The why and the how are two different stories, but the both are responsible for the journey that brought me here today.
The Journey: Ever since a young age, I have always been good with numbers, and always imagined myself as the CFO of a multi-million-dollar corporation. What I did not know was that title would be place on me by one of our (Parkway Business Solutions) clients.
After earning my degree in Business Economics with an Accounting Emphasis, I spent many years managing companies for other people. Unlike any other part of my formal education, my business and accounting classes were put into use daily. This lasted through 2012.
Toward the end of the last recession, I was forced with a hard decision between letting a couple employees go or to terminate myself. Thanks to that decision, I found myself employed as a recruiter for Robert Half and Randstad. As a glorified salesman with an accounting degree, I enjoyed helping accounting professional find their next career opportunity and loved meeting with all the different companies to learn about their pain points.
My time in the staffing industry helped me gain the confidence in my accounting knowledge while also showing me just how similar the problems were facing companies regardless of industry.
While working for Robert Half, I received a phone call from a person looking for assistance on an inventory project. That person, Mike Snelson, is now my business partner at Parkway. Mike had developed a powerful workflow that allowed him to handle the accounting for multiple companies at once and I was blown away.
Now, almost 5 years later, Parkway is responsible for the financials for 40+ companies every month as well as additional project work. Additionally, the lessons we learned along the way have led us to develop our own accounting application called @Vendorsync.
Our Goal: At Parkway our goal has been to help small businesses better understand their financial information allowing them to focus on the thing that matters most to them.
This year marks my 20th year running my accounting firm. When I think back to the early days, The business was so different. I’ve used QuickBooks for all of the 20 years. Prior to that I worked as a bookkeeper for a law firm, a plumbing company, a contractor, and a real estate company. For those firms, the software of choice was Peachtree, One Write Plus, and custom software.
So what made me choose this given path to my entrepreneurship?
I think back to when I was teenager, I wanted to an be an artist. And if I go really far back, I am sure my parents wanted me to be the traditional teacher or secretary. Those were the equivalent to the “boy” jobs of fireman and policeman.
But neither were my calling. Throughout high school, I was really good at accounting. I enjoyed working with numbers. I loved the grid green paper. And honestly my brain was more analytical than creative. I loved it when things balanced. I loved analyzing the data.
So I guess to answer the question why did I become a bookkeeper? The answer would be the profession chose me. Not only was it something I was good at, it was what I enjoyed.
Today, I prefer not to use the term bookkeeper. The image that comes to mind is just not me. No longer is my job just about data entry and manually typing everything in. I analyze the data. I study it. I assist my clients and understanding their books. We create budgets. We plan for the future, not just look at the past.
While attending QBConnect Toronto, I was in a session where the presenter suggested getting rid of the term bookkeeper and using the term, “Accountant Data Manager”. I like that. It is more of what the position of bookkeeper means to me. Today, a bookkeeper’s job is so much more than just entering data. We have artificial intelligence, apps and bank feeds in QuickBooks Online for that. My job has evolved and will continue to evolve to be much more strategic. And for that, I am grateful.
By: Lynda Artesani
Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs and small business owners led me to want to help others with their business needs. I’ve always enjoyed analyzing business models to see how it would/could work and why it would/wouldn’t be a good fit for certain skill sets. I became serious about accounting when I attended college.
I went to college to study sound engineering. My ambition was to own/operate music studios, record musicians, and help musicians achieve their dreams. Despite being able to play guitar, bass, drums, etc., I don’t read music. Reading music and sight singing were prerequisites to the sound engineering program and that first semester went sideways, quickly! 😊 I had to refocus my efforts and ended up taking an intro to business course. It really clicked with me and a couple years later ended up with a master’s in accounting.
My first job out of college was auditing for a regional firm…I lasted about 9 months as it wasn’t a good fit for me. That’s when I started working with small business owners and saw the need to help them with sound bookkeeping/accounting practices. It’s been a great experience ever since; the business owner can follow their passion knowing that the “business” side of their business is handled.