Graduate Spotlight – Jennifer Foody

PIC 3Jennifer has so much to be grateful and excited for.  Take a moment and read what she has to share:

My business has exploded – thanks to Universal Accounting.  I love Universal Accounting and look forward to a continued relationship with it as an alumni.

  • Why did you enroll with Universal Accounting?

I started a professional services company, Bottom Line Financial Services Inc., in mid-2013.  Within 6 months, I had a few clients but I struggled with marketing my business and pricing my services.  I did a lot of networking however, I was not getting the clients necessary to have a stable inflow of cash and a steady work schedule.

Since I had already enrolled in other programs that they offer, Universal Accounting reached out to me and contacted me in early 2015 to offer the services of a Marketing Coach.  The timing could not have been better!  I had recently lost my Dad (a CPA and former CEO of a large publicly traded company) who was my mentor, my sounding board and my source for guidance not only in building my business but also for assisting me when I had more complex accounting questions.  I desperately needed the help and my business was at the point where I felt that one on one individual coaching geared specifically towards me and my business issues would be beneficial.  Plus I liked the idea that the coaches at Universal Accounting were all experienced in exactly what I was trying to accomplish – to build a successful accounting services company.  Not only did I recognize the value of what was being offered but the pricing seemed very reasonable and the payment plan made is possible for me to do this without incurring a significant financial burden all at once.

  • What was your background and experience before enrolling

PIC 45I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management with a minor in Industrial Engineering and a MBA degree with an emphasis in finance and operations management, both from Purdue University.  Prior to starting my business, I had 20 years of industry experience in internal audit, corporate accounting, financial management and human resources.  I worked in a number of different businesses (ranging from small family owned businesses to a Fortune 100 company).

Following graduate school, I began my professional career in Internal Audit with Alcoa, a global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing.  From there, I went to work for a small, privately owned startup company specializing in website development; pursued consulting on a part time basis; and then went on to work for other companies in the service industry with jobs at a law firm and a 401k / pension plan administrator.  I’ve had a number of different roles throughout my career – Senior Audit, Manager of Financial Analysis & Planning, Controller, Human Resources Manager, Group Benefits Administrator and ultimately Chief Financial Officer.

I always enjoyed the consulting work that I was doing on the side.  I did a lot of contract work helping larger companies with Sarbanes Oxley compliance but I really loved helping small businesses with their basic accounting needs – monthly bookkeeping, developing accounting systems, incorporating procedures to improve their business administrative processes and identifying cost savings opportunities to help them become more profitable and more efficient.

  • What were your goals (career, employment, self-employment)?

From the time that I was in high school, I always dreamed of having my own business.  But going to college was the path that I felt drawn towards.  It was the “norm”.  It was what my friends were doing and what my family expected from me.  Then once I started working in Corporate America, my goals shifted.  I wanted to make it to the top of a business in a financial position.  Eventually this goal was realized.   However, once I had achieved this and found myself as the top financial person in an organization reporting directly to the President of the company, I realized how unhappy I was and that there was more to life than a big title and a paycheck every 2 weeks.  Holding down a full time job (that was demanding with long hours and deadlines for month end closing) often required me to be away from my family.  I found it difficult to maintain the work life balance that was so important to me.  While my children were still young, I wanted to be more in control of my work schedule and more involved at their school, what was going on with them and to be there for their activities, games, school plays, etc.  Hence, Bottom Line Financial Services was formed after resigning from a job that I had once loved!  In 2013, I took the summer off to spend time with my kids, reflect on my past experiences and strategize on what I would do professionally with my future.

  • Describe your experience with the programs you enrolled in and the coaching / support you received?

I enrolled in Universal Accounting’s Master Coaching program.  I received 10 weeks of coaching sessions with Scott McKinley.

Scott was a great coach!  We scheduled weekly phone calls and each week there were tasks and assignments that I needed to complete before our next call.  Working with Scott gave me access to the additional strategies, expertise and accountability that I needed to take my marketing and business development efforts to the next level.  These private coaching sessions were personal, specific and consultative with high accountability and fast results.  Scott is a knowledgeable professional who possesses a great deal of marketing expertise that is specific to helping accounting professionals to exceed.  He helped me prepare for presentations, respond to job ads and offered a number of other proven methods to seek out potential new clients.  He also helped me to turn my meetings into more productive discussions.  His energy and motivation were inspirational to me!

  • How do you feel this training will make you more successful?

Prior to these coaching sessions, I only had a few clients and the cash flow of my business was unpredictable.  I charged my clients on an hourly basis and did not have an arrangement with them so that I was working on a regular, ongoing basis.  Within 6 months of completing the Master Coaching program, I had 5 clients that I was working with on a weekly basis, all on a fixed monthly fee; I was building a network of referral partners; and I was competitively pricing my services with a steady, dependable cash inflow each month.

This year, I have consistently added clients using many of the strategies and techniques taught to me by Scott.  Scott also helped me to realize the value of networking and I’ve developed strategic partnership relationships with businesses who offer payroll services and tax services, both of which I have decided to not offer as service lines provide directly by my business.  I’m currently projecting that I will end 2016 at least 3 times higher than the revenue stream that I had for 2015.

  • Since completing the course, what have you found most valuable?

Before these coaching sessions, I lacked confidence and accountability.  These sessions literally changed the way that I do business.  I have a more positive attitude and now I feel more empowered with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to not only expand my own business but I am also better prepared to help other business owners.  Thank you, Scott, for helping me to stay positive, to believe in myself, and to be grateful!  I am now making my dreams happen with the help of Universal Accounting.  Private coaching was the perfect solution for me!

  • Universal Accounting LogoWhy would you recommend this course to others?

This was an investment in my professional development that was well worth the cost, has proven to make a difference, and I believe that it will continue to pay off for years to come.  Thank you Universal Accounting!