Financial Controller for APAC
Brazilian-born Aline runs APAC’s accounting and tax functions from Sydney, all while staying caffeinated and connected to her global teammates.
What’s your favorite Groupon memory?
The Sydney office is pretty good at surprising its employees. One day we had “Bike ‘n Blend” at the office, which was essentially a bike in the kitchen with a blender attached to it. All you had to do was choose the ingredients, cycle, and you would have your smoothie prepared by your own cycling efforts!
Who or what inspires you?
My family inspires me. They taught me to be a strong, independent woman, and to never give up no matter how hard things can get.
How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
As the business is always looking for ways to improve customer experience and ROI for our merchants, I need to make sure that we are doing the right thing from accounting and tax perspectives. Luckily, we have great communication between the departments in ANZ, which makes my job much easier in identifying issues and finding solutions for potential problems.
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So where were you before joining Groupon and what brought you here?
I worked at Ernst & Young in the audit function for 9 years. One morning, we had our all hands and the Oceania CEO said that people should update their CV every 6 months so they could track what they have learned. He said, “If there isn’t much to be added then you need to do something about it.” That made me reflect and I realized that although I had had an amazing 9 years with E&Y, it was time for me to move on as I did not see myself as a Partner and I wanted to try something different. That night I applied for a role—which happened to be with Groupon—and on Monday I accepted an offer! Everything happened very quickly, basically within 4 business days! It was the best move for me as a person and for my career and I have absolutely no regrets.
What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?
I joined Groupon in May 2015 as a Finance Manager for ANZ. In January 2016, I got promoted to Financial Controller for ANZ, and after one year to Financial Controller for APAC. I now oversee Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the India accounting teams. For me, having this international experience with so many amazing people from different countries and backgrounds is awesome. Although it has been only 2.5 years since I joined, I’ve learned and experienced so much! There has not been one day that I feel bored at Groupon; I truly enjoy coming to work every single day. I’ve had so many great opportunities and exposure to things that I am 100% sure no other company would give me. I’m very grateful for everything that I have been through and also for all the opportunities that my managers and Groupon give me.
What do your parents think you do?
They think “I run this place!” The problem is that they just don’t think: they actually tell all their friends in Brazil (I am from Brazil!) It is embarrassing! I told them people can actually see on my LinkedIn profile what I do so they should stop saying this!
Accounting roles obviously exist at many companies, so what’s unique about your role here?
The international experience is something not many companies could offer. I love liaising with teams across the globe in so many different departments. I usually start my day with speaking to Chicago, then with Japan throughout the day, and finish with India and EMEA. Also, having exposure to so many different areas and new ways of doing things is something that is unique to Groupon. Although I am literally on the other side of the world (Australia), I have the full support of my manager and also other areas of the business. I am never alone! I feel we are all working toward the same goal and that I am part of “one team, one dream.” For me, all of these things make my experience with Groupon unique and it would be very hard to find anything better anywhere else.
If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?
I would be a barista. I love Art Latte! People in Sydney take coffee very seriously: never mess with it!
What’s your favorite local business?
Siam Orchid, a massage place next to our Sydney office.
Can you write a Groupon haiku?
Make life less boring—
With customer happiness–
This is fulfilling