Meet Nancy Steele, Winner of the 2022 Sales Tax Nerd Award

As an original Sales Tax Nerd Community member, a two-time Sales Tax Nerd Award finalist, and a dedicated spokesperson for the sales tax profession… there is no one more deserving of recognition than Nancy Steele. She throws her head, her heart, and her humor into sales tax.

Nancy’s latest sales tax venture has led her to a position as a State and Local Tax Coordinator with TaxOps, a boutique consulting firm. This exciting pivot in her career has given her the opportunity to dive into all kinds of client projects, across industries and the United States. This is the best-case scenario for an avid learner like her.

The Sales Tax Institute is proud to announce Nancy Steele as the winner of the 2022 Sales Tax Nerd Award! The Sales Tax Nerd Award recognizes sales tax professionals who demonstrate a dedicated passion and commitment to the study and practice of sales tax.

The award does not solely weigh prior accolades or job titles, it also awards a professional for being a self-proclaimed “sales tax nerd” who loves working in the field and sharing their knowledge with others.

“From the first time I met Nancy, it was clear to me that she would be someone I wanted to get to know!  Her commitment and passion for learning as well as to making sales tax easier for her company was just so clear!  As a finalist for this award the last two years, I knew she was a true Sales Tax Nerd.  I’m thrilled to present this award to her this year and know she wear the title loudly and proudly!”
Diane Yetter

Meet Nancy, learn more about her career, and watch her reaction
to winning the 2022 Sales Tax Nerd Award!

Organizing Herself Out of a Job

Nancy has always been a passionate person. When she finds something she loves, she commits to it, whether it is horses or her dog, the Lord of the Rings, or sales tax. Like most others, Nancy got into the sales tax world purely by accident. But once she got a taste of what it feels like to get swept up into the details of it all, so she couldn’t let it go! She was the team lead for the invoicing department at an online retailer, and in 2018 she took over the administration of sales tax which was something her company never had to deal with as an Oregon based business. When they asked her to take it on full time, she accepted the challenge.

In her new role, Nancy became responsible for researching and reviewing procedures to minimize any increased audit risks; reviewing daily transaction records for discrepancies and working with the company’s service providers to resolve them; preparing and submitting monthly tax liability reports; and other duties as they arose. She also tackled the challenge of understanding exemptions and exemption documentation including learning and setting up an exemption certificate automation solution using Avalara. She emphasizes that continuing education in the sales and use tax field is an essential part of a position such as this.

Nancy got the sales tax responsibilities entirely in order for her company, so much so that she realized she was no longer needed. She organized herself out of her job! This is when Nancy realized she had the potential, devotion, and spirit to take on a bigger and better sales tax role elsewhere.


A Transition from Industry to Consulting

Rightfully so, Nancy mustered up the confidence to take grand strides to turn her job in sales tax into a career in sales tax. Even though she had reservations about her experience, she pushed herself to show what she is worth when she went out for her new job. By leveling up to a more challenging job, she gets the opportunity to concentrate all her efforts on getting up to speed with this new world of consulting.

In the future, Nancy hopes to be able to use her skillset that she had before sales tax, which comes from her English degree. She is interested in creating website content, educational materials, or anything to get the idea out there that sales tax is complicated… but also interesting… and can become fun! Her goal is to make sales tax more lighthearted and accessible for people from all backgrounds.

“I’m mildly obsessed with learning as much as I can about tax automation services and how I can help our clients get the most out of them.”


Paying Her Knowledge Forward

Nancy’s dedication to her career in sales tax benefits her, but she doesn’t stop there. The members of the Sales Tax Nerd Community can confirm that she is one of the highest contributing sales tax pros around. If Nancy gets the opportunity to help out a fellow nerd, she jumps at the opportunity.

Over the years, Nancy naturally developed a love for paying her sales tax knowledge forward. She has found various opportunities to share her expertise and passion with sales tax pros and her company’s clients. Nancy was even invited by Avalara to present a customer spotlight webinar on the exemption certificate management system she developed using CertCapture. Her public speaking and people skills are able to shine even in a field like sales tax.

It is in moments like these that Nancy sees a bright future for her lifelong career. Learning and teaching are the pride and joy of Nancy’s blossoming journey in sales tax.

“My advice is don’t be intimidated by the scope of sales tax. There are so many resources available and so much to learn. It is always interesting, frequently odd, and a perpetual challenge – never dull.”


2022 Sales Tax Nerd Award Finalists

The Sales Tax Institute is also thrilled to recognize an outstanding group of 2022 award finalists. The finalists represent a variety of backgrounds and industries within the profession. All demonstrate a passion for learning and a dedication to paying their sales tax knowledge forward.

We are so proud to know this group of professionals that advocates to bring an increased focus on sales tax within their companies and the wider field of accounting.

The 2022 finalists include:

  • Krista Clayton, Tax Manager – Indirect Tax, Reyes Holdings, LLC
  • Rebecca Floyd, Staff Accountant – Indirect Tax, Carvana
  • Xhulia Mulla, Senior Accountant, Turner Construction
  • Wendy Shaw, Tax Government and Compliance Manager, Hill Petroleum
  • Nathan Yoder, CAS Sales Tax Specialist, Adams Brown, LLC

Learn more about each finalist on the Sales Tax Nerd Award page.

Posted on November 28, 2022