November 2015
  Date:  Tuesday, November 17, 2015
  Doors Open:  6:00pm
  Location:  Burr Pilger Mayer
    60 South Market St., Suite 800
    San Jose, CA 95113

November Membership Meeting
Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform)
"What it means for you and your clients."
Chris Canales     

Chris Canales is Senior Elite District Manager with ADP. He will be sharing insight about Affordable Care Act.

His presentation will provide an overview of various aspects of the Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform) with a focus on what it means for you and your clients. He will explore trends within the healthcare marketplace along with specific provisions of the law and their implementation. He will discuss the Individual Mandate and its impact including the available small business tax credit and offer a compliance calendar checklist. His presentation also cover trends influencing the affordability of healthcare. Attendees  will walk away with both a broad-based knowledge of Health Care Reform and some specific impact to them and their clients.

Chris graduated from Eller Business School at the University of Arizona with a Business Management Degree. He has worked with ADP for 4 years specializing in ACA compliance and guidance for small to medium sized businesses in the state of CA. He has helped many companies with handling the complexities of running a business, especially dealing with ACA.

Burr Pilger and Mayer
60 South Market St.,
Suite 800
San Jose, CA 95113


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Tuesday December 8th, 2015

Board Immediate Past President,
Nicole Letellier's Home
1087 Roy Ave., San Jose, CA 95125


Join us for an evening of drinks, dinner, and gifts 
to celebrate the  holiday  season for 
the Accounting and Financial Women's Alliance  Silicon Valley Chapter.
Watch for the registration link and more details to come!


  • Silicon Valley Chapter Of AFWA 
    Receives Chapter Achievement Award
  • A Call to Action for AFWA Members
  • Relieving the Pressure:Keeping Finance upto date with Technology

Eileen Perry 
AFWA - Silicon Valley Chapter President

Happy November and happy early Thanksgiving to all of you! This is the month that some people start counting their blessings and reflect on the things they are thankful for. I am thankful for so much in my life right now. They say true happiness is found by wanting the things you have. I don't have a million dollars or a sauna built into my bathroom, but I know if life goes on without those things I will still be very happy. People in accounting have many things to be thankful for and one being the job market outlook for 2016. Various sources point out unemployment for accounting professionals is currently between 3% to 4%.

Regardless of the fact that a high number of accounting degrees have been awarded over the last few years, it is still challenging for businesses to hire and retain professionals at all levels due to the high demand. With more graduates obtaining accounting degrees, what sets them apart from each other? What gets them hired over the thousands of other college graduates?

After talking with many professionals at various levels, many say it is those who have soft skills. Technical skills may get you the interview, but soft skills will land you the job. It is not a matter of being outgoing, but being able to clearly communicate, knowing how to collaborate with a team, adapt to change, conflict resolution, observation and proactive listening. I try each day to improve my soft skills and know that I will always have to work hard to improve these skills.

Some firms and companies do not have the time or resources to provide training for such skills. Therefore, it is up to you to work on them on your own time. To help me work on my soft skills, I became a member of my local chapter of AFWA and joined the board. Serving as the President of the Silicon Valley chapter has been very rewarding and there is plenty of room for anyone to get involved. You don't have to be President, any role on the board is just as rewarding. Being a member of the board allows you to collaborate with a team and test your ability to utilize and learn additional soft skills. So join, get involved, and see for yourself! In the meantime, let's all be thankful for the things we have and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Don't forget that our monthly meeting has been moved up a week to accommodate the Thanksgiving break. Please join us at the offices of Burr Pilger and Mayer on Tuesday, November 17th!

PLEASE NOTE: Get registered EARLY online for all meetings, since the registration will close the Sunday before the meeting. Cost at the door [on the day of the meeting] goes up for guests AND members.

Be sure not to miss out and to register early ..... and have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Silicon Valley Chapter Of AFWA 
Receives Chapter Achievement Award


The Silicon Valley Chapter of the Accounting and Financial Women's Alliance was recently  recognized with a national Chapter Achievement Award in the category of Communications.

11/9/2015 (Lexington, KY) - The Silicon Valley Chapter of the Accounting and Financial Women's Alliance (AFWA) was recently recognized with a national Chapter Achievement Award in the category of Communications. The awards were announced during the AFWA National Conference held in Pittsburgh, PA in October.

Through focused efforts on social media and communications through a monthly newsletter the Silicon Valley Chapter of AFWA has increased its reach, thus creating new opportunities for sponsors and potential members.

"We are impressed with the Silicon Valley Chapter's commitment to consistent communications and efforts to engage Young Professionals," said AFWA National President-Elect, Linda Harris, CPA.

The Silicon Valley Chapter of AFWA will hold its next event, Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform) - What it means for you and your clients, on Tuesday, November 17 at Burr Pilger Mayer. Learn more at

About The Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance: The Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance promotes the professional growth of women in accounting and finance. Members of the nationwide association benefit from opportunities to connect with colleagues, advance their careers, and become industry leaders. For more than 75 years, the organization has proudly upheld its mission 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. Visit for more 

A Call to Action for AFWA Members
By Dianna M. Patton, AFWA National President

Was that not a great conference in Pittsburgh! It was wonderful to see old friends and make new ones too.

