Through hard work and dedication, Angela Barcelos has made a name for herself at CFGI and in the broader financial industry. Growing up in Massachusetts, Angela comes from a family that values education, integrity and ethics — beliefs that have guided her on a successful career path.
A CFGI Partner since 2018, Angela has developed a team of risk advisory experts who leverage extensive experience helping organizations optimize their risk management strategies.
Developing a passion for accounting
Finding the right path forward often requires taking a few twists and turns. For Angela, that meant that her journey to become a finance leader began after exploring other career possibilities.
“My father was a very strong, inspirational person who helped to shape my integrity, my ethics and my career,” Angela said. “He always emphasized the importance of education. When my siblings and I were kids, our weekly trip to the library was a treat. He instilled in us a love of reading and education, as well as work ethic and grit.”
These qualities helped to set Angela on the right track, but she did not immediately discover her passion for finance and accounting.
“Originally, I went to college pre-med, with high hopes of getting into biology or the medical field,” Angela said. “As it turned out, I didn’t like dealing with blood or needles.”
In college, she explored several other interests, including the study of Spanish and performance violin. Ultimately, Angela was inspired by her tax accounting professor, another early mentor, to change her major and pursue a career in public accounting. After college, Angela began working at PwC, performing external audits at real estate and investment companies. While there, she learned about a growing Boston-based accounting advisory firm called CFGI.
Building CFGI’s Risk Advisory Practice
When Angela joined CFGI, the company had fewer than 100 employees. Starting out in the Advisory Accounting Practice, Angela gained more experience in technical accounting work and SEC reporting. She soon got involved with internal controls projects, which quickly grabbed her interest.
Her portfolio of SOX and internal audit work helped to build CFGI’s Risk Advisory Practice.
“I go into companies and look at their current processes, controls and risks; then we tie everything together and make sure that there are no unmitigated risks and that the organization has appropriate, optimized controls. We ensure that they can satisfy internal and external objectives as well as compliance and regulatory objectives. It requires the ability to use logic and think on my feet, which I really enjoy.”
Between 2012 and 2018, Angela’s career progressed steadily. She earned promotions from Manager, Senior Manager, Managing Director and ultimately Partner.
“One of the things I’ve always liked about CFGI is that there has never been red tape or a glass ceiling. Even when I was starting, CFGI was the type of company that, if you want something, and you’re really driven and motivated, you can get it. I really respect that, and I enjoy that because it allows you to grow into what you want to be. I’ve never felt that my gender has held me back or made it harder to climb up the ladder. Throughout my career, I’ve had both incredible female and male mentors.”
CFGI CEOs and Founders Nick Nardone and Shane Caiazzo supported Angela’s career trajectory by providing insightful feedback and helping her to take on new roles and responsibilities. During that time, Angela’s team grew to 50 people, generating more than 20% revenue growth year-over-year.
So it was no surprise that Angela was named a “2018 Women to Watch” by the Massachusetts Society of CPAs — one of only three Emerging Leader award recipients statewide.
Forging ahead in a virtual society
Angela’s strong leadership has helped CFGI continue to grow, even throughout the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a leader, there’s not really a playbook you can turn to deal with some of the things we’ve seen in the past year,” Angela said. “We’ve had to address those challenges as they arose — and the work hasn’t slowed down.”
“Because we’ve become a virtual society, I think the need to have secure systems and networks to ensure your company is protected has come into focus more so than before the pandemic. It’s allowed our Cybersecurity Practice to help clients address those risks and come out stronger.”
The virtual environment has also enabled Angela to spend more time with her family. As an animal lover, Angela has enjoyed the extra time at home caring for her pets, two Instagram-famous Persian cats named Mookie and Teddy. She’s also taken up cross-stitching as a hobby and stays active with her Peloton.
Looking ahead, 2021 and beyond promise to be an exciting time for Angela’s work.
“One of the things I like about CFGI is that, though I’m a Partner, I’m still in the field, doing the work, leading walkthroughs and discussions, doing the documentation and having meetings with clients. That resonates with our clients because they have an experienced expert who has been doing this work for many years with many different companies — someone who isn’t just sitting in the ivory tower, but actually works with them through the process.”
Learn more about how Angela and CFGI provide exceptional Risk Advisory services.