Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Ashe.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Susan. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In January of 2007 after I was laid off from my long time Corporate accounting position in Illinois, I decided that 47 years of snow and ice and cold were quite enough so… I packed my life up into a Uhaul and headed to Arizona. It was the best decision I made I know now but quite scary to move from my comfort zone out to a place where I didn’t know a soul, had no job lined up and as luck would have it the economy was just starting to take a major downturn here in the Phoenix area.
Companies weren’t hiring let alone hiring the “older worker”. After I got over the shock of realizing that I WAS the “older worker”, I moved forward with temporary positions to try and find my niche. It was a wild and interesting first couple of years; I finally realized a longtime dream; bought a motorcycle and learned to ride. I met a lot of great people as well as gained a lot of great friends within little less than a year so while my career was stalled my life was just beginning I felt. One day I got a call from Robert Shinn owner of Evil Twin Custom Cycles who was a personal friend asking to take a look at his accounting and bookkeeping system and I of course said yes. After I got it all caught up he hired me to do his ongoing financial work. That was the start of what I refer to as my “accidental business”.
Now, it’s years later and I provide full charge accounting and bookkeeping support from my home offices to a variety of clients all over the Phoenix Metro area as well as Seattle, New York, Vegas and Colorado just to name a few states my clients operate from.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I wouldn’t say it’s been smooth but I also wouldn’t say it’s been extremely difficult either.
I think the biggest struggle was getting small business owners to trust someone with my business model vs their idea of a traditional bookkeeper/accountant being on site. I started offering my clients to do it my way and if; within a month they still had issues than any work I did was free of charge and they could find someone for onsite work. Not one client has ever taken me up on that offer in 8 years.
I think my biggest struggle was learning when to shut down… stop answering the phones and checking emails. Even now; I might work at 4 am or 10 pm whatever I need to do when I need to do it.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with MobileAccountantAZ – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I offer full charge accounting for small to medium sized businesses of all industries.
I think what makes me unique is that I am available to my clients no matter where I am. If I am traveling I have my laptop with me, if I am out at meetings I have my tablet. All files are accessible to me no matter where I am for any of my clients if they have a question.
I’m proud that I took the recession and downturn and turned it around to a business with 1 client to over 40 and growing. At the start I had to advertise and beat the pavement; now I get referrals almost daily from the CPA’s and Tax preparers that I work with for existing clients.
Starting this business has made me realize just how many years I wasted being unhappy in corporate world.
I love what I do, my clients are more than just a check and I have been told more than once that they now have far more free time to build their own business’ rather than struggling with their accounting.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I plan to just keep growing and doing what I do best. If I were still in corporate America I’d be starting the road to retirement but with my business model I can work another 10 – 15 years if I want to and God willing, am able to.
- Address: Apache Junction, AZ
- Website: www.mobileaccountantaz.com
- Phone: 602-576-7052
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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