BEHIND THE SCENES with Ashley Gilleland, Accounting Manager

In our last BEHIND THE SCENES feature, we speak with Ashley Gilleland, our Accounting Manager. I bet you didn’t know we have one of those! We do, and she’s terrific. Ashley keeps us in line and organized, and makes sure all our financial ducks are in a row and accounted for. But it’s not just about crunching numbers. Ashley also helps us manage our database, and assists us with documenting pivotal financial information needed to keep us running smoothly.

These features have only provided you with a sample of the incredibly creative and hardworking staff at The Atlanta Opera. It would have been wonderful to feature all of us, but we hope you’ve learned a little more about how we work together behind the scenes to bring you the art that sings.

And now, last but not least, Ashley….

1. What is your role with The Atlanta Opera?

I am the Accounting Manager at The Atlanta Opera. I am responsible for daily accounting functions, such as receiving income and preparing bank deposits, recording invoices from all the departments, and processing those invoices for payment. I assist with month-end reporting, as well as with the annual audit. I also manage transactions and reporting in our Tessitura database.

2. Why is it important to have an Accounting Manager?

The Accounting Manager position is important because I act as a liaison for the staff and the Finance department. I aim to answer questions, research, and assist with reports for staff, so they may use their time and efforts towards reaching their budget goals.

3. What skills are necessary to be a good Accounting Manager?

I believe organization, time management, attention to detail, and patience are necessary skills for an Accounting Manager.

4. What is your background and experience, and what led you here?

I graduated from Auburn University with a BFA in Production Management. I started my career in the arts as a stage manager, and then worked in the box office for two performing arts organizations. My first box office job introduced me to the Tessitura database that we currently use at the Opera. I have been fortunate to have been using and learning the database for the last 6 years. Before working at the Opera, I worked at the High Museum of Art in the membership department. The High had just converted to Tessitura, so I was happy to have already been familiar with the system. I began working with the accounting staff at the High and found I really enjoyed the finance side of the arts. I came to the Opera last June, after I was thrilled to see the job posting for an accounting manager. I am a self-proclaimed opera geek and fan, so it was a dream come true to accept this job!

5. Why do you do what you do?

I have a passion for performing arts, especially opera! I love that I get to be a part of the amazing work that The Atlanta Opera presents every season.

I enjoy being a part of the behind-the-scenes operations of arts administration, and work with a fabulous team of talented people every day.