Accounting for Great Causes

ABout Our COmpany

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Our Approach 

Our US-based team members have years of experience as successful finance directors of nonprofits. We don’t just understand accounting and bookkeeping, we understand the day in, day out of how nonprofits actually function. Each of our clients has a dedicated US based manager who helps keep everything on track, able to not only understand your needs, but anticipate them.  

Our India team members are expert accountants, steeped in the intricacies of GAAP, cyber security, and cloud-based technology. They have spent years executing on the needs of US based clients using cutting-edge technical knowledge.

 

Your team works closely to provide the superior customer service that Sutro Li has become known for.

Plus, our team is fun to work with.

We aren’t just accountants, and as you read below, you’ll see we are musicians, circus performers, foodies, parents, and more.

We don’t just build streamlined accounting systems, we build relationships with our clients, and it is often the personal touch that can turn a necessary accounting meeting into something you look forward to on your schedule.

 

 
 


Meet Our TEam

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Burton Li, CEO

Our fearless leader, Burton spent the first decade of this century as a nonprofit accountant by day and an indie-rock lead guitarist by night. A dedicated conservationist, he rode his bike around San Francisco to the offices of his clients, building deep relationships with over 30 nonprofit clients.

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In 2009, his legs were getting tired, and Burton’s love of technology lead him to discover the glory of cloud accounting. Sutro Li was founded, and, under Burton’s heartfelt and earnest leadership, it has since expanded into an international team of CPAs, finance directors, and bookkeeping experts serving a growing roster of great causes, both nonprofit and mission-driven small businesses.

Burton lives part time in San Francisco and part time in Truckee, with his wife, two children, and two dogs. When Burton isn’t hard at work finding ways to make Sutro Li of even more service to the world, or being an engaged father and husband, he still fits in the occasional lead guitar when he can, but more and more it is the river that calls him to seek it’s music.

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Urvali Badamikar Kalvade, Staff Accountant

Having graduated with a degree in computer engineering, Urvali comes from an IT background and has worked with Multi National Companies such as the US based Cognizant Technology Solutions in India and Johnson Controls in Dubai.

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Currently pursuing an MBA in Finance, she is now in the final leg of her studies.

These experiences have greatly helped her in handling the accounting work at Sutro Li. With her technical expertise, the intricacies of cyber security and the cloud based accounting software were easily understood. Being an avid learner and meticulous, she strives to be at the top of her game.

She is also a proud mother of three-year-old, Myra, and loves music and reading books, and has also passed three Classical Dance “Kathak” Examinations.

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Krissa Nichols, Account Manager

Krissa Nichols joined the Sutro Li team as an Accounts Manager after 7 years as the Finance and Operations Director at the Edible Schoolyard Project. She brings extensive experience in donor and development database management, human resources, and cloud SAAS applications.

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A natural teacher and innate problem solver, Krissa is a master at creating simple, elegant and trustworthy systems to streamline routine tasks with input from multiple stakeholders. Pictured here with her son, Krissa balances her work with motherhood, as well as her passions for reading sci-fi and fantasy and cooking delicious India-inspired meals for large groups.

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Capt. Ajay Badamikar, India Managing Director

The captain of the metaphorical ship that is our office in Pune, India, is quite literally a captain. Capt. Ajay Badamikar spent 25 Years of his career running a successful marine services company, after competing at the national level in sailing regattas during his college years.

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After Burton and he met through personal connections, it was Ajay who laid the foundation for our Pune office, and he continues to play a key role in supporting the infrastructure and growth of our team. A passionate lover of Indian Classical Music, Ajay has been studying tabla for the last few years, continuing a lifetime of learning even as he has become a proud grandfather.

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Chris Dunn, Chief Operating Officer

Chris brings over 20 years of experience serving the nonprofit sector to Sutro Li. He began his career as a grassroots organizer, knocking on doors and making phone calls, passionately building the movement for a more sane and just foreign policy.

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Since then, he has channeled his talent for leadership and financial administration into roles as a fundraising program director, a founder/director/ringmaster of an international social circus and arts education organization, a volunteer board treasurer, a nonprofit tax preparer, and foremost as a finance director of mid-sized nonprofits.

Settling down with his wife, two children, and two cats, Chris brings his wealth of experience and meticulous care to dozens of nonprofits from his home office in Eugene, Oregon.

As Sutro Li’s Chief Operations Officer, he is responsible for updating and maintaining the standards of Sutro Li’s accounting services, a task for which his ringmaster skills are very much put to use.

