Quantcast
Don't miss
Home / Supplements and Special Sections / 2020 Unsung Legal Heroes: Accounting

2020 Unsung Legal Heroes: Accounting

Kelly Chomhirun

Financial Analyst

Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale

Kelly ChomhirunKelly Chomhirun is a true pro, an experienced financial analyst who stays cool under pressure and always has time for a colleague.

“Her professionalism is unparalleled — she always explains herself calmly and clearly and has a reassuring demeanor that lets colleagues know she will handle the situation,” her nominator said. “I have been impressed with her time and time again.”

Tell us about your day-to-day duties in this role.

I provide insight and recommendations on financial performance via models, reports and analysis. I assist in the preparation, approval and presentation of the annual budget, along with subsequent performance measurements and variance analysis. I also prepare profitability models, analysis and recommendations for attorneys to assess new and existing client performance.

Tell us about your key accomplishment(s) in this role.

My first large project at the firm was integrating firm-facing analytics software with the back-office matter management system. Later, I worked with management to implement the profitability portion of that same analytics software. More recently, I was a key member of the implementation team for the firm’s new matter management software, which went live last fall.

What led you to choose a career in the legal field?

I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, seeking a financial analyst position. I took a leap of faith, stepping outside my comfort zone of the manufacturing industry to take on new challenges.

What is the best part of your job?

I really enjoy working with all departments and levels within the firm; this gives me the opportunity to see all viewpoints and to assist wherever I can. I enjoy helping people while focusing on efficiency improvements.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Never second-guess yourself with financial data, if you can’t recall the exact value, tell the requestor you’ll double-check and get back with them. A few extra minutes is absolutely worthwhile compared to giving out incorrect financial information.

What is something that would surprise people about you?

In college, I briefly considered changing my major to meteorology.

Michelle Ferrara

Chief Financial Officer

Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard

Michelle FerraraMichelle Ferrara joined Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard with 20-plus years of industry and public accounting experience. So when it came time to address the COVID-19 fallout, she was more than ready.

That included guiding the firm through the unfamiliar terrain of the federal CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program.

“Michelle’s guidance during the PPP process has not only made the loan process easier on the firm, but she has also created a solid financial plan to keep the firm moving and growing post-COVID, providing peace of mind to our members and clients,” her nominator said.

“She’s an influential business leader with strong financial reporting, analysis, financial modeling and operations experience.”

Tell us about your day-to-day duties in this role.

I’m responsible for the integrity of the firm’s financial information and systems and directing the overall financial policies. I provide financial updates to the executive committee and work closely with leadership across the firm to maximize opportunities to influence financial performance and achieve strategic goals. I oversee a 22-person team in finance, IT and operations.

Tell us about your key accomplishment(s) in this role.

I developed an extensive liquidity projection model, which uses a combination of accounts receivable, dollars billed and prior-year averages to predict cash flow. I’ve enhanced profitability reporting and analytics by leveraging technology to measure profitability. And I’ve automated as many processes as possible — a true passion.

What led you to choose a career in the legal field?

I am fairly new to the legal industry, having spent most of my career in banking and financial services. I was at a point in my career where I was looking for new challenges, and the legal industry has not disappointed me in providing those challenges.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Always do the right thing.

What is something that would surprise people about you?

In 2014, I climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*