Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Schneider.
Laura, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started my college studies as a fashion merchandising major but after a couple of semesters I realized I wasn’t as passionate about fashion as a career as I initially thought I was. So I started searching for a new major and decided to give accounting a try as a mere attempt to register for the same classes as my best friend and college roommate. I think we only ended up taking about two classes together over the next three years, but I found that I really enjoyed learning about financials and the role they play in helping a business succeed. Plus, I was good at it and as a perfectionist, I tend to stick with things I’m good at.
I obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting from the University of Kentucky and passed the CPA exam shortly after graduation. I’ve worked as a certified public accountant specializing in tax my entire career. After working at several large accounting firms I started reaching a point of burn out. I started wondering why accounting had to be so boring, and where was the fun in this profession?
Just about that time, my former boss sent me and my now business partner to a leadership training course and it was there that I realized that it wasn’t burn out I was feeling. I loved the work I was doing, I just didn’t love the old school way most accounting firms were doing things. We had so many ideas about how we could bring more fun to the profession and engage with the business owners in our community to reduce the stigma and fear surrounding finances and taxes. We realized that if we wanted to see change in the accounting industry and start to enjoy going to work every day, we were going to have to wait around for a very long time, or we were going to have to do it ourselves. So we decided to do it ourselves!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Breaking the mold of what an accounting firm looks like has definitely come with it’s share of struggles. Our firm is different than most accounting firms out there so there was no template to follow. We sort of have to treat our company like a start up and continue to challenge ourselves to think outside of the box. We’re constantly working to find new ways to engage with our clients and integrate more modern technologies to make the work we do more approachable and implement more efficient workflows so that we can continue to provide quality services at affordable prices.
Please tell us about CPA Collective.
CPA Collective is a woman-owned boutique accounting firm. We provide all of the traditional services of an accounting firm like tax preparation, financial planning, and budgeting but we also provide some non-traditional services like Quickbooks training, new business owner coaching, and personal and business budgeting.
Our mission is to provide quality, affordable financial services to our clients in an unintimidating environment. We work with a lot of clients in creative fields who often find taxes and accounting to be a source of major anxiety. We hope that through our educational approach, we empower our clients to take more of an active role in their tax and financial planning process and by speaking at community events, we start to break down the stigma surrounding these topics.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I wish I would have enjoyed my free time in the beginning a little more and worried about winning new clients a little less! We’re thrilled that we’ve been so well received and our firm is growing fast, but I do sometimes miss the days when I didn’t have to scroll down so far to see the first new message in my inbox.
- Tax services starting at $65/mo.
- Bookkeeping services starting at $450/mo.
- Address: 3900 W Alameda Ave Ste 1200
- Website: https://www.cpacollective.com
- Phone: 818-973-1650
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cpa_collective
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/cpa-collective-burbank?osq=cpa+collective
BKM Photography; Tiger Tiger