Brian Ellsworth, Financial Manager with Alberici, is celebrating his 10th anniversary at the company this month. In honor of this milestone, we asked him to share a little about his time in the industry.
There are many things you can do as an accountant. How did you end up in the construction industry?
My father is a retired tradesman so I’ve been around construction my whole life. After graduating with a degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University, I took an accounting position with a small, family-owned construction company in Topeka, Kansas. I’ve been in the construction industry professionally since that time.
How does accounting for a construction company differ from accounting with another industry?
Accounting is the measurement, processing and communication of financial information. Accounting can be divided into many fields, like financial accounting, management accounting, auditing and tax. What I find interesting about the construction industry is the variety of projects. No two are alike, each with their own unique set of challenges and opportunities.
Speaking of variety, in your time with Alberici, you’ve gotten to work with several different groups. Do you enjoy that?
I’ve worked with many of the Alberici Markets – Kienlen Constructors, Hillsdale Fabricators, Food & Beverage, Heavy Industrial, and Building and Healthcare. I’m currently working with two Flintco Divisions – Austin and Memphis.
There were many iconic projects along the way – Colts Stadium, Olmsted Dam, Seabrook, LPV-111, Holcim Cement, MOX and PyraMax to name a few. I was fortunate to be able to visit many of these projects during construction. With Flintco, I travel frequently to the Memphis and Austin offices. I have been able to make several site visits and spend time with the project teams at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Graceland projects in Memphis and Seaholm and Baylor Business School projects in Austin just to name a couple.
How have things changed since the beginning of your career?
Technology and the speed of, and demand for, information have changed dramatically. We operate today where a premium is placed on accurate, ‘real-time’ information. Generally, I think the level of collaboration and communication across organizations has improved as well.
What advice would you give someone just beginning a career on the business side of the industry?
Get involved with as many aspects of the business as you can. Share your experiences. Engage those around you. Collaborate with your co-workers when and where you can to arrive at the best possible solution.