“One of the biggest things I've learned is that there's a new way of thinking that people have and it's like a higher level of cognition.”
You know when I think about my career in accounting it's probably been about a decade at this point and it's and the funny thing is it's pretty much been a decade since I really started helping people succeed in their accounting careers back when I was in university I joined this little accounting Honor Society and honestly was about the geekiest thing you ever seen a bunch of people around there sitting in suits little you know pretty young kids trying to figure out okay how do I you know become an accountant how do I be successful and that was where I really started to figure out that not only did I love the accounting industry but I also loved helping other people be successful in their accounting careers and that little accounting Honor Society we ended up growing it we about tripled the size of it when I was involved I ended up being coming the president of it we ended up getting I think eight or nine more sort of you know accounting firms to come on campus and hire the other people there and so I helped get a lot of people jobs and I really sort of fell in love with the industry and I also fell in love with helping other people do it and now you know almost a decade later it's been an amazing journey of constantly you know learning new things about the accounting industry and also helping people go through the accounting industry to become successful and you know probably the biggest thing I've learned across this entire journey is just that the traditional career path that people go through so much of it is about sort of memorization and copy-and-paste I mean if you think about it you're supposed to go into these classrooms and learn from these little textbooks in these lectures and then really learn learn learn learn learn and then go into the exam and sort of take all that information and retain it and then paste it into the final you know exam with the questions and everything and you're almost just sort of copying and pasting you know what you're learning throughout that process you're not really thinking for yourself and the same thing was true even when I took the CPA exam you know you're literally just going through and they even tell you they're like this exact question might be asked on the exam so just memorize it just memorize it and then you'll just have to copy and paste it when you go into that exam and so really the entire experience of learning in the beginning was about copying and pasting but once I came out into sort of the entrepreneurial the small business accounting community I started to realize that really it's not as valuable to be able to copy and paste what's actually valuable is that you know how to think right you actually know how to think about delivering services you actually know how to think about solving problems related to accounting and then you have a method of thinking where even if you don't know how to do something you know that you're very good at figuring okay what's the problem what is this person's problem with their accounting if they not done it for a certain number of months if they not done it for a certain number of years do they have back tax work that needs to get done is there some sort of systems and automation issue that needs to be improved upon here and then once you figure out what the problems are you can go back and you can learn and you can develop your own Learning Path and you can search for things on Google you can search for things on YouTube you can search for things and programs like accounting tax comm and so even though I went through and I worked at you know traditional accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers you know one of the big four accounting firm and I got a CPA I went to university and all this stuff really probably the best things I've learned have been out here in the entrepreneurial community actually doing business actually becoming a business person in addition to just becoming an accountant the biggest problem is most people see the numbers in accounting right and they they think that they can move the numbers around to make things happen but most people that are doing accounting don't understand that the numbers are just a reflection of what's going on in the real world and the biggest thing you need to learn how to change is the things in the real world and those things affect the numbers and they really just don't teach you that in the traditional career path the traditional education they just don't cover it and the reason is cuz most these people they went through you know they they graduated with these degrees themselves and then some of them just went on to become PhDs and they never really got any real experience that's why they ended up as professors they never went out and did their own business that's not true for all of them but that's true for the vast majority of them and so that's really one of the biggest things I've learned is that there's a new way of thinking that people have and it's it's like a higher level of cognition and and I've been fortunate enough to learn that from some amazing mentors and I've been fortunate enough to teach that from people you know that go through our communities so we're not just sort of these copy and paste robots that act like we don't know anything and if we're not fully prepared and by golly if we haven't learned every single thing in this process then we're not gonna be able to do it and so I've been incredibly fortunate you know over the course of this last decade of trying to learn more about the accounting industry and also try to help other v6 people be successful in the accounting industry through you know that original little accounting Honor Society they're working at PricewaterhouseCoopers and doing that you had another company called the bean counter where we help people get accounting jobs and then through accounting tax com where we've helped people start and grow their own accounting firms and it really has just been an amazing journey of working with people at every single stage of the of their accounting career and figuring out at this stage what is it that's gonna make the difference what is it that's gonna make people successful and just constantly innovating.
“It was a very emotional journey for me to take that CPA exam and I hated every minute of it and I felt like it was cruel and something that I just didn't want to do.”
