cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Announcements
Highlighted
Level 6

ProAdvisor Cathy Iconis on Building Relationships That Matter — and Why Collaboration Is Key

1 Stocksy_txpdccfc01dw6o000_Small_312577.jpg

 

 

Cathy Iconis hosted one of our very first live chats in OWN IT just for accountantsback in September. Not only were we impressed by her in-depth knowledge of how to use Twitter to get new clients, we love Cathy's fresh perspective on everything from work/life balance to building a personal brand.

 

We asked Cathy to share with us the whole story of how she moved from working for a CPA firm to running The Iconis Group, providing accounting, bookkeeping and technology consulting services for a wide range of clients. She's also building a devoted QuickBooks Online Twitter community — and she's doing it all from her home office.

 

 

2 cathy_iconis_circle.jpg  

Name: Cathy Iconis

 

Business: The Iconis Group

 

Started: 2009

 

Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get started?

 

I was a political science major in college, and everyone kept asking me what I planned to do with that degree. I wasn't into reading a lot of books, so it wasn't going to be a great major for me! 

 

One day I thought, "Hey, I'll take an accounting class! If I like it, I'll switch my major." 

 

Well, I liked the class!

 

I started out working for a CPA firm and moved into forensic accounting. Then, several years later, I was working for a construction company and got pregnant. I wanted to work from home, but they couldn't give me the flexibility I needed. So, I decided to start my own firm once I finished my maternity leave. I've been able to run my business from my home ever since.

 

What did you learn early on about working for yourself?

 

I started my business with only $1,000. I didn't put in any more money than that, I just reinvested earnings and bootstrapped it all the way. 

 

My biggest purchase was my ProAdvisor membership for the certification. Eventually, I was able to market myself as an "outsourced CFO" because of my increased knowledge of QuickBooks.

 

How do you find new clients?

 

I work at home because of my daughter, so at the beginning I was spending a lot of time on Twitter. That's actually how I found the majority of my initial clients. I became an expert at QuickBooks Online and learned some SEO while I was at it.

 

Two years ago, I started a weekly one-hour Twitter chat called #QBOChat. Why? Because I'm one of the biggest dorks about using QuickBooks Online and I wanted to create a community for fellow QBO users!

 

Every week, about 30 people participate and they are all wonderful, volunteer brand advocates. We compile each chat into a blog post for the folks who couldn't make it that week. We even launched a special website just for #QBOChat.

 

What topics do you cover each week at #QBOChat?

 

During the chats, we delve into different areas of how to use QuickBooks Online, but we also discuss things like business tips, analytics, management reporting and our favorite apps. It's more about sharing really good content and learning from each other.

 

We have such great content out there that is available to us as ProAdvisors, accountants bookkeepers and consultants — we have to be able to share it! I'm still a small business with limited funds, so getting blogs together are hard. I'm so blessed by how much people love #QBOChat and how much I've learned from our community.

 

How do you interact with your clients?

 

It's important for me to collaborate with clients. We call ourselves an "outsourced accounting department," but we do more than just bookkeeping. It's important for us to hear the customer's perspective. 3 cathy_polaroid.jpg

 

 

I work hard to really build friendships with everyone we work with, so we have a deep relationship with our clients. I also charge a flat fee so that I'm free to help them anytime — and they don't have to be worried about being charged every time they reach out to me. 

 

Most of my clients right now are in Atlanta, but I'm getting more people finding me from all over the country. 

The biggest decision I made early on was to only accept clients that use QuickBooks Online, because I don't want to be fumbling around with different products and have my work hampered. This allows me to streamline my focus and offer myself up as an expert.

 

What are some of the more interesting clients you've worked with?

 

Historically, I've worked mostly with a lot of service-based organizations. I do remember having one client that sold ultimate frisbee apparel, and another that managed a combination concert venue and restaurant! 

 

My job is to empower people and help them understand how business works. That's the best part — getting to learn so much every day from each of my clients.

1 Comment
Highlighted
Community Champion

ProAdvisor Cathy Iconis on Building Relationships That Matter — and Why Collaboration Is Key

"My job is to empower people and help them understand how business works. That's the best part — getting to learn so much every day from each of my clients." this is a solid principle for a succesful business. Thanks for sharing this.

 

 
 
 

Need to get in touch?

Contact us