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Blog: Employee Spotlight: Brendan Hynes

Employee Spotlight: Brendan Hynes

What is your professional background?

I graduated from University of Richmond in 2017 and started with Vault in September of 2017. During school, I majored in Accounting with a concentration in Finance. My internships were all finance related, so coming into my first job in an accounting role was very new to me, but I’m currently working on getting my CPA.

What is one outlandish, quirky, or fun thing about you that you do or occurs outside of Vault?

I play professional lacrosse. I played with the Charlotte Hounds the summers of 2017 and 2018, but this past summer I had to take off to study for the CPA Exam. Though, I hope to play again this summer and look forward to getting back on the field. Most people at Vault are very competitive and like sports, so they are very supportive of me.

Describe your role. Do you work for the research or accounting side of Vault Consulting?

I don’t have one specific client. I have about five or six. Normally, every Monday, I’ll go to a certain client, and every Tuesday I’ll go to a different client. I love that about this job. You get to go to different offices.

You could even have a different view every single day. Some people like their own desks, where they can put stuff, but, for me, personally, I like switching up the scenery.

Usually, when I go to client sites, as a senior consultant, I mainly deal with the month-end close process. At the beginning of the month, I go through all prior month’s transactions and do reconciliations for the major accounts and then I do the financials once we’ve reconciled everything and made sure everything in our accounting system is correct. After that, we run our reports out of that system.

I am also part of the intramural club. We are tasked with running things like fantasy football, March Madness, and intramural volleyball for the staff. Each year, we try to squeeze in a few corn hole tournaments to start the summer around Memorial Day—basically, fun things that can be a little competitive but mainly just to get people together.

How did you discover Vault Consulting?

I was going through job posting on University of Richmond website and happened to come across Vault’s posting. I looked into them a little bit more, and it seemed like they would be a very good fit for me. I went in and applied and had a few interviews.

How long have you been with Vault Consulting?

At first, I was a consultant. I was more involved with day-to-day transactional stuff. I kind of dealt more with Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable. I would sometimes charge credit cards, deposit checks, or cut checks to pay vendors. It was daily and weekly transactional stuff; whereas, now I still do that but I also look at all the things that have come in and go out in the month to make sure everything is accountable and nothing is in there that shouldn’t be in there and that there isn’t anything that’s missing.

Any job where you start moving up, you gain more responsibility and accountability. Working in an accounting job means being responsible for a company’s financials.

We have a hierarchy system, so there are many people who look at things to make sure nothing is overlooked. Luckily, I’m the first set of eyes, so I have one or two people that look at it after me.

What is one memorable moment about your interview process or about your first week/day at Vault Consulting?

I didn’t have anything memorable during the interview process. The first project I was assigned to during the first week was definitely memorable. This being my first project, I didn’t know exactly what to do and was staring at it. I’d come to it and stop so many times, not knowing what the next step should be. I felt bad reaching out to others for help about what I should do, but everyone was very willing to stop what they were doing to help me. That was the first time I realized that everyone is willing to help you and that no one is alone at Vault.

What do you enjoy most about the Vaulters’ culture?

The culture is very welcoming and friendly. There are always very high expectations for everything that you do in all of your projects, but at the same time Vault does a great job of making sure they find times and events to appreciate all of our hard work, including the company picnic, holiday party, and annual retreat.

What has been the most surprising/challenging thing about working at Vault?

Probably just having and being on multiple clients–the client engagements, time management, and balancing the multiple deadlines for multiple clients. We always have our schedule that we set for the week, but a lot of the time that tends to change just based on talking to clients and learning that something has changed and they need whatever they’re asking for sooner than you’d expected. I would say it’s a juggling process.

Are you a mentor or a mentee?

I’m a mentee, and I just became a mentor in January.

What are two valuable things you’ve learned or been taught by your mentor/mentee?

I learned not to be afraid of asking questions. In my first week, I learned that when you’re given a task, it’s good to give it a try and see if you can figure it out, but if you come to a standstill it’s always better to ask for help.  They’ll help you, which is better than you sitting there struggling for hours; whereas, instead, you can be on your way.

I learned how to interact with different clients. Every client has their own culture, so kind of just getting a read on that and learning how to interact and behave at different client sites. There are some sites where the doors are always open and it’s a friendly environment with causal conversations, and there are other client sites where it’s a lot quieter and you’re there to get your work done.

Where do you see your Vault career taking you?

Vault has grown a lot since I’ve been here, and it looks like it’s going to continue to grow. I just hope I continue to grow with the company. They put me in a great position to be successful and have given me everything I need to do the job. I really just hope to continue that, and, as Vault continues to grow, I hope to gradually keep moving up the ladder and taking on more responsibilities.

If there was one thing you could say to future or current Vaulters, what would it be?

I would say there’s so much that you can learn from your coworkers since a lot of them have been in the position that you’re in. You should always listen to their experiences because most likely there will be a time where you’ll find yourself in a similar situation. It always helps to know what other people have done and understand how they handled it. You can always share your experiences with someone too, so that they can learn from your scenarios.