Today, we are speaking with Catherine Baron, founder of Catherine’s Estates and Appraisals, one of the small businesses who won the #QBBetterTogether contest, along with her accounting professional, Deborah Elver of Clear View Business Solutions, whose profile is posted on the Firm of the Future blog. As part of the contest, we asked small businesses and accounting professionals to tell us how they work together to achieve success. Read on to check out Catherine and Deborah’s story!
Shauna Maher: Welcome Catherine, and congratulations on winning the #QBBetterTogether contest! Let’s kick things off with a little background about your small business.
Catherine Baron: Catherine’s Estates offers three different points of service to our diverse clientele. Founded in 2004, I used my museum and art history background to create a unique business. The first point of service is appraisals. Catherine’s Estates offers certified appraisal documents for fair market valuations, replacement valuations, damage and loss valuations, and more. Our clients are attorneys, trusts, family members, nonprofits, and government and law enforcement authorities. The second leg is estate sales. We work with the above-mentioned clients to help in the orderly liquidation of an entire estate. We have sold fine art, vehicles, antiques, furniture, household goods and everything from the bizarre to the Pyrex pan. The third aspect of service that gives balance to our business model is fine art brokering. Tucson is an amazing repository of fine art, sterling, jewelry and more. We work with clients nationwide to privately sell those reserved items at the highest profit to our clients.
SM: Why did you decide to get an accountant/bookkeeper? Was there a tipping point in your business that prompted your decision?
CB: I had an accountant almost from the beginning. It is important to track the growth of the business and keep all on the up and up with respect to taxes. I knew having someone to assist me with this would be important to my success.
SM: How did you find Deborah at Clear View? What made you decide to hire her?
CB: Deborah was a referral through my former accountant, who was retiring. I liked her because she was a woman small business owner like myself. We also have great chemistry; she makes accounting fun!
SM: What aspects of your business does Deborah help you with? What’s the biggest advantage to partnering with her?
CB: Deborah helps me with my monthly P&L statements and with taxes. She also fields questions from me year round. Nothing is too weird or too small to ask her.
SM: What are the keys to having a successful working relationship with your accountant/bookkeeper?
CB: We expect each other to keep up with the tasks at hand to move the business forward. Plus, we laugh a lot.