly membership meetings. Lend a helping hand to make our monthly events and meetings even more interesting while building a great network and forming new relationships.
CPE credit is available for participating in any of our qualified programs.  See Marvel for more details in person at the meeting.

Chair: Amrit Dhaliwal

Send in your articles!


We encourage our membership to submit articles of interest for our monthly newsletter.  Please make your submission under the following criteria...

  • Prepared as a Microsoft Word document
  • Photos in JPEG format
  • captions are okay, no imbedded text, please

The newsletter is prepared and distributed on a monthly basis.  Visit our web site at  If you have questions regarding articles to submit or about the newsletter, email the newsletter chair, Amrit, 

There are four sponsor levels of contribution established for the scholarship fund.
Sponsorship up to $150.00  
Sponsorship up to $300.00 
Sponsorship up to $500.00 
Sponsorship $750.00 or more

Share  the information! 
See Julia Becklund for more  details.  


The Foundation is all about us, accounting and financial professionals, we strive every day to make a difference in the financial world and in our communities. The Foundation is charged with raising funds for national scholarships, and educational advancement of our peers and rising leaders. 


The Foundation offers each of us the opportunity to support the future direction of the profession where we have gained our own personal successes.


It is important to support those entering the profession and working alongside us. Those that follow in our footsteps have much to teach us and much to learn from us. They embody the next generation of accounting and financial professionals. Our goal for you and AFWA is to lead the way in their development.




The Foundation promotes and advances education, career development and leadership in finance and accounting. Our vision is to guide women along the path to achieve success in finance and accounting.





The Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance Annual Conference is the premier networking and education event for professionals and students of Accounting and Finance. The event attracts hundreds of professionals from across the country for four days of educational sessions - providing up to 24 hours of CPE credit - presented by leaders in the industry.


2015 AFWA National Conference

Mark your calendars for the 2015 AFWA National Conference to be held October 26-28, 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA. Registration is now OPEN! Sign up for early bird discount. 



 Founded in 1938, AFWA/ASWA provides  women in accounting and finance the  leadership, education and networking  opportunities needed to achieve their career  goals. Celebrating 75 years as the only  organization that solely represents the interest  of women in the entire accounting and finance  community. The organization's mission is to  enable women in all accounting and related  fields to achieve their full personal,
professional and economic potential and to  contribute to the future development of their  profession.
ADP is offering a webcast to AFWA Silicon valley members, here is the link with more information.