Alissia Pope in BPM’s Santa Rosa office wins North Bay Women in Business award

Alissia Pope

Tax director


110 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa 95401


Alissia Pope says this is a time to trust your team mates. She is a 2020 North Bay Business Journal Women in Business Awards winner.

Professional background: I have more than 20 years of tax, accounting and business management experience, primarily focusing on providing comprehensive financial and business counsel to privately held companies.

I specialize in the consulting, planning and preparation of individual and business entity tax returns, mainly for consumer business and professional services organizations, and I provide guidance in regards to structuring new business entities in order to maximize tax benefits.

I have a vast book of clients in the architecture, law, engineering and wine/craft beverage industries. Some of those clients have been with me for my entire career.

Education: Graduate of Sonoma State with a business administration degree in accounting and an associate of arts degree from Santa Rosa Junior College.

Staff: My very talented group of individual from partner to interns that I have the pleasure of working with daily.

Tell us about yourself and your company: I entered the accounting world as a secretary for a bookkeeping practice in October 1993. I found my passion for accounting through that opportunity and used that as my launch pad to focus my schooling and career.

I was able to transition to my current position through various mergers and acquisitions of local companies, where I worked through the ranks and was fortunate to work great people and mentors in the assurance (financial statement) and tax departments.

They helped me determine my core focus and true passion in tax at BPM. BPM LLP is one of the 50 largest public accounting and advisory firms in the country. With more than 500 professionals along the West Coast – as well as offices in India and the Cayman Islands – we help clients succeed around the world.

We offer a cross-functional team approach that gives clients direct access to the best and most qualified resources.

Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?

BPM is a great supporter in helping staff find their industry of interest/passion and working with you to build your skill sets and knowledge of those industries. This has afforded me the abilities to get involved with various organizations within and outside my initial interests.

Through BPM, I help at various nonprofit events to help with food or auction items. I currently assist our North Bay office in organizing our Kid Street Reading group. Prior to SIP, we would go every Tuesday at lunch and help with reading.

I am proud to help keep BPM connected to the community and serve children in the education space.

What is the achievement you are most proud of?

I am most proud of the recognition as one of the North Bay Journal’s Women in Business with a very talented group of women leaders.

I am also fortunate to work with many of the past year recipients.

What is your biggest challenge today?

COVID-19 has presented a multitude of huge challenges for the accounting industry and every client I work with. However, I face many of the evolving tax-planning challenges created by shifting guidelines and new laws every day to ensure my clients make the best decisions they can in our current situation.

Words that best describe you: The words that would best describe me are loyal, dedicated, collaborative, compassionate and scrappy.

In my career, I have not been afraid to take on a challenge and am eager to learn as much as I can. As a team member, I cannot do this alone, and working with staff and clients it is best to build that trusted relationship to help all succeed.

In what ways have the pandemic and the shelter-in-place orders changed who you are as a person that will be a part of you long after the pandemic has passed?

The pandemic and SIP orders have changed how I interact with family, friends and coworkers.

I am a hugger, when it comes to family and friends, and having to physically distance to stay healthy is hard. I think this will stick with me for a while, since we are all more aware of our interactions with each other.

The pandemic has a silver lining for me as a CPA in the tax world, because I was in my busiest season when the pandemic hit. I was spending a lot of time at the office away from my family. I have since been working at home with them for over 12 weeks and am fortunate to see them growing and learning on a level I would not have experienced before. This has changed how I look at work life balance. It’s not a balance but a way of life that is woven together, so you can succeed in both areas to the best of your ability.

Also, what ways do you think it will change the way you go about your career and your business?

Like many businesses, BPM is rethinking the way we work in the office. Working remotely has always been supported by BPM, so the transition was easy for many of us who took advantage of flexible work schedules and remote work environments before the SIP.

However, I think it will change the way I interact with clients, as I will not be able to visit their sites as often or meet with them in person in our offices. I am grateful for the video conferencing and technology tools that keep us all connected, in the meantime.

And when it comes to the COVID-19 issue, what are some the lessons learned for the business community?

The importance of flexibility. We live in a time where people work in different places around the world, in different time zones, and with different living and family needs.

It is more important than ever before to trust our business partners, teammates and technology to keep us connected, productive and profitable even if they do not work a traditional 9-5 in a traditional office.

As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?

The accounting profession is a traditionally male-dominated one. In the past, women have had to work harder to climb the ranks and prove their knowledge.

I am grateful to work at a firm like BPM, which focuses on empowering, mentoring and supporting women within the industry so we have an opportunity to keep growing and succeeding.

How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?

I think you will see more women in leadership positions and flexibility in where we work. With SIP, our industry has moved quickly to successfully establish our remote work schedules.

Who was your most important mentor?

My grandmother, Norma Billing (Nana to me). She was a hardworking woman with her own in-home business as a childcare provider. She was tough as nails but kind hearted when you could break through the outer shell. She was devoted to the kids she took care of and often treated them as family. She would be the first to tell you that you need to enjoy what you do and lead with your heart.

She instilled in me the values I use in my day-to-day life as a professional and mom. She would be excited to see the accomplishments I have made in my family as a mom of twins and a professional in the accounting field.

What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the work world today?

You are the future of public accounting. Women have been under represented at the high levels in public accounting firms, but a shift is on the horizon. There are many intellectual women in our firm, as well as others, and I see great strides and efforts made to help them reach the top.

Typical day at the office: Meetings in-person or on the phone with staff and clients, tax review, mentoring lower staff, helping work on potential business transactions. Every day is different and challenging in its own way.

Best place to work outside of your office: At home, minus the 4 1/2 year old twins that I love dearly.

Social media you most use: Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Stress relievers: Listening to music and spending time with family.

Favorite hobbies: Gardening, cooking, reading a good book and talking walks.

What would parents or significant others say if asked to brag about you?

I am a hard worker and dedicated to not just work but my family. Family always comes first and they are my biggest supporters in everything I do.

Alissia Pope

Tax director


110 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa 95401


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