Small business accountants, like all other professionals, have to delegate. The process of recognizing you need a hand—admitting it to yourself—and then trusting in someone to help manage your company can be tough. The importance of delegation is something we’ve talked about in our Insights blog, and it’s a point I often make to my clients.
A few months ago, I realized business had picked up to the point where I sorely needed a competent, knowledgeable person to help with day-to-day and client work. I posted a job ad on Handshake and was fortunate enough to meet DePaul University student Britney Denk. While showing her the ropes, I’ve learned a great deal myself. Namely, hiring the right person is a challenge when you’re a one-woman show—the process took more time and effort than I expected. Also, the younger generation has a different grasp of and relationship technology, which has been fascinating. Mostly, I learned I am truly lucky to have found someone who shows up on time and works hard every time they come to work. Let’s get to know Britney!
When did you first start thinking about pursuing a career in finance/accounting?
I was a sophomore in high school; I had always intrigued by the knowledge of financial accounting and the double-entry bookkeeping system. The invention of this method dates back to 11th century Jewish bankers in Cairo. In a way, its like learning the world’s oldest software. It was so revolutionary that we still use it and build on making it better in this century.
You’re studying accounting at DePaul—what cool or surprising things have you learned in the program?
I got the opportunity to learn from professors who had actual experience with the topics they were teaching. All the professors at DePaul are highly qualified in their fields, especially in the business program. Most professors have worked for companies that are well respected and known globally, which adds some real-world experience into normal textbook learning.
Why did you take the gig?
It fit closely to what I was looking to do with my degree. I wanted a career in which I felt like I was helping someone accomplish something, I wanted meaningful work and to make connections with individuals who run and maintain all kinds of businesses. They say usually CPA’s have to go into public accounting like auditing or becoming a tax specialist, and I knew that was never for me. I really love that while working at MSBP I get to do accounting work that I genuinely enjoy without getting lost or caught up in a giant firm where I might feel undervalued or underappreciated. Another reason I took this job: MSBP is owned and operated by a woman. I was told a few times by previous colleagues just how “male-dominated” the industry is and I would need to prove myself among the men in order for my ideas and insights as an accountant/CPA to be equally respected. What I like about working at MSBP, specifically for Daliah, is working under a woman who is smart and knows the industry. It proves that stigma which I was told wrong and watching her interact with clients, and seeing how highly they respect her and her financial knowledge about running your own business is very empowering.
What day-to-day and long-term projects have you taken on?
I do bookkeeping for some of our QuickBooks Online clients. I add, match, and categorize transactions for clients so they can get a more accurate view of their financial reports like their balance sheet and profit and loss statement. I also work on anything for Daliah that would help lighten her work load because she is soooo very busy! At the end of the month I assist with reconciliations and helping to make sure clients receive their financials reports every month. I also get to shadow Daliah at meetings and on location for clients. I have learned so much during shadowing that cannot be taught in a classroom, simulation, or wasn’t taught at my previous internships. Also, I have taken on bookkeeping for most QBO clients and I usually take on tasks that require a lot of data entry for incorporating a new software. Currently, I am working on getting one client and all their vendors set up in Bill.com so Daliah can help implement a faster system for paying bills into their business.
You’re headed towards taking the CPA exam next year—why is that important for you?
It’s been something I have worked towards and researched for since my senior year in high school. I know the exam is difficult and I like challenges, so passing it and receiving my certification would be accomplishing a major long-term goal of mine.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love going to different restaurants around Chicago and trying a variety of foods. I really enjoy trying local breweries and craft beers. I am also a big sports fan, specifically hockey—I live and breathe for the Pittsburgh Penguins, (sorry, Chicago) because I am originally from Pittsburgh.
Where do you see your career 10 years from now?
I don’t really know. I know that I will be doing accounting, but as for what kind I am unsure. I know that I will go on to get my CPA and I hope to be doing consulting and helping business owners or individuals with their financial issues. I want to go where I feel is right in the moment, and in 10 years who knows what is going to be the right choice or what the circumstances will be? For now, I really enjoy watching MSBP grow and I am excited to stay with Daliah and see what we are able to accomplish!
Thanks to Britney, I’m able to focus on helping more small businesses like yours manage their money. Contact me at Daliah@MySmallBusinessPro.com and we’ll talk about how MSBP can transform your financial picture.