“My name is Barbara Osgood. I live in the US in a motor home with my husband, two dachshunds and a Persian cat. Today I’m in Colorado Springs, CO looking out my window at Pikes Peak. It’s a little cold but we’ll be here through Christmas to spend the holidays with family before heading to the beach on Galveston Island, Texas. I have a bookkeeping business built around the specific needs of the tiny business.
I spent many years working in the accounting field. I worked for large corporations and small entrepreneurial companies. I got very good at making systems work with the resources at hand. I found it easy to explain and teach systems to both staff and the business owner. My super power was to translate “accountant speak” and bridge the gap between the outside accountant or tax regulations and the people running the business.
My typical client comes to me feeling overwhelmed and often has been ignoring the number side of the business for quite some time. They want to hire out that whole part of the business. They feel they don’t have the expertise to do it themselves. They are afraid of the taxman. My advice is to simplify their bookkeeping system to the very basics. They don’t need a complicated accounting system but they do need to understand what is happening with their money. They are the only one who knows what they are spending money on. They need to see the whole picture and keep it up to date so they can make wise decisions for their business. Sometimes I can help for a short time, getting set-up or a system in place. Most often after an initial set-up I am available for a monthly R&R (reconciliation & review). I will reconcile bank accounts, ask and answer any questions and review for any transactions that just don’t look right.
I believe strongly that the numbers side of business should not keep you from starting your business. You may work in a company with an accounting department that takes up a whole floor. That is not what you need. You need to keep track of what you make and what you spend. Hopefully you make more than you spend and if you don’t you can look at what has happened so you can decide on your next steps.
I quit my last job in 2007. I was going to start a business involving family history. A pipe that was carved during the Civil War inspired me. I even got to have it appraised on the Antiques Roadshow.
I really wanted to help people find the connections through family heirlooms and history. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a successful income-producing venture for me. I really didn’t want to go back to working for someone so thought hard about what I really wanted to do. I had an epiphany. I didn’t hate accounting! What I didn’t like was getting out of the house early in the morning to fight the traffic. I also didn’t want to play with the corporate type co-workers. I really, really, really didn’t want to be the know it all “accountant”. I could help the people I liked to hang out with their accounting. I could be a part of many types of businesses. It doesn’t get much better than that.
There are surely ups and downs with self employment but even if I take a job at some time I will still have the self-employed mindset it’s just that I chose a gig with a different type of compensation (paycheck) for a while. I have the freedom to schedule my time. I was able to take a couple of months off this fall and was able to donate a kidney to my sister. It is so satisfying to see her doing well. That might not have been possible if I was not self-employed.
I have surrounded myself with like-minded people to keep motivated and moving forward. I have found them at local networking groups and also online. I work by myself but seldom feel alone.
The first quarter of 2014 I plan to publish all of the tips sheets I’ve written over the years to help out my clients. Here’s where to get the one featured in Barbara Winter’s Winning Ways newsletter.”
Find out more about Barbara at:
On Pinterest (who says accountants can’t play with pictures?!)