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Randi Hopkins, Account Manager

Seen here with Krissa, sporting saris gifted by our India office, Randi handles several roles at Sutro Li. The back office guru to our team, she maintains and reports on many of Sutro Li’s own admin needs, including our contracts and services agreements, in addition to managing clients as an Account Manager.

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Perhaps our most experienced team member, she’s been in the field since 1969, combining skills in scientific research, computer programming, and accounting. Her Excel skills are epic. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband, and has two grown sons, who, from time to time, share the stage with Burton, as they all play music together.

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Bannigan McDade, President

Bannigan has over 20 years of experience as an activist and has spent the last 13 years as a Finance professional. He was trained in nonprofit finance by Chris Dunn during their shared tenure at Peace Action West, and later developed a passion for business strategy working as a CFO in San Francisco’s competitive startup sector.

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Now he is merging the best of both worlds, and brings efficient facilitation and a keen eye for strategic growth to Sutro Li and our clients, alike. Bannigan has left behind the big city life, and now resides in Ashland, Oregon, enjoying small town living and frequent hikes in the wilderness. When he’s not working to bring efficient accounting to nonprofits and small businesses, you’ll catch him at the local cafe working on a sci-fi novel.

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Sarvesh Bhandare, Staff Accountant

Sarvesh first gained experience working with overseas teams while working independently for a leading UK-based advertising company. This experience has served him well at Sutro Li, and he is now one of our strongest staff accountants, handling the day to day for a wide breadth of US-based organizations. He has recently completed his MBA degree in finance management.

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Born and raised in Pune, Sarvesh strikes an impressive figure on his motorcycle, and spends his free time exploring the delicious cuisine of Pune. He loves to organize events and programs for the office, and recently organized a badminton tournament for his coworkers. A self-described travel geek, he has dreams of traveling to Las Vegas, Greece, Scotland, and Italy, amongst other destinations. Sarvesh’s social media game is on point. We try to limit him to only one selfie per meeting, but with a face like that, who can blame him?

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Vikram Raje, Staff Accountant

Vikram is a dedicated accountant; he has proven himself to be able to handle anything we throw at him. An incisive mind, with a breadth of experience across various industries, we are happy to have him on the team. A lifelong student, Vikram is pursuing post-graduate courses with the Institute of Cost Accountants of India.

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Vikram enjoys reading biographies of famous people, watching historical documentaries, and is also something of a fitness guru, fastidiously maintaining a healthy diet, and working out to keep strong. When he’s able to get away, Vikram enjoys exploring the natural world, finding peace and beauty among the wild places of Maharashta.

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Apurva Kulkarni, Human Resources Executive

Apurva brings a wealth of management and HR experience to Sutro Li. She’s spent eleven of her eighteen years in IT as a manager, leading a team of 25 for IBM. She is taking her experience and first hand knowledge of what did and didn’t work for a large company and helping to design the infrastructure and policies to bring success and growth to the entire team.

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She loves to take initiative, and has started many staff engagement activities like a regular nature’s walk and an office sports tournament. Not to be underestimated, she also won the Women’s Single in the company badminton tournament. When not at work, she loves singing, and performs in a number of programs.

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Nat Smith, Account Manager

Originally, Nat came to accounting as a former grassroots fundraiser and organizer. Discovering their aptitude for the work, and enjoying the impact strong accounting systems and financial understanding have on growing organizations, Nat has flourished as a nonprofit accounting expert.

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They’ve brought to Sutro Li a broad range of experience and skills, having helped found nonprofits, served as a Board Treasurer, as program staff, as development staff, as a volunteer, as well as serving a wide variety of organizations as an outsourced bookkeeper.

Nat views their work as an Account Manager as a pathway to building autonomy for disenfranchised communities. Since joining Sutro Li, Nat has stepped into the role of Controller/CFO for their clients, when required, and continues to develop their skills in new ways. In addition to their passion for providing a strong foundation for nonprofits to thrive, Nat is a Licensed Veterinary Technician, and loves spending their free time rehabilitating wildlife.

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Seema Gupta, India Team Manager

Seema has 15 years of experience in accounting and auditing. She is also a certified accounting technician and commerce graduate. Seema was our first team member in India and has been instrumental in growing our Pune-based team.

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She plays a variety of roles at Sutro Li, including recruiting and overseeing the team in India, assisting the US-based Account Managers with particularly difficult accounting challenges, and directly managing the accounting services of US-based nonprofits. You would be hard pressed to find a nonprofit accounting problem that Seema hasn’t had to solve.

