Fine Point Meet & Greet: Bailey Green

Meet the newest Fine Point Consulting staff and learn a little bit about what makes them tick.

Tell us a bit about your background and your role at Fine Point Consulting.
I graduated from Montana State University–Bozeman with a BacBailey Greenhelor’s degree in business with a major in accounting and a minor in entrepreneurship. I moved to Tennessee for awhile after graduating before coming back to Wisconsin, where I’m originally from. I love the structure of accounting, but I also enjoy creative, out-of-the-box thinking, so when I saw the position for a staff accountant at Fine Point I was really excited because it offers the best of both worlds. Much of my work is bookkeeping: entering bills, making sure bills are paid on time, and accounts receivable to ensure we keep money flowing in for our clients. I love the variety of clients we work with here at Fine Point, as well as the people I work with. Both the clients and my coworkers are a lot of fun.

(Fine Point Owner) Luella is a big reader. Any favorite books?
My two favorite books are Walden by Henry David Thoreau and Wild by Cheryl Strayed. They’re both about adventure and connecting with nature, and I’m an outdoorsy person. Something about reading these books is very relaxing for me and keeps me grounded.

What’s something others may be surprised to learn about you?
I live in a tiny house – it’s 220 square feet. My fiancé and I started building it about a year ago, and we’ve been living in it since July. We chose to live in a tiny house because we wanted to live with less and get a greater control of our finances. It’s been a great way for us to pare down our lives and make time to do more things outside of the home. We love living in it, but traveling with it can be very stressful so we plan to stay where we are for awhile!

When you’re not working, you…
I love hiking, canoeing, and camping, and my fiancé and I spend a lot of time putting finishing touches on our house. I also love spending time with my dog, Sahara, a Heeler and the third resident of our tiny house. She is my brindle baby!


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Fine Point Consulting to learn how our knowledgeable staff can help your business succeed.

We’re Hiring! Controller Position Now Open.

Want to work for a great company with lots of accounting know-how, a diverse stable of clients, and plenty of personal flexibility? Check out our newest job posting!

Controller

The Controller position is responsible for managing the ongoing financial reporting operations of the firm on behalf of Outsourced Accounting clients. This includes the review of periodic financial reports prepared by the Accounting Manager, preparation of budget, KPI and other management reports, and a comprehensive set of controls designed to mitigate risk, enhance the accuracy of the client’s reported financial results, and ensure that reported results comply with generally accepted accounting principles. The Controller also serves as the primary liaison between the client and the client’s tax preparer and other professional service providers. Read the complete list of responsibilities and qualifications here.

 

Fine Point Consulting, LLC, is an accounting and CFO advisory firm located in beautiful downtown Madison, WI. Founded in 2006 by Luella Schmidt, CPA, MBA, we complement businesses with industry-leading accounting solutions and best-of-breed technology for 90+ start-ups, nonprofits, and small businesses throughout the Midwest. And we’re a pretty nice group of people to boot. Recently certified as a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE), an outcomes-driven management style, our employees meet the needs of our clients by working when and where they work best. Come join our fun, growing team! Learn more at finepointconsulting.net.

Fine Point Meet & Greet: Brad Hubele

Meet the newest Fine Point Consulting staff and learn a little bit about what makes them tick.

Brad Hubele

Tell us a little bit about your background and what drew you to accounting as a career.

I earned my associate degree in Business Administration from Madison College, then finished my bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Upper Iowa University. I’m currently working on my master’s degree and hope to take the CPA exam one day as well. I enjoy accounting because I’ve always been analytical, and accounting is a place I can be analytical without driving everyone else crazy because it’s expected. It’s also a great field for learning new things because rules and practices change every year, so you have to keep up with that. I also love numbers and am happy to sit in front of a computer all day, so this career is a good fit for me.

What’s something others may be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a beer connoisseur. I love studying brewing, microbrews, and what it takes to make unique beers. I’d love to be a Brewmaster some day–what a cool title!–and start my own microbrew.  A few months ago, I toured Schlafly Beer in St. Louis. The tour and the tasting were great, and I really learned a lot from the tour guide. I also love Wisconsin microbrews; a favorite beer right now is the Staghorn Octoberfest from New Glarus Brewing.

(Fine Point Owner) Luella is a big reader. Any favorite books?

I recently read The Martian by Andy Weir. They’re making it into a film soon, and it’s getting good reviews. One thing I liked about it is that even when this guy was trapped on Mars and it seemed like there was no way out, he kept trying. I think that’s a good lesson. I also learned a bit about science along the way – it’s a great book!

What do you enjoy most about working at Fine Point?

I really enjoy being around the account managers and CPAs here. I’m learning a lot from my coworkers and I have the opportunity every day to ask questions and learn new things. The Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) we have here is also great as it allows me to spend time with my four-year-old son. It was a little hard to get used to the idea that I could work when I wanted at first – I kept thinking, “Can I really leave right now?” as I left the office early in the day. But sometimes you just need to get out of the office to do your best work, and it’s great to have that flexibility.

