We asked four numbers-minded entrepreneurs in the QB Community how and why they started up their own accounting and consulting firms. Here’s what they told us…
Andrew Berg, co-founder of Berg Partners, accounting & consulting:
“My partner and I decided when we started the business that we didn’t want to work a million hours during tax season to provide our clients with one piece of paper, then walk away and not talk to them again for an entire year. So, our focus shifted to business management and consulting.”
“We help our clients with financial decisions, marketing decisions, HR decisions, strategic decisions, budget, planning — literally anything you can think of that you don't know the answer to. If you want good advice based on your unique financial situation, we’re the people to talk to.”
Read Andrew’s full story: "The Numbers Should Tell the Whole Story." Andrew Berg Shares His Tips for Picking the Right Account
Lynda Artesani, owner of Artesani Bookkeeping:
“Accounting was always my thing, even way back in high school. Later, when my children were small, I had several jobs as a bookkeeper. I ended up working full-time as a building manager in Providence, RI, managing 300 units in an office park. I also worked part-time as a bookkeeper for another residential-apartment rental company.”
“The building manager job ran me down. It was a salaried position, and the owner of the property took advantage of that. He had me working 50-60 hours a week but paid me for 40. It was such a terrible job with a difficult boss that it ultimately inspired me to work for myself. I decided to focus on what gave me the most joy and fulfillment: bookkeeping. When I moved to Florida in 2007 I reopened my business under its current name. Florida is a very business-friendly state, so I was quick to become a business here.” - @lynda
Read Lynda’s full story: Bookkeeper Lynda Artesani Knows Her Numbers -- So Her Clients Don’t Have To
Dawn Brown, CPA and owner of AZ Business Consulting:
“I spent many years as a CPA and a CFO for companies and clients on the East Coast. I worked on projects that were assigned to me. Not every project was a great fit, and I often felt I wasn’t making a meaningful contribution. I also saw businesses being sold products or services they didn’t need. I wanted to be straightforward with the customer. If I couldn’t help them, I want to send them to someone who could.”
“When my husband and I moved to Phoenix, I decided it was time to cultivate my own group of clients. Plus, I’d been working in the construction industry for quite a while, and I was tired of getting laid off! I kind of stumbled into working in the non-profit sector but quickly realized they have their own set of accounting rules that vary by state. I thought, maybe I can best serve society by helping non-profits perform their mission. I may not be a doctor or a lawyer, but I can use my skills to help people who are helping other people. This goes for working with small businesses, too.”
Read Dawn’s full story: Dawn Brown Is No Ordinary CPA. This “Non-Profit Super Genius” Has a Novel Business Niche
Paul Heffner, CEO/Founder of Finance Pals, accounting & consulting:
“The initial idea for Finance Pals came after a brainstorming session where I looked at what I enjoyed and what I was good at, then at what filled a need in the market. At first I thought I could create business plans and financial projections for brand new companies, but at that stage they’re not ready to pay for consulting.”
“At a Denver Startup Week networking event I met the owner of Great Dental Websites, who needed financial forecasting and bookkeeping help. That’s when I realized I could provide these services for companies that are not quite startups, but are too small to hire full-time finance staff.”
“I updated my LinkedIn profile to show I was up for freelancing, and within a couple of weeks a colleague from my Accenture days reached out to me and became my second client. Originally, Finance Pals was a side business to make some extra cash while I was working on my other business ideas, but when I got my third customer — a referral from one of the other two — I formally launched the company a month later.”
Read Paul’s full story: From Idea to Finding My Target Customer. Meet Paul Heffner
Now It's Your Turn
QB Community members, share your insights on starting up a business so others can learn from your experience!
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I love these stories of how QB Community members got their start. @SteveChase, @qbteachmt, @LeahIlanah, @QcFinancial, @Sangeethmathew - how about you? What first inspired you to work for yourself, and how did you go about setting up your own accounting businesses?
@Pen - how's it going with the new bookkeeping venture?? You must be swamped!
I love bookkeeping and was very surprised how many small business owners really struggle with it.
@SteveChase, I must admit I'm in the not-jazzed-about-bookkeeping camp as well. So many of our QB Community members are AMAZING at what they do but struggle with the money side of things. That's what why we appreciate all our ProAdvisors' guidance and support!