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Gaining fulfillment: a CPA’s career transition to the cloud

Oracle NetSuite - Shairmane

Moving from a traditional accounting firm to a cloud company may seem like a bold move for some, but it was an easy decision for Shairmane Gonzaga. Learn how her career goals are being met working as a Vertical Lead with Oracle NetSuite and why she thinks great things await for you.

Why did you transition your career from an audit firm to a cloud company?

At the time, leaving the audit firm was a tough decision, because I believed that staying there would be the best path for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) like myself. People told me that if I wanted to keep learning and gain experience, then public practice was the way to go. After reflecting on it, I decided to join Oracle NetSuite’s ERP Customer Support team. I chose this path because of what they had to offer—what I had to gain at Oracle was more than what I had to leave behind. The opportunity was one I had to take, one that offered work-life balance, just compensation, and continuous learning, and growth as a professional, as a CPA, and as a person.

Tell us about your journey here and how your duties have evolved.

I first joined Oracle NetSuite as an External Auditor, where I applied by CPA skills communicating with clients,  and managing audit procedures to test the effectiveness of the client’s internal controls  and detect any material misstatements or fraud. In other words, inquiring with management/the client, confirming with third parties, vouching and tracing, re-performing what the client did, analytical procedures, and recalculation. Fundamentally, I gathered evidence and performed tests, which were the basis of the opinion issued by our partner.

I then advanced to become a Support Representative, where I handled customer inquiries and documenting any concerns. I really enjoyed the troubleshooting in this role, which involved working with our Product Managers, re-performing the steps taken by the customer, recalculating the amounts computed by NetSuite, and testing if a behavior was a standard one or a defect. I helped customers understand how the Oracle NetSuite ERP system works by reading articles and testing; I then relayed the options they could take when they faced a problem, and filed defects and enhancements when appropriate.

Now I am pleased to have become a Vertical Lead, where I managed advanced testing concerns and guiding our Support Representatives on how to handle uncertain cases. In addition, my other main responsibilities are studying new features released, conducting in-depth product training, assisting managers/team leaders on assessing if a behavior is a standard one or a defect, and coordinating cases with other product areas. Essentially, if you have questions about the product, I’ll give you an answer, as I’m the point person for all technical queries.

How is a day in the life of a Vertical Lead?

If you experience a day in my life as a Vertical Lead, you’ll feel like everyone’s search engine or wiki—everyone, from Support Representatives to Managers, relies on you for accurate information about the product, how the system behaves, best practices, and even how accounting standards/principles apply to a specific system behavior. Other than that, you’re like a teacher who teaches lessons and trains your students (Support Representatives) to be independent, and to be even better than yourself. It may sound difficult, but if you have the passion to learn and teach, I assure that you’ll enjoy it.

Why do you enjoy working in the ERP Customer Support team?

I enjoy my work because I love what I do. As a Vertical Lead, it’s my job to be the point of contact for technical questions, to be a walking encyclopedia. Since I love to learn, it’s a delight to be that person. However, my fulfillment doesn’t come from pride of being a Vertical Lead; it comes from successfully helping Support Representatives improve, so that they can stand on their own and reach their full potential; it comes from helping them carry their load to get through each day. It’s the people—my team—who inspire me in my role; they are the reason why I show up with good grace at work every day.

Oracle NetSuite Team

What are the career opportunities available in your team?

If you join the ERP Customer Support team, you’ll start as a Support Representative, whose primary tasks are to research, test, and communicate with customers to help them resolve their problems. You then have the choice to advance to a specialized ERP Customer Support team, or to become a Vertical or Team Lead. If you have the passion to learn and teach, become a Vertical Lead. If you have the heart to lead people, become a Team Lead. Visit our website to learn more about our open positions.

Do you have any career advice to share with our readers?

My advice is to be open-minded. If I hadn’t been open-minded, I wouldn’t be with Oracle NetSuite today. I would have missed this great opportunity, which currently gives me fulfillment and happiness. I have a practical outlook on my career, and I would recommend others to try viewing their careers from the same perspective, as it has its benefits. When you focus on being practical, hundreds of doors open for you. When you have your passion as your career, I think you’re lucky.

Do you want to join the Oracle NetSuite ERP Customer Support team in the Philippines? Send your résumé today to our dedicated Senior Oracle Talent Advisor, Janine Alexis Javier to consider you for one of our open positions—or connect with Shairmane Gonzaga on LinkedIn for a friendly, Oracle-related chat.


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