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A Day in the Life

Andy Walston

Andy Walston

My name is Andy Walston. I have been with Rainbows for a little over 5 years split into 2 time periods. I was originally here from July of 2011 to January of 2013. I then spent a period of 3 years at an accounting firm auditing non-profits and governmental entities. I came back to Rainbows in March of 2016 and have been here ever since.

I have recently been promoted to Controller. I am sure many of you may be wondering what exactly a Controller is. I checked the internet (you know, to insure I was fulfilling all of my duties). The descriptions were so long that I got bored, then distracted and ended up down a rabbit hole looking at pictures of cats dressed up as accountants. No matter how well dressed, I will not be replaced by a cat. Not again. The language barrier alone is hard enough to overcome.

Most of my work here revolves around grants and budgets. Rainbows United receives over $3.5 million in grant funding over the course of a fiscal year. Many of those grants require specific billing and expense reporting procedures to be followed. That is where I come in. I compile the information for grant billings or reports based on whether it is a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual reporting period. Wait, are you still awake? Did you already stop paying attention? I know it is not the most glamorous part of our work here, but proper reporting is the foundation of insuring funding to provide all of the services we do for our clients. Budgeting is essentially the other side of the funding coin. Accurate and complete budgeting helps to guarantee we are good stewards of the funding we receive. I also supervise our Finance Specialist, Tam. Many of the tasks she completes are duties that I once had so I try to help her navigate the accounts receivable as well as possible.

My favorite part of working at Rainbows is all of the wonderful, dedicated people. I know that seems like a lame applause line, a lot like when a band comes to town and says something generic with the name of the town in it to get a huge cheer. But really, I would not have come back to Rainbows if I didn’t believe in the people here. I volunteered for Fashion Passion 2 of the 3 years I was away mostly so that I could come back and hang out with everyone even just for the one night. Fashion Passion is Rainbows United’s largest fundraiser of the year. If you have never been, you should really consider attending or volunteering.

While away from my desk, I enjoy fitness (fitness entire burger in my mouth), cooking and spending time with my family. My twin daughters are in middle school, play volleyball and have given up on explaining to me what is a Colby Brock. The louder I cheer at their matches, the harder their eyes roll. I am sure they will one day think that I am cool again (probably when they read this post).