Managing the financial aspect is important to the success of every business. As a result, accounting and bookkeeping services have seen robust growth in the past decade. Even with the economic downturn that has adversely affected many types of businesses, new regulatory mandates, new accounting standards, changes to the tax code, new requirements resulting from the stimulus bill and even corporate scandals have spurred the continued growth of these professional services.
Given that not all organizations have the resources to undertake proper bookkeeping and accounting services in-house, some professionals such as Jessica McHugh have jumped into the opportunity and offer outsourced bookkeeping services. Jessica, with her accounting and financial management background, decided to become a business support specialist offering a wide variety of financial support services through her company AccountAbility. Her services include bookkeeping, budgeting, payroll management, among others.
We interviewed Jessica on starting a professional service business:
What inspired you to start AccountAbility?
My daughter was born in Sept of 2008. I was heartbroken every time I had to drop her off with the babysitter. I felt like I was missing too much of her life. I started my own bookkeeping service company so I could have more time with her and also offer a cost-effective solution for other nonprofits.
What services do you offer?
I offer business support and bookkeeping services to CPAs and nonprofits.
What were the challenges you faced when starting the business?
Getting my name out there and securing clients.
What are the important elements needed to succeed as a business support specialist?
Organization, diligence, technologically savvy, personable, good business etiquette
How do you market your services and reach your target market?
Through direct referrals, strategic partnerships, speaking engagements, and pro-bono/volunteer work
How do you see AccountAbility in the next 5 years?
I see it growing by leaps and bounds! I see that I am able to assist many more nonprofits and CPAs and that we make a difference in not just the bottom-line but in a more personal way as well. I envision a very successful, professional and enticing company.
What advice can you give other women thinking of starting a service oriented business?
Be patient – be productive with your time – have a positive attitude – be nice to EVERYONE