Meet Tony Bowar! Assistant Controller located at our Minnesota office.
Tell us about yourself!
I grew up in New Ulm, MN. My mom and dad were teachers and school counselors, so I grew up appreciating education and educators at an early age. I also enjoyed the strong tradition of baseball in New Ulm, playing for many years and growing up watching hometown guys like Terry Steinbach make it to the “show”. While my dreams of playing major league baseball didn’t pan out, my love of baseball has endured. I did go on to play baseball in college at St. John’s University, where I also earned an Accounting degree while enjoying the beauty of the “pine curtain”. I also met my future wife there, so I have lots of strong bonds from that college. Despite what my boss would say, St. John’s is a great place to spend your college years, and prepares you well for success in life. The Johnnie brotherhood is alive and well, and the connections have helped me throughout my career. I also have an inactive CPA license, and a few years ago, I went back to school and got my MBA at Augsburg College.
How did you hear about Edmentum?
I started at Edmentum in December of 2013 and found out about the opening from a placement firm I was working with. I worked previously for a medical company in southwest Bloomington, MN, in the same business complex that Plato Learning was previously located, so I had heard of the Plato company name. The more I learned about Edmentum as I went through the interview process, the more excited I was to join this passionate group of people. I was looking for a company that has a positive impact on the world, and Edmentum’s mission to improve education is something that resonated with me. I am very proud to be a part of this organization and to be part of the leadership team that is trying to help us accomplish our goals.
What are you and your department responsible for?
I oversee a talented staff of accountants who handle the day to day accounting functions for the company. The department’s main areas of responsibility include accounts receivable, collections, revenue accounting, cash management, accounts payable, expense reimbursement, Academy accounting and billing, fixed assets and product development. Besides working with my team on these areas, I spend most of my time on debt covenant compliance, financial statement preparation, audits, royalties and rebates, month end close, and maintaining and improving controls and procedures.
What interests you about the field you are in?
I enjoy being the “scorekeeper” of the company’s financial results. I love to work with numbers, and being part of the team that compiles, tracks, and provides data that can help management make decisions about the company’s direction. I enjoy helping people, and I view our Accounting team as an internal resource for our fellow employees.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?
I most enjoy compiling and analyzing the monthly financial statements. I enjoy making sure we have accounted for things correctly, and making sure that the financials we’ve compiled make sense based on what we know about the business. The month end close process has a cyclical rhythm that I enjoy, which allows us to compile, review and complete a set of financial reports that tell a story about the company every month. Of course, it’s always more fun when the numbers look good! I also get to manage other members of the accounting team, and I enjoy the mentoring aspect of that, along with the comradery of working together as a team to accomplish our goals and serve others in the company.
What activities are you interested in outside of work?
I really enjoy coaching youth sports, especially baseball. I have a 12 year old son who plays, and I have spent many years coaching him and his teammates, and hopefully for a few more years yet to come. Baseball is a great game, and is a sport I know well, so I really enjoy teaching kids how to play the game the right way. It also can be a great stress reliever after a tough day, to go outside in the fresh air, bat balls around and throw batting practice to these boys are who trying to improve their skills. And when you see the kids improving, and most importantly having a good time doing it, it is so rewarding.
What are your professional goals?
My main professional goal is to contribute to the success of an organization, while hopefully continuing to learn and gain experience that keeps me challenged and gratified.