Operations

Back Office Hero Sonya Spake

Sonya served in a medical office where she gained a lot of experience in client service. Now, she is a superstar administrative tax assistant and office manager who uses her prowess to bring her joy in her every day work with the clients at her firm.
Tessa Elliott
6 min to read
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Sonya joined Davis Financial Planning in 2017 as the fourth member of the team. This innovative crew in Asheville, NC has quickly grown to a team of seven and currently includes three lead planners, two financial planning associates, one financial planning intern, and a CEO who doesn’t see clients. Sonya’s experience as an administrative tax assistant and office manager at a large accounting firm gave her vast knowledge of financial terms, tools, and processes. She also served in a more public facing role in a medical office where she gained a lot of experience in client service. She eventually made the move to Davis Financial Planning out of a desire to join a smaller, more collaborative team that would let her use her operational prowess while getting the human interactions with clients that bring her joy. 

Operational superpower: I keep smiling no matter what’s thrown at me
Game changing Hubly workflow: Tax Prep CSM” because it helps me know exactly what documents have been received from each client and what is still outstanding. I can see who needs a nudge and who is ready for the team to begin data entry at a glance.
Total active clients you are supporting: 128
Time saved per week since using Hubly: 7 hrs

How did you get into an operational role?  

Since my very first job in a medical office at age 19, I have had many operational roles ranging from front office to supervisor and office management. Operations just come naturally to me and are what I excel at. 

What is the most misunderstood part about back office operations?

Most people assume that a back office role only needs a very limited skill set, that the job is just answering the phone, taking notes/messages but not doing anything of great importance to the success of the company.  The truth is roles like mine are very involved in all aspects of our client relationships from personal cards after a death in the family, to completing complicated forms for custodians, as well as the operations of the business from finance to purchasing to technology. 

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my role is definitely interacting with our clients in a way that feels like I’m building a connection and rapport with them. Creating these relationships is important because it increases their trust and confidence in us as their financial planner. 

How do you see your role changing in the next 5 years with advancements in technology?

In so many ways! I’ll have the ability to do more in the course of a day, deal with less real paper, and it will take less time to get tasks done. I’ll also have to continue building my knowledge and skills in various tools, platforms and integrations. 

What skill sets do you think every operational person needs to have?

Communication is key in an operational role, both verbal and written, to get people the information they need how they need it or best receive it. Being good at an operational job requires having the ability to look at the big picture, a willingness to learn and implement new software and programs, and being able to keep up with a variety of tasks and projects (Hubly helps a lot!).

About Davis Financial Planning

Davis Financial Planning was founded on a simple principle - to help people live their best lives. They love seeing their clients discover what’s possible for themselves and their family through the financial planning process. Each of their clients receives a unique financial plan designed to support their specific goals, passions, and risk factors. They adjust their financial plan regularly to reflect changes in life circumstances and personal priorities.

Since they opened in 2010, they have grown their team, technology, and services so they can maintain personal relationships with their clients and provide expert guidance across financial topics. 

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