Denise has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, worked as an English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) teacher, and was an auditor at a Global Big 4 Accounting firm. Denise may have taken the scenic route to finding her calling as an accountant, but today, she is helping entrepreneurs take control of their business & personal finances so they can “Grow Beyond the Numbers” to build financially healthy and sustainable lives and businesses.
If you could give your past self some advice, what would you tell you?
My favourite poem is Robert Frost’s, The Road Not Taken. Being a contrarian or going against the norm is difficult and takes a lot of courage to do in life and business. The courage to do something different can be what sets you apart from your competitors or gives you a different perspective in your life or career. For example, I love being able to combine my past teaching experiences and current numeric talents because I feel much more grounded in my service to my clients. I wouldn’t be able to offer this if I hadn’t taught prior to becoming an accountant. I truly believe that by taking the “road less traveled by, [and that] has made all the difference.” So, young Denise, don’t be afraid. Go for it. It doesn’t matter if others are not doing it too. Chart your own path.
How did you know you were ready to start your business?
I don’t think I was ever truly ready to start my business. I sort of fell into it. I started out contracting like many freelancers or solo practitioners do. I saw how many businesses owners struggle with accounting which led to poor financial management decisions. So, I decided in order to do help more entrepreneurs and business owners, I needed to build a team, a business, or in my case an accounting firm. Ultimately, I wanted to serve more people.
What’s one thing you have learned in business and how has it helped you?
This is difficult. I’ve learned so many lessons in business, so many that the textbooks don’t teach you! One lesson I share in my chapter in the Pursuit 365 book *winks*.
My next biggest lesson I’ve learned to embrace is my relationship with perfectionism. We all want to do our best and deliver our best work and selves. Perfection can be your friend or foe. When working alone, perfectionism will aid you in delivering your best work. However, the moment you want to build a business/team or scale for growth, you will have to revaluate your relationship with perfectionism. I’m not saying you become sloppy. I’m saying perfection is difficult to copy and paste by employees and is subjective to measure when done by others. By redefining perfection to a level of quality my team and I can deliver consistently that still meets the expectations for our clients, my team and I can all collaborate in work-life-quality harmony. We are all more engaged and happier because we had a talk with our friend, Perfection.
As an accountant who runs your own business, what advice can you give our readers?
Numbers are data. Recording the numbers or business transactions through the action of bookkeeping give us information. It is this information (through financial statements) that gives you the power of knowledge about what is going on in your business, so you can make decisions to grow, get new customers, suppliers, or hire staff.
Consistently recording the numbers and reviewing the financial information will give you the knowledge and confidence to make ongoing business decisions. Ensuring you have people on your team who can do the above or enable you to do the above is the first step of “Growing Beyond The Numbers.”
Photo Credits: Fiori Studios
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