Raised in Whitefish, Sarah Gould ventured to Oregon and Idaho for her college education. She supported herself through college by interning as an auditor with a local CPA firm and cramming through the higher accounting classes at night. She was offered a job at that same firm immediately upon graduation.
Despite the incredible opportunities available to her, Sarah missed the Whitefish vibe, her family, and the endless outdoor adventures. Sarah moved back to the Flathead Valley and began putting down roots and furthering her career experience in accounting and finance — gaining valuable tax, auditing, nonprofit, corporate, and small-business expertise.
She also garnered experience in business, leading nonprofit boards, working as both a CFO and a senior accountant with multiple large corporations.
After 10 years in the field, she felt a calling to do things differently.
As an auditor there were many experiences where Sarah walked into a business and noticed the look of fear and failure on her client’s faces before she even said hello. She reveled in the opportunity to meet clients, help them feel comfortable and confident in their accounting experience. She had (and continues to have) a genuine desire to help.
Sarah says, "People often open business to share with the world their gifts; the chef, the graphic designer, the landscaper. However, there is a whole other part of sharing that craft with the world — the business side of things." Sarah noticed this stressful paradigm especially during tax time.
Observations like this began compounding, and ultimately fueled Sarah's drive to open Elevated Accounting— a friendly firm putting people and their passions first, supporting business owners by solving problems and creating systems that work for people, for their business, and for their employees.
"Business owners want to do what they love, not sit in a tiny office and crunch numbers," Sarah says. "That's how it should be, and that's how we manage our client-centered approach with businesses large and small."
After 16 years of living in and loving all parts of Montana, Krista moved back to her home state of Minnesota for a new adventure. She graduated from MSU Bozeman with a degree in Sociology, and then decided to go after bookkeeping, and earned a degree in Accounting. Accounting resonated with her because the concepts flowed easily, and she honed in a true passion for setting up a company's financials so they are streamlined with a consistent flow.
Lucky for business owners with little time to have their nose in the details, Krista's favorite task is dealing with account discrepancies. She loves the organization and satisfaction of cleaning up a set of books so that the owner can see the health of their company. For her, it's not frustrating... it's like solving a puzzle! Krista likes taking the burden off EAA's clients and putting them at ease, knowing the financial health of their business is being cared for by professionals.
When not crunching numbers and solving puzzles, Krista spends most of her time raising her two boys and renovating an old log cabin off of Lake superior.
Stephanie grew up in small town Laurel, MT. Her career began as a receptionist and quickly advanced when she learned the ropes of the Corporate world. She has excelled in Payroll and has worked with over 31 restaurants to take care of employer & employee needs. She has specialized in employee/employer specific legalities. To complete the experience package, she has small business experience as a dance studio owner, teacher, & bookkeeper due to her time in Billings, MT.
In 2014 Stephanie and her husband decided to uproot their lives and plant themselves in the Valley with their two dogs. She is a certified Yoga instructor on the side and has specialized in Aerial Silk Yoga.
Math and problem solving have always come easy to Stephanie and she shines whenever she can effectively work through a difficult number puzzle. She has a welcoming presence and a helpful persona.
Joanna Ahlin was raised in Kalispell, graduated from Flathead High School, and then decided to journey away to Illinois for a new adventure. She spent the next 14 years there and soon found herself married with two amazing kids. She worked for 10 years in multiple management positions and achieved proficiency in human resources, financials statements, creating procedures, critical thinking, organization, and attention to detail. She has always enjoyed dealing with numbers and making sure all the details are taken care of to fulfill the customers expectations.
After a successful career in Illinois, Joanna and her husband packed up both kids, 3 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 turtle to move back to Kalispell to be closer to her family. She is currently enjoying all that Big Sky Country has to offer. When she is not working she enjoys going to the lake, playing with her kids and watching good movies. She also enjoys going for long drives to take in the beautiful scenery in and around the Flathead Valley.
Joanna enjoys the family-like feel of Elevated Accounting and is more than happy to help any client or staff member with anything they need. Her main goal each day is to strive to make everyone’s day better than it was the day before.
Jesse grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and moved to Whitefish in Fall of 2019. She came here with her partner and children to be closer to family and enjoy all that Northwest Montana has to offer. She enjoys going to the lake, family get-togethers and working on her property and home during her free time.
After getting a degree in Computer Information Systems in college, she quickly learned that accounting was her passion. She spent several years in office management and bookkeeping for restaurants, before moving into higher education. During her time working for the local University, she continued her education in Accounting, and worked in various Accounting and Payroll processing positions within her department.
Jesse thrives on being challenged in new areas and working quickly and efficiently to respond to client's needs. She enjoys month-end reconciliations when she can have meaningful dialogue with clients regarding their accounts. At the end of each day, her goal is to have made the client and her colleague's day, a bit easier.
Liz grew up in beautiful northern Minnesota where she cultivated a love for the outdoors, nature and animals. Hearing the call of the mountains, she moved west in 2016 and has lived in both the Coeur d’Alene, ID and Kalispell, MT areas.
