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Financial organization made easy: QuickBooks Money gives a clinical counselor peace of mind

Shani Tran is a busy woman. Not only is she a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC), she’s also a content creator, public speaker, author, and mother of two. She bundles her various business ventures under one umbrella, called The Shani Project

“The Shani Project has different pillars,” Tran explains. “There's the private practice pillar, which is one income [stream]. Then, there's the social media, content creation, brand deals, and collaborations income. [Lastly,] there's speaking.” 

For an entrepreneur with so many different enterprises, Tran is remarkably independent, preferring to run every part of her business on her own. That includes filming and editing her social media content (shared with half a million followers on TikTok), hiring and training the contracted counselors she works with in her practice, and even doing her own accounting. 

To stay on top of The Shani Project’s financials, Tran uses QuickBooks Self-Employed and QuickBooks Money

Taking the leap from private counseling to public persona

Like many entrepreneurs, Tran hasn’t always worked for herself. Prior to opening her own private practice, she was a W-2 employee for another counseling office. “The only way to make more money with this specific company was to become a contractor instead of a W-2 employee,” she notes. “That basically meant I [needed to] incorporate my own business.”

In 2019, she made the leap, starting her own private practice with its own LLC. “I hired my first therapist toward the end of 2020, or maybe the beginning of 2021,” Tran says. As of December 2023, there are seven clinicians working under The Shani Project. It’s one part of her business that Tran says she’s proud to run differently. 

“When I was in private practice as a contractor, we had a non-compete. You couldn't take your clients with you, and if you left the company, I think it was for [something] like two years, you couldn't work within a five-mile radius. That doesn't sound big, but it is actually very big. I remember looking at a map and thinking, ‘Oh my God, a five-mile radius is huge.’”

To help the clinicians on her team be more successful, Tran teaches them how to market themselves. That way, they’re able to fill their client load, even if she’s not bringing new faces into the practice. She also operates without non-competes, prioritizing client health.

Marketing herself is one skill Tran has personally mastered—evidenced by the fact that at the same time she was starting to grow her practice, Tran’s social media presence and public speaking began to take off. 

“It started to become difficult because I was seeing clients about four days a week, and as social media was picking up, I had to travel a lot for events. Sometimes when I would travel, I would take two client [sessions] once I got to the hotel room, go to my speaking engagement, then come back and see all the clients that I'd condensed.” Eventually, Tran had to do what was best for her own mental health and scale back her client load. 

Now, she focuses on the social and public-facing components of The Shani Project, choosing to support her team of contracted counselors on the business side. It’s a very different career path than the one she was on initially back in 2019, but for Tran, it’s the culmination of a goal in progress. 

The Shani Project takes financial organization to the next level

“When you're a solopreneur and entrepreneur running a business, you have to see what money is coming in, and what money is coming out,” says Tran. She appreciates the visibility QuickBooks Money provides, showing her not just what’s in each of her business’s pillars, but where that money is coming from—and where it’s going. 

“I have an Amazon problem, personally and professionally,” she laughs. “So, when I'm going through my transactions and [reconciling] them, I can see [my expenses] and how much I’ve spent on Amazon this month." 

While she’s been a QuickBooks user since 2019, Tran says she’s been particularly impressed by QuickBooks Money, a free business bank account designed for busy business owners who, like Tran, prefer to manage their finances personally. 

From the beginning, Tran says she was shocked by how easy it was to sign up. “When I started my business, it was a lot of work to go into a bank and get a business account. I had to bring my articles of incorporation and answer all of these questions. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed, but I knew I needed a business banking account.”

Tran worried that starting a new QuickBooks Money account would be similar, but she was pleasantly surprised: “It took less than five minutes,” she joyfully recalls. “I just filled out some questions and put in my EIN, and then I was approved right there.”

For Tran, one of the benefits of the experience was that it didn’t feel like a sales pitch. “You don't have the branch salesperson being like, ‘Hey, you should actually get this type of savings account. You should get this type of checking account. You may also want a money market [account].’ Instead, it's just like, ‘Hey, this is your business bank account. Here's your approval.’ As someone who can get very overwhelmed by too many steps, I thought, ‘Wow, this is amazing!’”