In her free time, Seema enjoys watching movies, listening to songs, and solving number puzzles like Sudoku.

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Akshay Thakur, Staff Accountant

Akshay has a Masters in Business Administration with a focus on finance, and spent the early days of his career focused on operations accounting. A quiet, genial and thoughtful presence, his talent, experience and education have played a key role in rounding out our client support teams. He has a knack for learning new technology and Sutro Li’s cloud-based, innovative accounting practice suits him well.

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Born and raised in Pune, Akshay loves to play cricket. He also loves dancing and rhythmic music and enjoys trips to the seaside with family and friends.

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Maureen Graney, Account Manager

Joining Sutro Li in April 2019, Maureen Graney brings more than twenty years of nonprofit financial management to the team. Her early career experience includes accounts payable and expense tracking in the dynamic world of nonviolent direct action environmental organizations. Effective resource use and audit accountability allow Maureen to keep in action while accounting for the great causes that Sutro Li serves.

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Her dual role as a mom has enhanced her patience and drive to stay ahead of the curve. Fascinated by glow worms and night rainbows she is in nonprofit mission-driven work for both joy and purpose.

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Utkarsh Joshi, Senior Staff Accountant

Utkarsh joined Sutro Li after gaining four years of experience in the fields of auditing, accounting, and taxation. After completing his three year internship in one of Pune's oldest Chartered Accounting firms, he worked as an Assistant Audit Manager for a year. He passed the Diploma in International Financial Reporting course conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in 2018. Thanks to his audit experience gained over the years in a variety of industries, his contribution to Sutro Li has been phenomenal.

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A skeptical mind accompanied with a never ending urge to improve things, he has done a great deal to streamline many of his clients' processes while he takes on the challenge of on-boarding new clients. Being a national medalist in water polo, he has been a great team player ever since. While working at Sutro Li, Utkarsh managed to juggle work, his passion for water polo and guitar, all while pursuing the qualification of Chartered Accountant conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, which he recently achieved! On his time off, he can be found strolling in the wilderness with his pet dog, at the swimming pool taking a dip or improving his guitar skills.

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Ketaki Chitnis, Staff Auditor

Ketaki has six years of experience in accounts and auditing. She has completed a Chartered Accountant intermediate course held by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India as well as a Masters in Commerce. Before joining Sutro Li, where she specializes in preparing nonprofits for their annual audits, she gained experience working for multinational corporations, including being personally responsible for the accounting of British company.

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She has also passed four exams of the harmonium and participated in inter-college dance competitions. Loves to travel around and cook new Indian dishes.

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Rohit Thakur, Senior Staff Accountant

Rohit has five years of experience in accounting, taxation and audits. He also has a Masters degree in Commerce and has completed the coursework required to become a Chartered Accountant. Rohit has worked with well-known multinational corporations during his career such as BNY Mellon and Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., among others.

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Rohit believes in working with integrity and keeping his standards high to meet any challenges along his path. He is a good team player and motivates others to be positive and achieve their goals. Rohit loves music, animals, and sports. Not just a specatator, he’s always up to play any sport. He believes that high values and positive thinking can lead to a great future.

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Robin Smith, Account Manager

Robin has found that nonprofit accounting is the most effective way for her to contribute to the activist community, and we are grateful to have her on the Sutro Li team. She brings a passion for social, economic, and environmental justice as well as over two decades of accounting experience. She enjoys the goal of financial transparency and sees the true benefit that it can provide to organizations, no matter their size.

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Robin also has a number of certifications as a librarian, and enjoys living in the cultural gem that is New Orleans. She's an avid meditator, a bike enthusiast, and a vegan foodie. She and her husband are often seen walking their two dogs and three cats.

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Navin joined Sutro Li with seven years of experience in accounting, auditing and taxation. He has worked with US based companies with Fortune 500 clients, as well as an investment banking company. He has also completed his Masters with the top university of India and is now near completion of his Chartered Accountancy (equivalent to a CPA).

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On the weekend, Navin loves to travel solo and explore beautiful places.

 


Some of Our Clients

Sutro Li is the perfect antidote to nonprofit directors that have been thrown into the role of CFO with little or no training. Both knowledgeable and low-key, the Sutro Li team helps to build the financial acumen and confidence of their clients in a no-stress kind of way.
— Andrea Lee, Co-Director – Mujeres Unidas y Activas
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