Spotlight on Sarah Bailey: Why I Joined Accordion
After 11 years at Big 4 accounting firms, Sarah Bailey found her way to Accordion.
“I’m grateful for my time as a Big 4 consultant, but Accordion was the perfect career move for me. At Accordion, I get to be more hands-on within the office of the CFO.”
Before joining Accordion in early 2018, Sarah was living in Boston and working at Deloitte as a Senior Manager in the Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures practice. Today, she’s a Senior Director on Accordion’s Financial Accounting & Advisory Services (FAAS) team – with a focus on financial integration for executed M&A transactions. This is her story…
Tell us about your life before Accordion.
I spent 6+ years at Deloitte, preceded by 4+ years at Ernst & Young. Both roles were rewarding and paved the path for me to succeed as a financial consultant. At Deloitte, I advised financial and strategic buyers on pre-acquisition due diligence, financial reporting aspects of transactions, Day 1 readiness, and post-merger integration. My focus was primarily on healthcare providers, but I also worked within other healthcare sectors such as pharmaceutical and medical device. At EY, I provided financial assurance services across similar industries, as well as venture capital and energy.
What prompted you to make a career change?
I was happy in my role, but I’m a firm believer that growth—both professional and personal growth—happens when you step outside of your comfort zone. I had spent over a decade at Big 4 consulting firms and I was eager to explore something new. Accordion felt like that something; I was attracted to the entrepreneurial energy of the firm – the agile and growth-focused mindset was magnetic.
Aside from wanting to scratch that entrepreneurial itch, I was also ready for a change in the type of work I was doing for clients. Accordion offered the opportunity to be much more hands-on within the office of the CFO. Instead of checking a client’s work, I’d be doing the work alongside the client – serving as both an actual practitioner and as the CFO’s strategic partner.
Since Joining Accordion, what have become your favorite aspects of the firm?
It’s hard to choose a “favorite.” From a culture standpoint, the people here are fantastic – not only in terms of their skill sets, but in terms of their genuine compassion for one another. There’s a spirit of camaraderie that stems from wanting to see one another succeed, both professionally and personally. Because of this, my job feels like it fits into my life – rather than my life fitting into my job. That’s not to say that the hours aren’t long and the work isn’t challenging, but it feels like the right balance. I also find the work itself to be extremely rewarding, as I get to roll-up my sleeves and work within the office of the CFO of private equity backed companies.
“Part of what attracted me to Accordion was the firm’s focus on private equity – the sense that Accordion is truly driving change in the PE industry. This continues to be one of the most exciting aspects of working here, particularly as we invest in building our own tech platform (Maestro) to improve portfolio operations.”
What would you say to someone thinking about joining Accordion?
Do it. If you’re hungry for a change…If you want to leave the structure of a big firm behind you…If you want to make your mark on a growing firm’s future…If you want to be around wonderful people…Accordion is the perfect place for you. We’re expanding into new geographies (like Boston!) and new practice areas – and we’re looking for talented, analytical athletes to help shape a new era in private equity.