Volunteer High Five: Alison Dunnebecke

Alison Dunnebecke
One of the lucky folks who discovered their passion at an early age

Alison Dunnebecke is one of those lucky folks who discovered their passion at an early age.

The moment of clarity came in high school when Dunnebecke identified a love of numbers and bookkeeping. The spark lit over debits and credits took hold. She has now been a number cruncher, ledger balancer, and all-around tabulation and tax expert for more than 35 years.

“I took a bookkeeping class in high school that got me interested in accounting and never looked back,” she said.

She came to Colorado in the early ‘80s and worked as a Tax Supervisor with Laventhol & Horwath. Next came work with Hein & Associates where she served as a tax partner. Hein combined with Moss Adams in 2017.

Balancing spreadsheets, analyzing taxes, and tracking cash flow came naturally to Dunnebecke, who won a Future Business Leaders of America contest in Utah. That victory sent her to a national competition in New Orleans at the end of her senior year. She did not place in that national test, but only because Dunnebecke had already graduated high school and was more focused on college at the University of Utah than balancing figures near Bourbon Street.

“I did not study too much for the national competition,” she said. “I had already won the state contest. I was just excited to get a free trip to New Orleans.”

She earned a bachelor’s degree in tax accounting then moved to Denver to start a career.

She chose Colorado, because that let her stay close to the mountains, and be away from home and test her independence.

“Moving to Denver was far enough away to be independent, but if I fell flat on my face, I could go back home,” she said.

The fall never came. Instead, Dunnebecke found work right after college and stuck with accounting for the next three decades.

“I chose this work because I was good at it,” she said of her accounting career. “I like the problem-solving part of it. With accounting, you put all the financial statements together and everything has to fit. It’s like a puzzle and everything has to balance at the end.”

Numbers are words to Dunnebecke and she likes sharing the stories they tell.

“I got into the tax side of this and have done that for 35 years,” she said. “We all have to deal with taxes and when I help the numbers come together, it is a great source of accomplishment.”

Dunnebecke accomplishes a great deal for Colorado Companies to Watch. Dunnebecke is the non-profit’s treasurer and she is on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.

“I help with the Alumni Committee, give presentations, help facilitate the annual judging process,” she said.

She jumped on board with CCTW nine years ago and enjoys her work because it gives her a chance to give back to a business community Dunnebecke adores.

“Moss Adams has always been supportive of people being active in the community,’ she said. “The firm is supportive of getting out and being part of the community.”

Dunnebecke said CCTW is an amazing place because the non-profit brings together visionaries and risk-takers chasing a business dream.

“I am always amazed at the ideas that people come up with the new businesses,” she said of those she meets through her volunteer role at CCTW. “They are willing to mortgage their futures on an idea. They take great risks. It amazes me that people can do that. I guess I am too chicken to try it. Maybe that’s why I am in accounting.”