As a nonprofit fundraising consultant, I created Altrui so I could use my love of nonprofit fundraising and of relationship building to work with nonprofits whose missions mean the world to me, supporting them in strengthening relationships with their donors and building their fundraising.
I had little knowledge in starting a business or running a business once it was off the ground.
Just as I found value in having a great relationship with my CFO wherever I was head of fundraising, I realized I needed the same type of financial brilliance for Altrui. For me this meant hiring an accountant/CPA to not only do my taxes but to take a look at everything financially to keep me going in the right direction.
My one suggestion that will catapult your small business is along these lines.
Hire an accountant/CPA who you trust, who you enjoy working with, and who will take the time needed to keep an eye on your financials while teaching you how to be better.
I did this last year, in preparation for my tax work for 2021 and it completely changed Al trui for the better. I started with the same CPA that did our family taxes, and that was good, but I didn’t feel the focus on Altrui was good enough. When they moved, I had the chance to speak with other CPAs, and found one I really wanted to work with right in my local chamber of commerce monthly breakfast!
Once it was official, they asked for access to my QuickBooks. I immediately said yes, warning them that it was a mess. Yes, everything was in there, and most items were most likely coded incorrectly. They soon confirmed my thoughts on the status of my QuickBooks and offered to help with two suggestions.
Let them clean up my QuickBooks to their standards.
Teach me how to add data so it matches their standards.
“Yes” I said to both. These two ideas, which may be common, made me feel like Altrui was now a real business, with super-accurate financials, and the knowledge to keep that going.
Other things I love about this CPA is that they sent me an app to download all of my documents, from my phone! Again, this may be common but it was a lifechanger for me. I had everything downloaded for family and Altrui by the end of January, and a meeting with my CPA and their team by mid-Feburary completeling everything. The app helped so much!
They also offered to check in at the end of June, go over my bank statements and QuickBooks, and let me know how it all looked to them. I loved that. And there were only three data entires that I had put in the “ask my accountant” file! Everything else was good to go.
Like my time in nonprofit fundraising, hiring the best people for areas in which I don’t excel can by critical to my success, and the success of the organization. At Altrui, I want to know every line of my financials, just like I wanted to know what every line of my nonprofit’s budget meant. It makes a big difference in both arenas when you are commfortable with knowing all about the financials.
If you don’t have a CPA like mine, consider one. If you’re in California I’d be happy to recommend mine!
Thank you for reading.