These passions have also directed her professional life. She has worked at a high end pet supply store as well as Crown Enterprises (Sportsman’s and Ski Haus and Tristate Outfitters) where she first became acquainted with accounting, working in their accounts payable department.
Liz finds the process of accounting to be the most interesting and fulfilling as everything has a rule and balances out in the end. She is meticulously detail oriented, efficient and organized.
Liz joins our team from Coeur d’Alene, where she spends her free time with friends, hiking, and kayaking with her 3 dogs and 2 cats.
Born in the heart of Montana in the city of Missoula, Jess has always known the rugged beauty and spirit of the Treasure State as her home. It's a place where big skies meet endless horizons, and where her journey began.
Her formative years were shaped amidst the scenic wonders of Kalispell. It was here that she experienced the rich tapestry of life, laying the foundation for her adventures ahead. High school, however, took her on a new path. Jess found herself in the vibrant city of Billings, where she continued to explore life's opportunities and grow as an individual.
A pivotal moment in her life brought her back to her beloved Kalispell. At Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC), she embarked on a remarkable educational journey, earning a diverse array of degrees. These included an Associate of Science (AS) in Small Business Management, another AS in General Studies, a third AS in Business Administration, and finally, a Certificate of Applied Science (CAS) in Entrepreneurship.
But her quest for knowledge didn't end there. Currently, she's pursuing further education at the University of Missoula, working towards a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Management Information Systems and a Masters in Business Analytics (MSBA). Education, it seems, is not just a choice but a lifelong passion.
When asked about her favorite aspect of her career, Jess lights up with enthusiasm. Her joy in accounting comes from the continuous learning, the art of effective communication, and the ability to adapt to meet each client's unique needs. It's a profession that thrives on versatility and a keen sense of understanding.
Kortni, a native of North Eastern Oregon embarked on an inspiring journey in 2018. Her path led her to the picturesque landscapes of Montana, where she followed not just her heart but her deep passion for the great outdoors.
Beyond her love for the wilderness, Kortni is a dedicated and loving mother of two beautiful boys. In a beautiful twist of fate, she became a proud parent to four other incredible children when blending families, a true testament to her nurturing spirit and her ability to embrace the complexities and joys of family life.
With a keen eye for numbers and a natural aptitude for financial management, Kortni found her calling in the world of accounting. For her, accounting is more than just a profession; it's a realm where she excels effortlessly and stays wholeheartedly engaged. She understands that accounting isn't just about numbers; it's about unlocking doors to a multitude of professional fields, all of which she eagerly explores.
One of Kortni's most significant talents is her knack for taking care of the accounting on the back end of businesses. By managing the financial intricacies, she empowers her clients to focus on their dreams and ambitions, propelling their businesses to new heights. Her work encompasses various aspects of accounting, including the meticulous management of payroll and diving deep into the inner workings of companies to identify strategies for enhanced efficiency.
Born and raised amidst the vibrant vibes of California, Barbara is a testament to the golden state's spirit. Life, however, had a journey in store. Barbara embarked on a series of adventures, with homes that changed like the seasons, eventually leading her to the picturesque landscapes of Idaho. It was the pull of family, the grandbabies, that anchored her there, proving that home is not just a place but where the heart finds love.
Her thirst for knowledge and pursuit of her passion for business led her to the sunny state of Arizona. Here, Barbara diligently worked to earn her Associates Degree in Business Management, an achievement that laid the foundation for her remarkable career.
The most cherished aspect of her work, as she passionately shares, is the people. In her role, she connects with clients, listens to their needs, and offers solutions - often in the form of accounting expertise. The accountability that comes with her work is a driving force. She loves the camaraderie with her colleagues, making each day not just a job but a joy.
Barbara's career is a medley of diverse experiences. She's donned the hats of a property manager, delved into the complexities of real estate, and even tasted the challenges and rewards of business ownership. However, her heart truly resonates with accounting. For her, it's not just about numbers; it's like solving a grand puzzle where every piece matters.
Barbara isn't just a financial wizard; she's a problem-solving enthusiast, a people person, and a passionate advocate for detail and accuracy. She's the bridge between numbers and solutions, a professional who's found her calling in the dynamic world of accounting.
Accounting Specialist Assistant
406-800-1008 Ext 705
Mia is a Spokane native and has always had her roots planted firmly in the heart of Washington. She took an unconventional but successful path through education, graduating high school with not just one, but two diplomas - one from her high school and an AA degree from the Running Start program. After graduation, she was unsure of her path, but spent several years as a dedicated nanny before realizing it was time for a change.
That's when she found Elevated, and it was exactly what she needed. Mia loves accounting because it allows her to work with numbers and puzzles, unraveling the story behind a business's finances. It demands precision and attention to detail, which brings her great satisfaction when solving complex problems.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Mia developed a deep appreciation for the natural beauty of the region, with its lush forests and stunning landscapes. When she's not working, she finds solace and joy hiking and taking part in other outdoor activities. Family is also extremely important to her, and she's happily engaged with her fiance, building a future together with their sweet fur babies in their cozy home.
Mia plans on returning to school to obtain her Bachelors in accounting, which will deepen her understanding of the field and open up even more opportunities for career growth.