Universal Accounting Success Stories

When Steve Eckman started his accounting practice he had much to be proud of. Quality services helping small businesses. After working with Universal Accounting Center the practice then took off and is thriving. It is more than just accounting, bookkeeping and tax, it is helping small business owners.

After building a successful accounting practice Steve Eckman shares some thoughts about the journey and what has made the difference for him.

When reflecting on the successful tax practice Bill Brough shares some of his insights.

Listen to Bill Brough as he describes his Successful Tax Practice. Consider his likes and preferences as you start and build your practice.

Become a Profit & Growth Expert

Building Your Accounting Practice Not only must you offer quality accounting services at a fair price, you must also illustrate why you have the best people to outsource your clients accounting and bookkeeping needs. The best way to accomplish this is by distinguishing your qualified staff as the best in the area.

Certifications and designations can represent the expertise of you and/or your staff in offering specialized accounting services. It also shows your firm’s commitment to being the best in the market.

Often within the accounting community itself there is confusion between what is accounting, and what is bookkeeping. Forget the lay person and let’s have a candid discussion. What services should you offer?

Some choose to refer to bookkeeping as write-up work, it’s bookkeeping.

* Disclaimer, unfortunately there are some states where the terms accountant and accounting have been regulated such that regardless the services offered only CPA’s or degreed accountants can refer to themselves as such. This is no different than a doctor doing the work of a nurse and still referring to themselves as a doctor. If you are paid to be a nurse, and you do nursing, your a nurse.

When working with small businesses there are specific accounting credentials and or designations that represent qualified accounting services.

Professional Bookkeeper, PB
* Proficient in the day-to-day accounting procedures in small business
* Accounting, Bookkeeping, Write-up services

QuickBooks Specialist, QS
* Certified in the use of QuickBooks as a bookkeeper

Professional Tax Preparer, PTP
* Certified in the preparation of both individual and business returns

Successful Graduates

Jon Schofield has an especially interesting story. After working for years as a professional accountant for big companies and ultimately as a controller for a large corporation, he desired a change. More specially, he wanted to own and operate his own business.

Regardless of his 16 years of experience as a professional accountant, Jon realized that he didn’t have the training or knowledge to serve the small business sector, and in order for his new business venture to work, he needed to be well-versed in small business accounting. That’s when Universal Accounting’s Professional Bookkeeper Program became very appealing. Far from a get-rich-quick scheme, the principles taught in the course gave him a step-by-step process for building a profitable business. It took some work to get there, but Jon now reaps the rewards of what he describes as “the best decision I made in my career”: starting a business with the Professional Bookkeeper Program.

I sat down with Jon one day and asked him some questions. Here’s some insight into Jon’s success:

Why did you take the Professional Bookkeeper Course?

There were a number of things that Jon had become unfamiliar with in the course of his corporate career, and a number of small business accounting tasks that he didn’t even know how to do. “Even though I had had a lot of experience it was not necessarily the type of experience I needed to be a small business accountant.”

What were your goals?

“I approached it with the idea that it was certainly a good second job, and if things worked well I could make it go as a full-time career. I wanted to make it work, but in my mind I wasn’t sure if I could make it work.”

How has your life changed for the better since starting your own accounting practice?

Jon enjoys the flexible work schedule that comes with owning your own business. He also appreciates determining the work he will and will not do. He says, “I now have enough work to pay my bills so that I can be more selective and take higher paying jobs.” Jon currently makes $45 to 50 dollars per hour.

How Much Could You Make?

Let’s do the math. We’ll assume the low end when offering just bookkeeping services, consider a graduate who earns approximately $300 a month per client (an average amount).

20 clients X $300.00 = $6,000 per month. That’s $72,000 per year.

You Don’t Need a Degree to Start Your Own Practice

A bewildered university student once approached me. She had heard the most “off-the-wall” comment from one of my graduates. This student had told her that you didn’t have to have a university degree to start a bookkeeping service.

That piqued her interest. She explained that she was a single mother that had working on an accounting degree at a local university for more than two years. Her whole purpose for getting the degree was so that she could do books for small businesses from her home. The cost of going to school wasn’t only financially draining, but the stress and time away from her kids was starting to negatively impact her parenting. Isn’t it interesting that she was getting the degree for her family, but getting there was damaging to the family.

Furthermore, she was getting nervous. She explained that she was now a junior in the accounting program at the University, and realized that she didn’t have the foggiest idea how to set up, or maintain a set of books for a small business. And the further she went into college, the further she was getting from small business issues.

I explained to her that anyone that understands accounting can do books for small businesses on a contract basis. Probably, all she would need was a business license, and for a few dollars she could pick that up. To say she got excited is an understatement!

A few weeks later I got a letter from her, wherein she commented that she was well underway to reaching her dreams.

We have received hundreds of phone calls, letters, and emails, from past graduates about the high quality of our articles, services, and teaching materials. Read on to see what our graduates have to say about us.

Thousands of successful bookkeepers have proven that our system works! Be our next success story!

