Monika Pelz: Audit Partner


Q and A

Q. What can we learn from our past in your business?

Trust your intuition and don’t be afraid to disagree with the majority.

Q. What is the toughest decision you have ever made?

Leaving Ernst & Young to join Armanino because it was a big unknown for me. But Andy Armanino, Tom Gard and Paul O’Grady convinced me that Armanino was a special place.

Q. Without naming names, tell us about your favorite client and why you enjoyed working with them.

I like privately held companies that tend to be smaller to mid-sized because I can get my arms around the whole company. And I like to work with owners who are passionate about their business.

Q. What’s it like working for a company that’s been around for so long?

Armanino has grown a lot in the past few years – especially the last decade – yet the company and our people maintain an entrepreneurial and competitive spirit.

Q. If you could go back in time and change some aspect of your life what would that change be?

I have no regrets, but I was a very shy kid and I wish I had taken more chances.

Q. Who is (or was) the most influential person in your business?

Rachael Perron, the first peer I worked with at Ernst & Young. She exhibited all the qualities I wanted to exhibit as a business professional.

Q. Who is (or was) the most influential person in your life?

My brother, Vince, who is 8 years older than I am. When I was a junior in high school, I didn’t know what I was going to be. He said, “Relax, you’ll figure it out.” And I did. My brother has been a very spiritual yet pragmatic sounding board for me, and he is never (well, rarely) judgmental. I’m lucky to have him in my life.

Q. If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to inspiring accountants, what would that be?

Listen. And don’t be afraid of not having all the answers. It’s OK to say, “I don’t know the answer; I’ll have to get back to you.”

Beyond the Boardroom

What do you do to relax when you’re not at working?

I’m a gym rat. I love the gym, and go there five to six days a week. It’s not only great exercise, but it’s a community.

Favorite vacation:

I went to Spain in the summer of 2009 with one of my good girlfriends. Our only plan was to spend our first night in Barcelona. From there, we traveled around Spain. My favorite place was Puerto Banus on the Southern Coast.

Quotable quote:

“Behind every successful woman is herself.”

What are your hobbies?

I’m a certified sommelier. I became interested in wine because I love to cook. I enjoy matching a dish with the perfect wine. My favorite is Italian food and Italian wines. I’m also a big foodie so I love going to restaurants.

What are you reading right now?

“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” and “They Call Me Baba Booey”

One word that best describes you: