Why a Banker Counts Cows & Steel

Vonetta Greene and Nick Bell are both accountants who love to travel. They combine these two passions as PNC Bank field examiners who visit all kinds of companies to analyze their operations.

PNC Bank counts on Vonetta Greene and her accounting skills.

As a field examiner for PNC Business Credit, she leaves her Atlanta home to visit businesses large and small that have a PNC loan or want one.

Her job is to travel across the U.S. for a firsthand review of the business, its operations and financial records. For Greene and the other examiners based across the country, it’s the equivalent of trusting the company and then verifying their information.

These analytical individuals have accounting experience and are outgoing, self-starters. They also love to travel because the job requires it about 50 percent of the time. 

They notice if a warehouse is well-organized, whether inventory needs to be liquidated and if products are priced appropriately. They also analyze information, including accounts receivable, to evaluate a company.

Site visits range from an oil refinery and gas station to a grocery distributor, steel factory and bottle cap maker.

Vonetta Greene: Dream Job

During her 10 years as a field examiner, Greene has been to 40 states. Her site visits usually last one week. Once she gathers all of her data, she spends one week at her home office. There she analyzes the company’s financials and considers how current events affect a company’s numbers, such as the price of metal. 

“I’m a jack-of-all trades. One week I’ll be counting cows and learning about the beef industry, while the next week I could be counting cell phones and learning more about the technology business,” said Greene, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting.

Vonetta Greene in warehouse
Vonetta Greene checks a client's stock room to verify data

During the inspections, which can take anywhere from 2-7 hours, Greene learns about everything from how the company runs to how products are made. Depending on the site she may need to wear a hard hat and safety goggles. Some warehouses are a mile long and she will ride a forklift from one side to the other.

I might go to a client’s plant that makes resin, which will be used to make bottles. Then I might go to another client that is making soda that will use the bottles, so we get to see the whole process.

Greene enjoys working with her clients to help them understand the loan process. Most field exams consist of her and a PNC colleague, which allows her to bond with her team. Although they may spend 90 days out of the year in hotels, Greene considers it a benefit.

“This is a dream job for me because I love the travel,” she said. “With my airline miles and hotel points, I can use them for personal travel, such as a trip to Australia.”

Nick Bell: Reach New Heights

During his two years as a PNC field examiner, Nick Bell has enjoyed the variety of auditing work.

“I might be learning about the grocery business one week and an energy marketing business the next,” he said. “Traveling to a production facility is where you can see a product come to life. By going to different companies and learning about various industries, your client’s records come to life, which allows you to understand other aspects of a business as well.”

Nick Bell working
Nick Bell (short sleeves) meets with a client from a steel production company

Bell, a certified public accountant based in Pittsburgh, once experienced life at an oil refinery. Before he could climb to the top of the silo to check the oil level, he dressed in steel-toed boots and a hard hat, watched an instructional video and passed a safety test.

For Bell, the majority of his travel is within driving distance in the Midwest, so he can still go home in the evening. While he travels 13 weeks out of the year, he and his wife appreciate the miles. His extensive hotel points allowed him and his wife to visit Hawaii for their honeymoon.

 

Learn more about careers at PNC

Vonetta Greene
Vonetta Greene has been to 40 states
Nick Bell
Nick Bell enjoys the wide range of industries

Job Summary

What does it take to be a field examiner?

  • Core competencies: Manage risk; Customer focus
  • Skills: Accounting experience; Collateral management; Attention to detail; Effective communications; Flexibility and adaptability