A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:


Title: Senior manager

Age: 31

Rachel Flaskey, senior manager in the Minneapolis office of accounting and advisory firm Baker Tilly, has won national industry recognition for her work in forensic accounting and business valuation.

Flaskey was one of 32 certified public accounts under age 40 to receive "Standing Ovation" honors from the American Institute of CPAs. The association launched the award this year to recognize "the rising stars who have gone above and beyond in (their) specialty areas."

"It was a great honor to be included among all those individuals," Flaskey said. "It's taken a lot of work and a lot of pursuit on my part, but it was great to be recognized for those efforts."

Those include volunteering with the association and taking steps to advance the profession, including writing articles, mentoring college students and networking with valuation professionals, Flaskey said.

Business valuations help companies determine a price at which to sell or to buy another company, Flaskey said.

Baby boomers seeking to maximize their business value so they can exit at a high price before retiring help to keep her busy. Flaskey's business valuation work sometimes requires testifying in divorce cases involving a business that one or both spouses own.

Flaskey, who earned an MBA from the University of South Dakota, was working in her own business valuation consulting practice when Baker Tilly Virchow Krause recruited her in 2013.

She began working in public accounting in 2007.

Q: What's made you successful in doing business valuations?

A: I'm naturally curious and have a willingness to learn. I try to ask as many questions as I can of the management, so I can get in there and understand what's making this business run. You have to look at the business internally as someone who would come in and run it and also externally like an audit.

Q: Does your forensic accounting experience come into play in your business valuation work?

A: That happens quite frequently. It probably gets brought up more often when we're doing valuations for divorces. Sometimes we value businesses that have poor record keeping, so we have to recreate things or look at how many personal things an owner was running through the business. Did this business really need a yacht? Does it need five collector cars to run a franchise restaurant?

Q: What brought you to Baker Tilly?

A: What excited me about Baker Tilly was it was a place for growth. They had won best workplace awards several years in a row and their core values were something I could identify which.

Todd Nelson