Deep experience in financially-driven management
I founded Apex Accounting after 18 years as a manager in retail, hospitality and personal service industries and 20 years operating a small business. I hold degrees in Business Management and Accounting.
Always aspired to entrepreneurship
I grew up in my father’s medical practice and had self-employment modeled to from an early age. By the age of 20 I had decided that the only way to have the type of life I dreamed of was to be self-employed. For the next 18 years, I worked as a manager for retail, manufacturing, service and hospitality businesses. Even during that time, most of the time I ran a business of my own after hours.
Along the way, I was exposed to the Deming Philosophy and decided it could be applied to almost any business, with just a little tweaking.
When I founded my own full-time business in 2002, I put my theory into practice and enjoyed great success in the cleaning business. Both the clients and employees benefitted from the application of Deming’s 14 points to the cleaning business. The employees were paid well, given benefits and enjoyed a pleasant work culture where they were appreciated. The clients got a level of service unprecedented in the cleaning industry.
Financial analysis drove my innovations
I developed a step-by-step system that eliminated redundancy and offered the most efficient path from beginning to end of any cleaning project, whether in an industrial, home, office or laboratory setting. Since all material and labor costs (time) were figured for each step, I could bid any one-time job with ease.
I knew almost to the penny what each project would cost me in supplies and labor. My system not only reduced the amount of labor needed by more than 25%, it also reduced the amount of supplies used by 90%. Waste was reduced to near zero.
Doing the books became my nightly chore. This meant that my company could take advantage of every trade discount available from vendors and could collect promptly on all outstanding accounts. By examining my cash-flows I could emphasize the areas of my business that produced the most profit the most often. It also clued me into where I could reduce my costs for supplies and how to use my people most efficiently. It also made doing my taxes much simpler.
I trained each employee in every aspect of the business, from cleaning a bedroom to bidding a project. This ensured that everyone understood exactly how my cleaning system worked—and why it worked.
Over the years, I mentored many employees into starting their own cleaning companies. Far from damaging my place in the market, this gave a pool of sub-contractors to draw on when I won the bid on large projects.
Real estate agents left project management to me
Eventually, many of my real estate agency clients left to me the coordination of all aspects of a “turnover.” That’s when substantial refurbishing is required for a home sale or tenant change. It can include the replacement of carpets, fixtures, flooring, windows, and drywall, and painting. The result was incredible. Projects were finished on time and to a high standard that would have made a marine platoon sergeant proud. And I could charge significantly less than many others doing this same sort of work due to the system I had created.
As you may imagine this made my company something of a disruptive influence in my market. And when asked by my ‘competitors’ asked just how I could underbid them and still make a profit, I offered to teach them how I did it. In the end this gained me allies instead of enemies.
Closed my business to return to the mainland
2012 brought sad news. My father was in his final months. I decided to close my business in Hawaii and return to the mainland to be closer to family and spend at least some time with dad before he went to his reward. He passed in early 2013 and in June of that year I was diagnosed with cysts on my spine. This required multiple surgeries to correct and essentially left me partially disabled and no longer able to do the sort of work I had made my living at for the last 20 years.
After several months of recovery spent considering what I would do next for a career I thought of my fellow small business owners. I believe that the small business, the proverbial mom and pop shop, is the backbone of a healthy and stable economy. I wanted to do something that would benefit them.
One thing I had noticed over the years was that many small businesses have some trouble with their bookkeeping. Many are run by folks with little or no business training. Creative and innovative, but not fully trained in the nuances of business. Many found doing their books a burden and neglected them.
I thought how paying attention to my books had allowed me to maximize efficiency and profit. I decided to return to college and earn a degree in accounting so I could found a bookkeeping service that understood the needs and desires of entrepreneurs. One that could help them enjoy the benefits of knowing exactly how your business is doing and the strategic and tactical advantage it brings to the table.
In addition to general accounting, my education emphasized taxation. Understanding how to properly prepare taxes to take advantage of every allowed deduction and credit helps increase overall profit for the small business owner, it also makes sure that mistakes that could cause headaches down the line are avoided.
While recovering from my surgeries and regaining my strength, I was able to take a part-time job clerking in a small accounting office for over a year to see if I had any facility for this kind of work before proceeding on to a degree. While in school I founded and operated a small pet sitting service. (I just can’t seem to NOT own a business of some kind.) It has grown by over 50% each year and continues to bring in cash as I transition into pursuing my passion to help others to succeed in business for themselves. I have also kept the books for my spouse’s clinical psychology practice.
Bookkeeper now, numerous certifications planned
I am currently offering my services to small business owners while completing certain professional certifications in bookkeeping, payroll, QuickBooks and tax preparation through the NACPB.
Feel free to contact me if you would like to enjoy the benefits of having a professional who understands bookkeeping and its strategic and tactical applications to success. Perhaps I can help you enjoy a reduced tax burden. Certainly I can increase the amount of time you can spend on other aspects of your business.