About ten years ago, Lisa Bybee was working as a Union carpenter who later went on to specialize in custom millwork. In 2006, when the recession hit, she was the foreman of a Boston-based carpentry company. It was then that she decided to ensure her financial future by pursuing additional training. And because she had always been interested in accounting, it was only natural that she gravitate to Universal Accounting Center (UAC).
In 2007 Lisa enrolled in the Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide to QuickBooks. The hands-on training really appealed to Lisa, who quickly realized that the exercises she was completing for faux companies in her training manual were preparing her for real-life scenarios with future prospective clients. Her Universal coach suggested she continue her training with the Professional Bookkeeper Program which enables students to master small-business accounting. By the end of the year, she had completed both courses and had earned the Professional Bookkeeper designation (PB).
Less than one year later, Lisa started her own practice, Parkers Accounting, which she named after her late grandmother (Edra Mae Parker) and father (James Parker Bybee) who had both spent decades working in the accounting industry. Currently her practice serves 7 steady clients which Lisa manages in addition to her fulltime accounting position. Each client was secured using the practical techniques she learned through her Universal training. Recently she acquired a significant client and plans to quit her day job so she can work fulltime in her own practice.
Lisa enjoys many benefits as a contract accountant. She explains, “In a job, you are hired for a certain position and that is what you do, all day, every day. Only if someone retires or leaves is there the [opportunity] … for advancement. But with my practice, only I determine where I will stop. There is no limit to the upside I can achieve. The only limit is myself and my mind.”
Universal’s training enabled Lisa to interact with real small-business owners, convincing them of the value her service provide. Lisa says, “I understand much better what they need and what I need to do to provide the best service to them. This is something never taught in two or four-year colleges but is essential…in order to do accounting for small business. The program gave me a much more rounded education in accounting, not just a corporate view of accounting.”
Her training also enabled her to set reasonable fees while offering services small business owners genuinely need. Because Universal provided a lesson on the “shoebox business owner,” she was prepared when a prospective client brought her all his financials in a Nike shoebox. The client hired her because she understood what he needed and how to service those needs.
To those who are thinking about training with Universal, Lisa says, “Just start! Just enroll and start the programs, and it will happen—everything else will fall into place. Just know that what you learn here is real-world bookkeeping for small business. And that no matter what questions are thrown at you, there is always someone at UAC to help.”
Lisa attributes her own success to her undying commitment; she never gave up. And when she secured one client, she worked harder to secure more. She believes, “I figure that if I can get one client, I can get 100.” The confidence, skills and expertise she now enjoys she attributes to the training she received from Universal Accounting.