Today, we are speaking with Dawn Burke of Dawn of Designs, one of the small businesses who won the #QBBetterTogether contest, along with her accounting professional, Sandra Seiler of Executive Focus Connections. 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 Dawn and Sandra’s story, and check out Sandra’s story on the Firm of the Future blog.
Shauna Maher: Welcome, Dawn and congratulations on winning the #QBBetterTogether contest! Let’s kick things off with a little background about your small business.
Dawn Burke: Dawn of Designs is a graphic design business based out of my home in Boca Raton, Florida. I’ve been in business for more than 18 years, working with corporate clients and small business owners to develop their brand. I do a lot of logo design, business card design and website work with clients around the country.
SM: Why did you decide to get an accountant/bookkeeper? Was there a tipping point in your business that prompted your decision?
DB: Yes, there was a “tipping point.” My husband was doing my books, and I knew how to use QuickBooks® for invoicing and recording, but then my husband and I separated. I’m a creative person – not a numbers person. I knew I needed to get someone who could help me do this better and get my books where they needed to be. I honestly had no idea what was coming in and going out, or how to do the reports. That’s when I knew I needed a bookkeeper.
I met Sandy and she explained so much to me. She taught me how to do a P&L report, and how to go through and code things in the banking section – and it became so much easier. She also helped me convert from Desktop to QuickBooks Online, which was a huge help.
SM: How did you find Sandra at Executive Focus Connections? What made you decide to hire her?
DB: Sandra and I met through a mutual friend in a coaching group. I really needed a bookkeeper and she needed some help with branding, so it worked out really well. We have so much in common – we even both have sons named Hunter, and got along well immediately. It’s been a great fit.
SM: What aspects of your business does Sandra help you with? What’s the biggest advantage to partnering with her?
DB: She helped me learn to read my P&L statements and run custom reports. She runs my books for me, and I know I can call her if I have a question without to do with accounting, business finances or QuickBooks. I recently went through getting a home equity loan, and having all those statements at my fingertips was really helpful and saved me so time.
SM: What are the keys to having a successful working relationship with your accountant/bookkeeper?
DB: For me, the key has been teaming up with people I trust. I don’t know the numbers inside and out, but I trust her completely, and this way I can focus on being a designer instead of my books and taxes.
SM: What’s one of the biggest business challenges Sandra has helped you face? What is the biggest business success you’ve had as a direct result of working with her?
DB: My books were a total mess. That was the biggest challenge I faced when I met Sandra. We had to recode everything and get everything in order so I could get my taxes done. She had to dig through a lot and I’m very grateful.
SM: Why would you recommend that other small businesses get an accountant/bookkeeper?
DB: Honestly, why wouldn’t you work with an accountant or bookkeeper? Let the experts do their job; you do what you’re good at. It’s like when I come across people who try to design their own websites – it takes twice as long and is half as good. At the end of the day, it’s about working smarter not harder!