 

Visit Fine Point Consulting to learn how our knowledgeable staff can help your business succeed.

Fine Point Meet & Greet: Tope Fadiran

Meet the newest Fine Point Consulting staff and learn a little bit about what makes them tick.

TopeFadiranTell us a little bit about your background and your role at Fine Point.

I’m originally from Nigeria and have been in the United States for about 13 years. I earned an Accounting degree in Nigeria, but also took a number of business classes at Southern Polytechnic State University in Georgia, and earned my CPA license in Wisconsin in 2012. For four years I was the sole Accountant for Madison-based ScheduleSoft Corporation, where I also developed skills working with the SaaS model. I started as a Controller with Fine Point in August 2015. In my role here I work with a variety of businesses to help them with their accounting and financial goals, and provide general business help and oversight—whatever the customer needs!

What do you enjoy most about working at Fine Point?

I really love the people here, and just having access to all of their knowledge and resources. I was a sole accountant for many years, so it’s really nice to have accounting coworkers to bounce ideas off of right here in the office. I also like that we work with a variety of businesses, like start-ups and non-profits. That kind of variety is really enjoyable and interesting. And I love that Fine Point is a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE), so I can manage my own schedule and really focus on achieving results for our clients.

[Fine Point Owner] Luella is a big reader. Any favorite books?

One book that comes to mind is Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley. The book stresses the importance of love in our society today.

Tell us something others may not know about you.

I love working with children! I have two kids of my own, a boy and a girl, ages 12 and 8, but I also volunteer to work with children’s groups whenever I have a chance. Children are carefree and very impressionable; they start to form their values at a very young age. I consider my little interaction with them a privilege and  an opportunity to influence them in a positive way.

When you’re not working, you…

I love listening to music and taking walks. I also enjoy baking and experimenting with different types of desserts.

 

Visit Fine Point Consulting to learn how our knowledgeable staff can help your business succeed.

3 Common Accounting and Bookkeeping Mistakes Among Startup Owners

Whether you’ve found yourself trying to dig your startup of a messy accounting hole, or want to get proactive and prevent money mistakes before they happen, knowing what not to do is often just as important as knowing what the right steps are to take.

Entrepreneurs don’t start their new business ventures only to spend hours working out budgets and managing their company from the inside. They have dreams to chase and need a well-oiled accounting process to make sure they can focus on growth rather than constant internal management.

Especially for business owners just starting out, putting off your accounting tasks doesn’t make them go away. The less you’re able to nail down accurate books this month, the harder it will be to fix them next month.

1. Not integrating accounting as a core component of your business process

One of the most common problems entrepreneurs make has less to do with the specifics of accounting, but how they treat it within their business.

Just like sales or marketing, accounting is a core part of the broader business process––not a task that simply hangs on from the outside. Thinking of it as something that only needs to be thought about “every once in a while,” already sets you up for disaster down the road.

Accounting tasks come into play just about every day. Making sure expenses are logged and tracked on a daily basis not only saves you from devoting a huge block of time at the end of the month you’d spend compiling all of that information, it also helps to ensure every expense is noted and accounted for when it comes time to get your books in order.

2. Ignoring Cash Flow

It happens all the time.

An impassioned entrepreneur launches a business and is spurred on to expand after some initial success only to realize the business isn’t in the green––it’s deep in the red.

Bottom-line profits look great, but cobwebs are forming in the checking account. It’s not a scenario you want to be in when the bills start coming in.

While some businesses can skirt around the problem with credit offers to customers, startups rarely find themselves able to do this.

That’s why it’s extra important to be sure you’re getting paid as early as possible. For those who use a variety of subscription-based tools, remember to take advantage of any discounts for long-term service that can improve your cash flow in the future.

When it comes time to pay invoices, delay them as long as possible if no early payment discount exists. This way, you can use the difference between collection and payment to throw towards growth investments.

 3. Understanding accounting basics and reaching out to professionals

There’s no question you’ll have enough accounting work to keep you busy––the question is, do you understand it? Numbers and careful calculations aren’t everyone’s strong point and when you’re working under pressure, your chances of getting it wrong only increase.

For those that need extra assistance, it’s important to know which questions you’ll need to ask.

What kind of documents you’ll need to keep, what the purpose of them will be now and in the future, and what kind of liabilities might face are all questions that should be asked by those who aren’t well acquainted with bookkeeping.

If all of that is simply too much for you to handle along with the other parts of your business, outsourced accounting professionals are available to help pick up the slack.

For most startups, hiring outside help can be well worth it when compared to the potential losses possible when mistakes are made in-house.

If you’re a startup or small business owner interested in hiring an outsourced accountant, contact us. Our start-up accounting and CFO services experts can provide you with personal guidance. 

Photo credit: Jono Haysom