Employee Spotlight - Sara Peralta-Onze

Photo of Sara Peralta-Onze
January 31, 2021
What is your current role at Yale University?
My current role at the university is a Compensation, Accounting & Compliance Specialist within the Controller’s Office in the Finance Group. I’ve been at Yale since July, 2019.
What are your main responsibilities?
My main responsibility is to assist my team with the federal reporting and income tax withholding compliance. We prepare and file the tax forms: 1042’s (deal with payments to foreign persons, including non-resident aliens), and 1099’s (informational returns to report various types of income other than wages, salaries). Some of my duties include: monthly account reconciliations, journal entries, detailed tax transactions reviews, weekly tax payments to the IRS & CT, tax research, and other special projects.
What do you like most about your work?
What I love the most about my job is the support I receive from my supervisor, my team, and colleagues. They made my transition from a corporate environment to the university culture easier and they are always available to ensure I am consistently building on my professional and personal development.  Considering the challenges associated with the pandemic, I think the Yale finance group is doing a great job with support and giving us the flexibility to work from home for the past 9 months, while at the same time, keeping us engaged and motivated to perform our jobs under the new normal.
How does your job affect your general lifestyle?
After almost 20 years in the corporate world, I feel like my job at Yale gives me a real work/life balance. I feel 100% engaged with my job, my team, and at the same time this position has given me the opportunity to explore and benefit from other areas within the university. For example, I joined the Yale Latino Networking Group (YLNG). I’ve participated in some of the wellbeing classes sponsored by Yale WorkLife. Also, I registered for workshops that the Yale Parents Network offers to the university community. Last year, I had the opportunity to host two Yale international students at my house for Thanksgiving. That was a great experience for me and my family!
How did you begin your career?
I started as an accounting intern at Kodak in Lima-Peru, and after a few years, I finished my degree in accounting. I came to the United States in 2001 and was fortunate to immediately find a position with a local CPA firm where I started to learn about US taxes. This motivated me to earn a graduate certificate in taxation from the University of New Haven. From there, I spent several years as a Senior Tax Accountant in the tax departments for some large global companies.  
What steps would you recommend one take to prepare to enter this field?
If you are at the beginning of you carrier path, I would recommend trying to get an internship in any finance or tax department. Focusing on business and finance courses will give you a solid foundation for a future in accounting. Consider taking tax courses and keeping up to date with the tax law and regulations will open more doors. I would say from my own experience that speaking another language is also an advantage.
What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?
Analytical skills: Critical and creative thinking is very important to find and fix errors, detailed oriented, and being able to multitask. 
Organizational skills: Be very organized to handle multiple projects/accounts, manage your time and meet deadlines. 
Communication skills: Be a good listener during a conversation and ask questions for clarification when needed. Have a positive attitude, be willing to accept change, and always be ready to learn.
If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? If not, what would you change?
Yes, I would take the same path and I wouldn’t change a thing. I believe my hard work, perseverance, experiences, challenges, learning new skills, meeting new people, and building lasting relationships make me the person and professional that I am today.
What does YLNG mean to you and how have you contributed as a member?
The Yale Latino Networking Group (YLNG) has been a venue for me to feel represented.  I see all the efforts the group puts in to support the Latino culture through events and programs. I try to participate as often as I can, recently joined the steering committee, and I look forward
to being a more active member and supporting one of the YLNG sub-committees.  
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’m very grateful to be highlighted for this interview and I’d like to remind everyone that we are fortunate to be part of the Yale community. While not required, Yale makes significant efforts and investment to go above and beyond to make our lives better.  I encourage all to take advantage of the large variety of resources that Yale offers.