QuickBooks Money comes with a free QuickBooks Checking bank account. It has no monthly fees, overdraft fees, or minimum balances. Bank services are provided by QuickBooks partner Green Dot, which provides banking access to 67 million customers and was recently named one of Newsweek’s Most Trustworthy Companies in America for 2023. 

Payments, too, are extremely accessible. Business owners can access eligible payments same-day, regardless of weekends or holidays. The best part? QuickBooks Money doesn’t require a subscription.

QuickBooks also offers users the chance to save money while they run their business, with an industry-leading 5.00% APY on envelopes in their QuickBooks Checking account.

Tran was further impressed when her QuickBooks Money debit card arrived in the mail. “I'm an aesthetics person,” she confesses. “I think white just looks so pretty, so when the QuickBooks Money card came, I was like, ‘This is cute!’” 

Features-wise, Tran says her favorite function so far is invoicing. “I love that I can send invoices without fees,” she says. “When I invoice through QuickBooks Money, the invoice itself actually attaches to the money in my account.” In this way, Tran can always see what clients have paid, and for which services. 

With QuickBooks Money, Tran’s clients can pay with virtually any method they prefer, from PayPal to ACH transfer to credit card or Venmo, simply by clicking on a link Tran sends them. And if Tran needs to remind a client to submit a payment, she can help them with that too, giving them a nudge through her QuickBooks Money app.

You're never too small to feel more stable

With market-leading APY, no monthly fees, and seamless payments—QuickBooks Money works harder for those who work for themselves.**

Whatever Tran’s future holds, QuickBooks is along for the ride

Tran has a gift for helping people find mental wellness. She does it through her private practice, through her online content, through public speaking, and even in her book, Dope Therapy: A Radical Guide to Owning Your Therapy Journey. Yet, for all her background in mental health, Tran says her future may look different. “I'm excited to see where I go as a creative,” she says. “Mental health is what I'm good at and what I know, but I'd like to develop myself as a creator.”

In the meantime, Tran continues to grow her practice and serve hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. She feels confident in her choice using QuickBooks, because at the end of the day, it doesn’t just help her stay organized financially—it also reflects who she is as a business owner and a person. 

“I fit several different categories. One, I'm a woman. Two, I'm bisexual, and three, I'm a person of color,” she says. “One of the things that’s important to me is that QuickBooks as a company, whenever I see advertisements or notifications, appears diverse.” As an entrepreneur whose brand revolves around healthy self-expression, that’s a benefit that can’t be overstated.

Intuit is a technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by our partner, Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC.

**Product Information:

QuickBooks Money: QuickBooks Money is a standalone Intuit offering that includes QuickBooks Payments and QuickBooks Checking. Intuit accounts are subject to eligibility criteria, credit, and application approval. Banking services provided by and the QuickBooks Visa® Debit Card is issued by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to license from Visa U.S.A., Inc. Visa is a registered trademark of Visa International Service Association. QuickBooks Checking Deposit Account Agreement applies. Banking services and debit card opening are subject to identity verification and approval by Green Dot Bank. Money movement services are provided by Intuit Payments Inc., licensed as a Money Transmitter by the New York State Department of Financial Services. For more information about Intuit Payments' money transmission licenses, please visit https://www.intuit.com/legal/licenses/payment-licenses/.

Annual percentage yield: The annual percentage yield (“APY”) is accurate as of December 31, 2023 and may change at our discretion at any time. The APY is applied to deposit balances within your primary QuickBooks Checking account and each individual envelope. We use the average daily balance method to calculate interest on your account. See Deposit Account Agreement for terms and conditions.

Envelopes: You can create up to 9 Envelopes within your primary QuickBooks Checking account. Money in Envelopes must be moved to the available balance in your primary QuickBooks Checking account before it can be used. Envelopes within your primary QuickBooks Checking account will automatically earn interest once created. At the close of each statement cycle, the interest earned on funds in your Envelopes will be credited to each Envelope in proportion to the average daily balance of each Envelope. See Deposit Account Agreement for terms and conditions.

No minimum balances or monthly fees: There are no minimum balance requirements to open or maintain this account or obtain the listed APY. Other fees and limits apply. See Deposit Account Agreement for details.

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