About ten years ago, Lisa Bybee was working as a Union carpenter who later went on to specialize in custom millwork. In 2006, when the recession hit, she was the foreman of a Boston-based carpentry company. It was then that she decided to ensure her financial future by pursuing additional training. And because she had always been interested in accounting, it was only natural that she gravitate to Universal Accounting Center (UAC).
In 2007 Lisa enrolled in the Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide to QuickBooks. The hands-on training really appealed to Lisa, who quickly realized that the exercises she was completing for imaginary companies in her training manual were preparing her for real-life scenarios with prospective clients. Her Universal coach suggested she continue her training with the Professional Bookkeeper Program which enables students to master small-business accounting. By the end of the year, she had completed both courses and had earned the Professional Bookkeeper designation (PB).
Less than one year later, Lisa started her own practice, Parkers Accounting, which she named after her late grandmother (Edra Mae Parker) and father (James Parker Bybee) who had both spent decades working in the accounting industry. When we first talked to Lisa, she was still working full-time, running her accounting practice on the side. She was serving 7 regular clients with the hopes of turning her part-time practice into a fulltime venture.
Just this week we caught up with Lisa to see how she’s doing. Since we last spoke just a few years ago she’s become a CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) and has a graduate degree in both accounting and forensic accounting. She still manages an accounting practice for which an employee performs most of the day-to-day accounting tasks. She works as a controller for three companies on a contract basis and dedicates three days a week to forensic accounting. Lisa explains, “I have a wide range of clients now and close to $200,000 in annual revenue.”
Lisa enjoys many benefits as a contractor. She explains, “In a job, you are hired for a certain position and that is what you do, all day, every day. Only if someone retires or leaves is there the [opportunity] … for advancement. But with my practice, only I determine where I will stop. There is no limit to the upside I can achieve. The only limit is myself and my mind.”
Universal’s training enabled Lisa to interact with real small-business owners, convincing them of the value her service provide. Lisa says, “I understand much better what they need and what I need to do to provide the best service to them. This is something never taught in two or four-year colleges but is essential…in order to do accounting for small business. The program gave me a much more rounded education in accounting, not just a corporate view of accounting.”
To those who are thinking about training with Universal, Lisa says, “Just start! Just enroll and start the programs, and it will happen—everything else will fall into place. Just know that what you learn here is real-world bookkeeping for small business. And that no matter what questions are thrown at you, there is always someone at UAC to help.”
Lisa attributes her own success to her undying commitment; she never gave up. She also explains that “…without my knowledge of QuickBooks, I wouldn’t even be close to those accomplishments. I owe a lot to Universal Accounting for teaching me not only the skills of QuickBooks, but also that the dream really can be reality.” To sample the training she received for free online, visit Universal Accounting.