The New Normal: TXCPA-SA Member Judi Molina, CPA

The New Normal: TXCPA-SA Member Judi Molina, CPA

CPA Judi Molina at her WFH* desk

Your TXCPA-SA Chapter is reaching out to your colleagues – CPAs, CPA candidates, student members and affiliates – to learn how you all are coping with the new normal brought on by COVID-19.

TXCPA-SA member Judi Molina, CPA, Financial Accountant on the Enterprise Consolidations & Intercompany team at USAA and currently an MBA student at St. Mary’s University, offered the following information about her new normal.

Are you currently working from home, in your office solo or in the normal pre-COVID-19 arrangement? Working from home for 5 weeks now. And all spring courses are now online at St. Mary’s (one of my courses was always online so not much change there).

How many people did you work/study with normally? Team of 5 at USAA but department of about 50. Classes are less than 20 students.

What was a typical day like before “Stay Home, Work Safe”? Typical day was getting to work at 8:30, maybe going to the gym at USAA at lunch time, coming home between 5 and 6, class at StMU on Mondays, walking the dog/checking the mail/picking up packages, having dinner at home or going out to eat (never realized how much we enjoyed eating out or going to a bar until we couldn’t do it!), bowling league on Thursdays, homework at some point. I am a pretty boring homebody on a regular basis.

What is your typical day like now? I start working between 7:45/8 am (lucky USAA! I start working earlier now  – though it’s not THAT early haha), hearing my fiancé in the other room on his 7:40 am calls for his work at Valero (so grateful I don’t have to do this), make some coffee, go about my morning. I make sure to take a one-hour lunch EVERY DAY and either workout in the living room or go for a run/walk, finish my day and go for another long walk (usually with the dog). We cook more at home, still order out every once in a while, and we have watched A LOT of movies and documentaries. My school is still going on, so I still do homework at some point.

Can you share a small or big success story or silver lining that you didn’t expect? Big success is probably managing to get through normal day-to-day duties without dramatic interruptions. My dog is not disruptive, and Skype for business works really well for team communication at work. I feel more productive during the day, but definitely miss my standing desk! Overall I’d say my department at USAA is handling the work-from-home transition extremely well – it’s going to be hard when they ask me to go back to the office!

Has there been a small or big not-so-successful happening? This is probably “first world problems” but we live on the 3rd floor in our apartment and our downstairs neighbors take major issue with us working out in the living room. Gym is closed though, so I’m not apologizing 😊

Any words of wisdom for your fellow accounting types?  Don’t take this situation too seriously to the point where you make working from home harder on yourself. Get your work done, but who cares if you have to step away to turn on the dishwasher or let the dog out. We are all human and need the same amount of brain breaks at home as we would take at work (socializing, walking to get water, running over lunch, etc).

What are you most grateful for now? Most grateful for my job at USAA and the way our new CEO has handled this situation. I am safe and I am able to do my job effectively from home. USAA is also providing meals/groceries to employees via a drive thru pick up station (at our expense of course) and this has made the battle for bananas at the grocery store so much easier. I’m also grateful for what feels like extra time in every day.

What do you miss the most? Quite honestly, I miss the friendly security guards at the USAA gates greeting me by name and telling me to have a good day every single morning.

Be sure to tell the people you miss how much you appreciate them. That goes for all of us!


*Work From Home