Hear Real-World Success Stories

Click on any of the names below to hear graduates of the Professional Bookkeeper Program rave about how it gave them the skills and marketing know-how to start their own successful accounting and bookkeeping services. If they can do it, so can you!

Victoria Richardson, Professional Bookkeeper
Victoria Richardson

Scott Irvins, Professional Bookkeeper
Scott Ivins

Rebecca The
Rebecca The

Jon Schofield, Professional Bookkeeper
Jon Schofield

When you’re ready to start your own success story, enroll in the Professional Bookkeeper Program. In less than 60 hours you could be on your way to owning a lucrative practice with satisfied clients of your own. Don’t delay your success another day. Enroll now!

What Makes a Good Candidate for Enrollment at Universal Accounting?

Pick me

You may have been interested in enrolling in courses at Universal Accounting for a long time, but you’re not sure if it’s right for you. Even though you probably know that investing in yourself is essential for your future, you may have uncertainties about the direction you choose.

The truth is that our students come from all walks of life: single moms, retired professionals, young millennials. Our specialized training is effective for anyone who applies themselves. Yet our most successful graduates have a passion for a few common things.

Financial Freedom
There’s really nothing like gaining the skills you need to enjoy a truly profitable career. If you’re looking for a job that pays $50-$100+ an hour, Universal Accounting is a brilliant step for you. Whether you need more money to get debt-free, support your family, or simply enjoy more of the good life, a career in tax and accounting is a ticket to financial freedom.

Personal Freedom
Some students who come to us are already earning six-figure salaries. But they want something more. You may be unhappy in your current position, looking for a big promotion, or maybe you’ve decided it’s time to be your own boss. Any one of our certifications can get you on your way to building a career on your terms.

Flexibility
Who doesn’t want better work-life balance? Many of our graduates enjoy the freedom of a flexible work schedule around the days and hours they choose. Some choose part-time to spend time on other passions, while others build their business full-time. All students gain the accounting skills to help change their daily life for the better.

Self-Confidence
Most students enroll with us knowing that they need a boost in their confidence to really take off in their careers. Through our personal coaching and marketing training, our graduates report finally gaining the confidence to believe in, value, and sell their skills to prospective clients. Most graduates also report a newfound confidence to take the risks that reward most in business.

See what others have said now that they are graduates of Universal!

Read what our alumni have done with their careers in accounting!

If you’re ready to live your better life, what are you waiting for? Enroll today.

Graduate Spotlight: John Lyden

John LydenOur graduates come from all walks of life. Some are tired of working 9-5, and others want to be their own boss. Regardless of the individual circumstances, they all wanted a better life, better pay, and more confidence. When John Lyden enrolled with Universal Accounting (UA), he was already his own boss. He had owned and operated a bagel shop and deli for more than eight years. Prior to purchasing his deli business, John was in corporate accounting for more than 11 years.

the accountrepreneur vennJohn decided that he would like to hone his prior skills and begin his own practice, so he chose to enroll at UA for refresher courses in Bookkeeping & Tax Preparation. At the time, all he really knew about his future was that he wanted to continue being his own boss. Beyond that, he didn’t know exactly what he would offer, nor which customers he would reach.

Through the Master Coach Program, John was able to develop his WHY. What surprised him most was the way his education at UA opened his mind to grow his practice in ways he never expected. While John began with a bookkeeping and tax practice, he soon expanded into a full accounting business with an ancillary service to protect his clients from the effects of identity theft. He continued his education, as well—and is now life, accident and health insurance licensed.

John knew that while he was his own boss at the bagel shop, he wasn’t getting everything he wanted out of his life. The skills he gained with Universal Accounting led him to a new direction, and he is embracing that life with gusto and success.

Isn’t it time for your own success story?

Graduate Spotlight: Adam Syvock

Adam SyvockAdam Syvock had been making plans to begin his own accounting practice when his position as an accountant for a pet products manufacturer was eliminated with a company-wide reduction. Taking the job loss as a sign to move forward with his goals, Adam decided it was time to beef up his knowledge of small business accounting.

Having already earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UW-Milwaukee, he had a pretty firm grasp of corporate accountant functions, but Universal Accounting (UA) gave Adam a strong foundation in business fundamentals and how he could use that knowledge in small-business applications. UA also gave him the confidence to speak with potential clients about his business.

Adam already had the knowledge and skills to do the job of a great accountant, but he didn’t know how to convey his expertise or value to small business owners. The master coaching program really changed the game by solidifying his accounting foundation, so he could enjoy far more confidence in debit and credits, as well as communication.

After enrolling in the master coaching program, Adam learned how to market his new business more effectively, opened up his own office, and became the president of his local BNI chapter. His private practice has enjoyed steady growth and is now heading into its second year.

Prior to enrollment at UA, Adam’s vision of having his own accounting business was just a dream, and he didn’t know whether or not he would find success. Since graduation, he no longer questions his future, because he’s building it right now. His questions now revolve around how big he wants his business to grow!

Are you considering enrollment with UA? Adam says that it takes a great deal of dedication and passion, but for those who possess such qualities and are willing to put in the hard work, there is an enormous potential to succeed!

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!

Next Page »