Emily Masi ’10 studied Business Administration at UVM and is now an accounting manager at Avery Brewing in Colorado. We talked to the Cape Cod native about her decision to move out west and career advice she has for UVM Business of Craft Beer students.
How did you find a job at Avery Brewing Company?
After I graduated from UVM, I moved to Boston and worked as a public accountant/CPA for four years. I got really burnt out on the long hours and the stress of that job. I was ready for a change when I moved to Denver in 2014. Colorado has a similar vibe to Burlington. After graduation, many of my UVM friends moved out to the Denver/Boulder area. After a few fantastic visits combined with my growing disdain for the public accounting life in Boston, I decided to make the move. I quit my job with nothing lined up, packed up my sedan, and landed on a UVM friend’s couch. Eventually I moved in with my friend who was working at Stone Brewing and helped me get the job at Avery.
What does your job entail?
I moved into the accounting manager position about a year after I started working at Avery Brewing. I manage two employees and I’m heavily involved in the monthly and annual close process. My biggest challenge in the close process is reconciling inventory, since we carry so many different brands and package types of beer at Avery.
We are growing, but still functioning as a small company, which means I wear lots of hats and get pulled in many different directions. One of the big side projects I worked on this year was setting the prices for all of our national and local distribution. I also took over the budgeting and forecasting for our tap room and restaurant this year.
You were a guest speaker in UVM Business of Craft Beer Program. What advice did you share?
Take advantage of all of the amazing resources that this program has to offer. I am so jealous that this program is a thing, I wish I could have utilized this while I was a student. One of the best tips for getting into any industry is that you are passionate about is taking advantage of any networking opportunity.
This course brings you into contact with many people from the brewing world, so my biggest tip is to take advantage of that. Ask a ton of questions about their real life experience, hear their stories of how they got into the business, build relationships that will allow you to call on them again when you are in a place where you are ready for more of their assistance. Try to get as much exposure to the industry as possible.
What are some brewery accounting practices that you recommend?
Do lots of research before you get too far along in your business. There are different rules in each state for reporting operations and submitting sales and excise taxes. You want to make sure you understand those before you begin to reduce your risk of being non-compliant. Keep your records organized and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Make friends with other young breweries in your area, they will become a great resource for you as you figure these things out.
What’s one of the biggest accounting mistakes breweries need to avoid?
Poor financial planning, or not having a budget. We’ve had different phases of growth at Avery where we found ourselves figuring things out as we go, and it usually makes a mess that takes longer to clean up later.
What’s your favorite Vermont beer?
Last time I was in town I couldn’t stop drinking Zero Gravity’s Conehead.