How I Became an Accountant and Small Business Owner
Becoming an accountant was easy. Becoming a small business owner took another 20 years. You could say, though, that both are in my blood!
When I was nine years old, my mother decided to switch careers from being an elementary school teacher to an accountant. Ever the teacher, she would bring home blank ledger sheets, statements and other accounting paraphernalia for me to play with. I was hooked! While my friends wanted to play dolls or tag or house, I wanted to play office. And, of course, I wanted to be the boss!
One day, my mother was at work and a customer brought in an envelope he had received in the mail. It contained a handwritten statement (clearly in a 9 year olds’ handwriting) showing an amount due. My mother was mortified! Somehow I had gotten a hold of an old envelope partially addressed to this customer, then used my considerable accounting abilities to put together a statement and dropped it in the mail…all without her knowledge. She kept that statement and envelope and presented it to me one day well after my grown-up accounting career was underway. We had a good laugh!
After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, I worked as an accountant for several small businesses. I really enjoyed working for these companies, and I learned a lot about the day-to-day operations of a small business. After working for a remodeling contractor for several years, I was offered a job doing support and training for the construction accounting software we used. I was intrigued and I decided to give it a try. Once again, I was hooked! I always enjoyed teaching (remember, it is in my blood!) and this was an opportunity to help clients learn the software and solve complex accounting issues. It was very rewarding and I realized I found my passion!
Although I loved training and consulting, I didn’t share the business philosophy of the company I worked for and this caused me A LOT of anxiety. I stuck it out for 10 years, but finally decided it was time to move on. I was getting job offers left and right from recruiters offering me various consulting opportunities for healthy sums of pay. But it wasn’t with my beloved small businesses. At this point, I realized that the only way I was going to be able to do what I really loved was to strike out on my own. And, after twenty years of working for someone else, I started my business, First Tier Accounting, in 2008. I got certified in QuickBooks® software and started marketing my services. It wasn't long before my calendar was full and I was happily doing what I was meant to do!
I’ve had a lot of help and encouragement along the way from family, friends and business associates. In 2007, I started volunteering for a local non-profit called WomenVenture. The organization helps women start and grow businesses. I taught financial and QuickBooks classes for WomenVenture clients and they, in turn, referred clients to me and provided resources I needed as a new business owner. I still volunteer with WomenVenture because I know how important it is to support women business owners!
I'm excited to share all the knowledge I've gained over the years through this new blog. Besides keeping you up-to-date on accounting and financial information, I will be sharing a variety of other helpful articles and resources to help you be the best business owner you can be! So, visit my blog weekly, comment and share with others who you think will benefit from the info.