If you didn't go to the 2015 National Conference, you missed our great opening keynote presentation from Dawnna St. Louis and missed the parade. You missed laughing during the general session "Holy Mother of Fraud" and being updated during our closing keynote "Professional Ethics in Action". Also, you missed out on the fun in The Foundation Amazing Race, the Awards Breakfast, and countless other fun filled events. You also missed the annual business meeting where I challenged our members to start thinking about how we want this 77 year old organization to continue to serve our members into the future. So now, I'm carrying that challenge on to all of our members.

We all became members of AFWA because someone asked us and we felt welcome. Your National Board needs your help to be an ambassador of this great organization. Everyone needs to bring out your pom-poms, to look for every opportunity to talk about this organization, to welcome new people, new thoughts and maybe new ways that have not been tried yet.

We will be working to offer a member ambassador program to provide tools for members to promote AFWA. In addition we will be working on streamlining your national board structure and provide more opportunities for volunteers to be involved on the national level, in addition to updating chapter structure to help our chapter leaders. We will also look to do an expert directory in the next three years - an opt-in opportunity for members to list themselves in a public directory to grow their business or network. And finally, we will plan to do a knowledge center for providing industry knowledge, programs and additional learning opportunities. There is so much to be excited about in the coming three years and hope that you get involved in these great programs. I know I'm looking forward to making strides in changes for our association.

I recently had the opportunity to attend the  ASAE CEO Symposium with our Executive Directory Ericka Harney, and learn more about association leadership. In many ways AFWA is ahead of the curve compared to other professional organizations with regard to best practices. However, we still have work to make our organization even better. This is where you come in. One of my take away's from the symposium was to engage members you must: (1) have them work on the things that they are passion able about; (2) see that the work is making a positive difference; and (3) it must be fun by providing an enjoyable opportunity for involvement.

Your National Board is working to get the AFWA name out and to generate more brand recognition. Recently I was interviewed for a national publication to give small business owners tax tips. They found me because of AFWA. And Ericka Harney has been asked to review several chapters of a business valuation book that, once published, will list AFWA  in the credits.  More and more members are finding us using social media and on the web so getting our name out is increasing. But again it is that personal touch that will get them to become members and stay members.

So I have a call to action for you all - be the voice of AFWA -promote our mission, programs, and the power of this network. In being the positive voice for what AFWA brings to the profession. There will always be areas for growth and change. Don't talk, DO! Get in here and get your hands dirty- if you see a problem, fix it, offer a solution. If you don't have one, research the best practices and find one, cheer on the person who does have a solution, or seek advice from other chapter leaders, national board members and headquarters.

Every member should not rest if we want AFWA to benefit all of us. If you pay dues, you don't automatically get benefit - you have to be involved to see benefit. You have to be engaged and take advantage of all the opportunities your dues provide. You have to give a little to gain a lot in a networking and professional organization.

If we all work to improve the member experience, we all benefit and this organization grows and expands. Be open to new ideas. Take risks. AFWA is the venue to TRY! Leave here inspired, driven and carry a fire in your belly for this mission. We can't do it without you. We need all of you to be the inspiration to others. We are all women helping women. Let's make 2016 the best year ever!

Relieving the Pressure: Keeping Finance Up to Date With Technology
By Robert Half

Financial leaders' roles are expanding, compliance demands and costs are rising, there's a new revenue recognition standard to implement, and - oh yeah - finding the staff needed to manage everything is increasingly difficult. As stressful as these issues are, though, chief financial officers don't think they're the greatest concern for accounting and finance functions.

In a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey, CFOs cited keeping up with technology as the greatest pressure facing their teams.

"Technology touches every aspect of accounting and finance, and many organizations struggle to keep pace and understand the associated opportunities and risks," said Paul McDonald , senior executive director for Robert Half. "Although updating technology requires an initial investment of time and resources, it can pay off in terms of improved financial reporting, enhanced security and the ability to make better decisions. It also helps companies strengthen their internal controls and remain compliant with regulatory mandates."

continue reading       


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:
Deborah Rosengarten

Hospitality Co-Chair: 
Barbara Lietzan

Lois Vega 
Membership Chair:
Fiona Stephenson, ACA

Immediate Past President:
Nicole Letellier



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.

Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform) - "What it means for you and your clients"
Speaker: Chris Canalas

AFWA Silicon Valley chapter's annual Christmas party

GAAP Update
Speaker: TBD

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: Deborah Rosengarten, CPA

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 Debbie 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,


Amrit is interested in hearing about your latest achievements and activities too, she will include the appropriate content in next newsletter. 

There are three sponsor levels of contribution established for the scholarship fund:
Sponsorship up to $150.00 
Sponsorship up to $200.00 
Sponsorship $350.00 or more

Share  the information! 
See Julia Becklund for more  details.
(Please contact Julia for information about our annual May Gala sponsor prices.)


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
The 2015 National Conference was a huge success! Thanks to our chapter delegates and members who attended to represent out chapter and take part of the biggest AFWA event of the year. 

Mark your calenders! The 2016 National Conference is to be held Wednesday October 26 through Friday October 28 in Denver, Colorado.

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.