So I have a very fun background when it comes to accounting I started originally as an accounts receivable clerk when I was 16 years old for my father's company I got yelled at on my first call and I started crying and I was like who whoever goes into this field what is this field of accounting like who would ever want to do accounts receivable so I really got the slap of accounting back when I was 16 years old but I started there and I started to kind of get into the numbers a little bit and then you know as I continued to work for his company I started to learn more about the accounting side of the business and I started to be able to pull reports and really understand numbers and see from an Operations perspective how those numbers could help make decisions moving forward and I started to become really intrigued and really interested in what accounting could do for a business and so I wanted up I actually was a marine biology major when I was in college but I was still working for my father's company and I think marine biology and accounting we're kind of fighting each other and accounting one so I dropped the marine biology major and I became an accounting major and for me it was super simple it was an easy equation it was a easy math and it was something that I just understood because I already knew what a balance sheet was when I was 17 years old I already knew what an income statement was I already knew how things float I already knew what segregation of duties was back in the day because I before you know you could witness certain things that were going on so I had the opportunity to experience all of that so when it came to you know the the classroom it was super easy for me to understand it and having that experience just made the theory side just you know a no-brainer for me so I went ahead and I you know became an accounting major then I went and I I took the CPA exam that was a whole disaster in itself I mean I I I felt like you know you needed to be so smart and you needed to be able to pass this exam and your intelligence was and tied to passing the CPA exam and what happened for me was I got so scared of this exam that I winded up you know doing pretty poorly on it I I think I failed three times in a row and I was actually dating Andrew the time and you know he was the one that told me look you know your intelligence isn't really tied to this exam like you're pretty smart you don't necessarily need this exam to tell you that you're pretty smart so I let go of that idea that my intelligence wasn't to hide to the exam and then I winded up passing all four of them in a row so you know it was a very emotional journey for me to take that a CPA exam and I hated every minute of it and I and I felt like it was cruel and something that I just didn't want to do but I wanted up passing it and then I went into public accounting where I worked as an auditor for for quite a while and then after that Andrew and I decided to become entrepreneurs and we fell into starting you know accountingtax.com and and working with the community and helping other people grow so we kind of fell in and out of the accounting world but it's always kind of always had a tie to it you know it's something that I always understood and I think a lot of the realization that I wanted to be in accounting was that you know I got that opportunity to really experience it as somebody who was in business and I had that expert on your my dad would have dinner table conversations about the company so I I loved business and I loved every aspect of it and so I just knew that I wanted to be a part of it and accounting was my path to do that.
“I went on to an incredibly expensive private school with a lot of tuition that I had to pay back and no idea how to pay that back.”
My journey in accounting kind of started a little unexpectedly. I was in college and I was minoring in Spanish and a major in international business. 9/11 happened and all of a sudden there were no jobs for anybody and I realized all the accounting majors were getting sign-on bonuses and jobs right before college and I went on to an incredibly expensive private school with a lot of tuition that I had to pay back and no idea how to pay that back so I took high school accounting classes. I was pretty good at it and I never really found myself great or good at anything but I found more people were just kind of complaining about accounting, it's so confusing, it's like another language. I thought well I kind of know this so I switched my major in college, finished that up, went in straight into public accounting, dabbled a little bit in construction employee benefit plans, worked for some manufacturing companies, some retails but ultimately found my place in nonprofit accounting so there I ended up kind of worked my way up to supervisor auditing nonprofit organisations. I then left after seven years to become a CFO of a nonprofit organization did that for about four years and two years ago made the crazy jump into entrepreneurship and started my own accounting practice specifically serving nonprofit organizations.
“This firm is the next level, I've been able to do it right and really enjoy having this firm and working with the clients that I work with.”
So my experience I've been in accounting and tax for 24 years I started as an Accounts Payable clerk in the early 90s to put myself through college so I could finish my undergraduate degree in accounting later I went on to get my master's degree and my CPA I've worked just about every job in accounting throughout my career from accounts payable clerk to accountant accounting manager controller CFO director finance I've managed IT Human Resources I've worked in in both private a lot of private companies and public accounting where I did audit and I did tax I've worked for a lot of real estate I started out in multifamily real estate I've worked in a lot of real estate to work with a lot of real estate clients now and then I've also worked in manufacturing distribution and technology so a lot of kind of varied experience which has been fun that's part of the reason I like my firm now is that I enjoy working with clients because I'm working with different businesses all the time seeing different things solving different problems so I'm I'm happy that I've had a career that's been across different industries doing different roles it's been a lot of fun for me and I think I've been able to draw a lot from that experience and from from the different jobs that I've worked I've had my own firm this firm for about five years now I primarily offer accounting tax tax preparation tax planning and an outsourced CFO work this is my second firm I had another firm about 15 years ago that I built and I sold that firm that was mostly tax work a lot of heavy tax work I worked a lot and that firm but this firm you know the next level I've been able to do it right and really enjoy having this firm and working with the clients that I work with.
“You've got to be able to do what others are not willing to do in order to live later like they want to live.”
A lot of people probably have a problem with the amount of money but you know it's an investment you have to invest in yourself for yourself to grow if you went to college and you have expectations of what you're going to learn when you go into college and there's a grade that you get based off of how well you do if you go into the process and you think you're going to get something out of it but you don't work for it you're not going to get anything out of it if you go in and you work and you do what you're supposed to do you know there are no get-rich-quick schemes there are no schemes or or jobs that you do that's going to flip the switch and right then you're going to have it and you're going to be successful and you're going to make it know there's a sacrifice there's a willingness you've got to be able to do what others are not willing to do in order to live later like they want to live so if you go in and you don't think it's gonna work well guess not guess what it's not gonna work if you go in with an open mind and you think hey I'm gonna do everything and physically in my power to make sure that this gets done there's a reason why did you know that in your field if you studied one hour a day in your field every day in five years you would be the top 2% expert in that field there's a reason why people aren't the top 2% expert in that field it's because they are not willing to put in the extra time effort and pain to get to where they need to be if you go into it and you work and you do it you will be successful you will learn you will make money you just got to give it your all if you go into it thinking that it's not gonna happen believe me it's not gonna happen,
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