Today, we’re speaking with Astrid Daniela Galvez, founder of Accounting Specialists and Business Solutions, LLC. Astrid is one of the accounting professionals who won the #QBBetterTogether contest, along with her client Marco Ochoa. As part of the contest, we asked small businesses and accounting professionals to tell us how they work together to achieve success. Read on to check out Astrid and Marco’s story!
Shauna Maher: Thank you for joining us, Astrid, and congratulations on winning the #QBBetterTogether contest! First things first, tell us about your firm.
Astrid Daniela Galvez: I began my career in the auto finance industry. After leaving my corporate job in 2012, I decided to launch my own firm in 2013 with the help and support of my two sisters. Accounting Specialists and Business Solutions, LLC is a bilingual (Spanish and English) bookkeeping and tax practice focused on helping small business owners, self-employed individuals, start-ups and entrepreneurs run their business using cloud solutions. We offer services that include bookkeeping, bill payment, payroll management, tax return preparation, and QuickBooks Online training and set up. Our preferred accounting software is QuickBooks Online, and we also use Intuit ProConnect™ Tax Online to serve our tax clients.
As a Latino family business, we understand the value and impact the Spanish speaking community brings to the economy. We make every effort to go above and beyond to help our clients succeed by running their day-to-day financial operations so they can spend more time running their business.
SM: How did you start first start working with Marco and Ecobrow?
ADG: Marco and I met through friends at social gatherings when he was in the process of launching his Ecobrow eyebrow wax. Social gatherings quickly turned into business strategy and planning meetings. I soon realized that he didn’t have a bookkeeping system in place and I explained to him all the benefits of having one. I’ve been his bookkeeper ever since.
SM: What is it about your working relationship with Ecobrow that makes for the perfect partnership?
ADG: We developed a relationship with Marco based on trust. We know his story, family and business needs. He loves to spend time creating new shades of colors for his product, finding the right formula for his eyebrow line, and visiting customers everywhere in the United States and Mexico. We take the bill payment and bookkeeping duties off his shoulders so he can focus on being creative and getting that facetime with his clients.
SM: Aside from bookkeeping duties, how do you support Marco and his small business on a day-to-day basis?
ADG: Marco is constantly working and meeting with clients at his studio, so we do our best to value his time. I try to minimize emails, keeping all notes short and concise, and also assist with business correspondence from his vendors and clients.
Additionally, while he likes technology, he is not interested in the minutiae of certain apps. Since he’s always on the go, I’ve shown him how to create invoices using the QuickBooks Online mobile app. Now, when we meet in person or via virtual meetings, we discuss strategies, not bookkeeping terms.
SM: What has been one of the biggest challenges you and Ecobrow solved together?
ADG: In 2015, Ecobrow launched at Sephora Stores nationwide. This was a huge deal for his business, and while Marco is a very hands-on business owner, he valued our counsel and allowed us to be a part of the communication process with Sephora. As a result, we assisted him with the agreement process, financial planning and accounts receivable management. This experience gave Ecobrow immense exposure and we are now working on strategies for his product to be distributed overseas.
SM: It sounds like the best part of working with Marco is the partnership aspect.
ADG: Yes, he’s very receptive and open to hearing suggestions. Not to mention, his creativity is mind-blowing and his entrepreneurial spirit is highly contagious. His product has been featured in magazines such as Vogue Mexico, InStyle, People, Glamour and others, but he keeps his feet on the ground and remains committed to his mission to provide a product that is organic and natural. I learn something new every time we meet.
SM: What advice do you have for other accounting professionals who work with small business clients similar to Ecobrow?
ADG: Based on my experience with Marco, I’ve learned that the beauty industry is filled with creative thinkers and detail-oriented individuals. You really have to know the way your client “ticks” in order to best meet their unique needs. It’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all scenario, so I encourage all accounting professionals to get to know their client’s style. Keep communication channels open about what’s working and what isn’t in order to establish mutual trust and ensure a fruitful partnership.
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