I started bookkeeping at 9 years old when I became an Omaha World Herald paper carrier. Mom had a solid understanding of general ledgers and a belief in teaching kids to handle their own business. Fortunately, there were only a few transactions to enter each month, which I did laboriously in my best printing. Before writing the check to pay for the newspapers sold, I reconciled carefully, terrified I would overdraw my tiny checking account. My diligence paid off and I never did have an overdraft.
A few years later, I was working at a service station and the owner’s wife taught me how to do the books because she was tired of dealing with them. From job to job, I kept learning more about bookkeeping, eventually took accounting classes at college, and ended up getting three years of mentorship from a small business owner with an accounting degree and a complex, intertwined set of businesses. He was a perfectionist about bookkeeping, which turned me into an excellent full-charge bookkeeper who can do accurate financial accounting and produce useful managerial reports.
I’ve been freelancing for over 20 years now and some of my small business clients have been with me from the beginning. I see my work with them as a partnership and my favorite part of serving small businesses is getting to see the role I play in their successes.