Professional Beancounters

Teri Devine: Bookkeeper, Entrepreneur, Super Mom

Professional Beancounters is a bookkeeping service that believes in allowing you to focus on your expertise so they can focus on theirs. With years of experience, Teri Devine knows how to pinpoint the exact needs of a client to help their business flourish. We had a chance to ask Teri a few questions about Professional Beancounters and what makes the company so successful.

Words By Nerds: What is your philosophy as a business?

Teri: We believe in allowing people the flexibility of running their business and we want to give them the accurate tools to do that. We don’t believe in nickel and diming and we don’t believe there are any stupid questions. Obviously we have our different expertise, and this is ours. We let you do what you do, we’ll what we do. That way your business will run properly.

WBN: Each client is different. How do you accommodate to each of your clients’ specific needs?

Teri: First, you have to know the client and what their looking for as far as what they read on their profit and loss statement and what kind of information financially they’re reviewing to run a company more.

We see If they’re looking more at the payroll aspect or are they looking more at the expenses, or only the income. We also want to know if they have a background in finance. If they don’t have a background in finance we know we have to explain more things to them and show them how everything fits together. Once we draw that out we can get together and find exactly what they’re looking for, whether that means making us in charge of everything — including posting receivables, payables, and making deposits for them — or if we can do a monthly reconciliation. It basically comes down to what they want so we can customize their monthly plan.

I’ll do my job and you do your job and let’s sell your business!

WBN: What’s your idea of a perfect client?

Teri: Actually, there is no such thing as a perfect client! If they have a background in finance sometimes they are very overbearing and want to micromanage everything we do and it can become way too much. Sometimes they have a background in finance and they understand what we do therefore they don’t micromanage. Those that don’t have a financial background it may be the same situation. They’ll micromanage because they’re trying to learn or sometimes they don’t. There’s really no perfect client.

I guess the closest thing to a perfect client would be a client who questions everything because it is their finances we’re dealing with and want to make sure they understand and realize what we do and that what we do is a benefit for them and someone who allows us to do our job and allows us to explain why we do our job without thinking they know more than we do. There’s just not a perfect client! It all depends on the person.

WBN: One of our favorite questions is what do you like to “nerd out” about?

Teri: Cooking. Food Network is my favorite channel and I try new recipes all the time. My family and my friends are always guinea pigs! I’m always trying new things which is great because now my kids have a diverse palate. They will try anything once which is wonderful, I think.

So, I would say cooking as well as my kids. I do the mom thing. I’m the treasurer of the PTA, — I just got back from a PTA convention, actually — I’ve been the cheer coach, I’ve been the baseball coach, and now I’m going to be the girl scout leader.

WBN: What’s one piece of advice you could offer someone who wants to start their own company?

Teri: Find a good bookkeeper! I mean, honestly, everyone falls into that aspect where they’re going to start their own company and find themselves with an influx of money but they don’t know what they’re doing. They have no idea what their income is, they have no idea what their expenses are. You can have a location and you can have a product, but if you can’t track that properly you have no idea where to go you don’t have the correct financial information to make management decisions or tax decisions or to find out what the tax implications are.

Honestly, a lot of people overlook the bookkeeper in the very beginning of their business and by the time they get a bookkeeper it’s very costly for us to go through and re enter everything and then show them where they’re at and when the see they P&I for their first year they and go, “I’ve lost all this money I had no idea!” Well, you would have if you would have started with a bookkeeper in the beginning. We’ve had so many restaurants that have tried to do it themselves and there’s a reason why I have a bookkeeping business and they have a restaurant. They know how to run a restaurant, and I know how to do bookkeeping.