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Humans of the U: Hollie Andrus

“I have always enjoyed solving puzzles. I love jigsaw puzzles. I love crossword puzzles. Having pieces to put together has always been interesting to me. When I was in college, I liked math. I thought accounting was a fairly solid profession to go into as far as job availability. And it had a lot of puzzle solving, so that fit right with what I like to do. But then I had an auditing professor who made auditing really, really cool. It’s puzzle-solving. It’s working with people. It’s working to make an organization better. And all three of those pieces really clicked with me. I never looked back after I started auditing. It’s been great.

I’ve gone around and done presentations for different student groups around the state. We often talk about what we dreamed about becoming when we were in 1st and 2nd grade. None of us dream about becoming accountants. We dream about being football players or basketball players or movie stars or rock stars or in 2023, influencers. And then we talk about what all those professions have in common—they all need, or their organizations need someone that can help them with their money. And that’s where accounting comes into play. It might not be the spotlight job, but every organization needs accounting and needs some type of auditing to help them improve their processes.

My first job was in San Francisco at a regional CPA firm. I did some audit and tax work there. I learned that I didn’t mind the tax side, but that I really enjoyed the audit side. I worked there for a few years but wanted to move back to Utah, where I am from. There’s something about the mountains here that calls you back.

I got a job in the State Auditor’s Office and I was originally going to be there just a couple of years till I figured out what I really wanted to do. It ended up being 24 years and I enjoyed every minute of it. When the opportunity to come to the University of Utah arose, I wanted to take it because I love higher education and being on campus and the energy the students bring.

In my job with the State Auditor’s Office, I audited financial statements and federal compliance for every higher ed institution in the state. The U is a complex entity because of all the components that are a part of it—the hospital and health sciences, athletics, the main campus, etc. The aspect I love about audit is helping an organization improve, and in my position at the U, I will have so many areas I can help in.

In addition to working with people, one of my favorite parts of my job is that it is not the same job every day. Every day has different challenges. Every day has different opportunities.”

— Hollie Andrus, new University of Utah chief audit executive