Begum Koulbanis

Senior Associate | Controller

At SMMA

  • Begum’s responsibilities include managing the accounting team, coordinating billing, ensuring accuracy, producing financial statements, and collaborating with the chief operating offices and chief financial offices
  • Applies her years of experience with SMMA and interest in technology to streamline accounting and other processes throughout the firm
  • Collaborates with the IT and Marketing Departments to develop and link effective, accurate databases 
  • Draws on her warm, organized, positive, and focused nature to maintain good relationships and ensure accurate, up-to-date accounting 

Focus on Relationships 

A large part of Begum’s role is educating SMMA's professionals about accounting processes. “Everyone knows that accounting is vital for a healthy business; it’s necessary to know where we stand financially,” says Begum. “I work closely with different groups and individuals to ensure that they know what the accounting team needs from them and when.” 

“Together, we develop a routine works well for each department or manager—and try to make it as organized and streamlined as possible. I think our accounting team is so well respected because we work hard at keeping accounting top of mind for the entire company. And they see how our work helps strengthen SMMA’s reputation, both internally and externally.” 

Company-Wide Technology Improvements  

A few years ago, Begum saw an opportunity to utilize SMMA’s staffing and project budgeting data. At the time, this information resided in separate databases, and using the data to make calculations required the use of several software systems to bridge the two. Begum researched a better solution and implemented a new and more streamlined software platform.