Solutions for Small Businesses offers bookkeeping services, help with QuickBooks, and full-service payroll. But we’re really more than that. We’re like Mom for a small business owner. We’re like Linus’s security blanket. We’ve got a sense of humor, we’re good listeners, and we know a lot about accounting. We can’t solve all your problems, but you can feel comfortable telling us about your recordkeeping troubles, and we’ll have Solutions for you.
I started Solutions for Small Businesses in November of 2012. I’d worked as a bookkeeper all of my adult life, for a variety of small businesses. I went to school, studied Art History, got a Master’s degree, and my first job after school was as a bookkeeper. I just couldn’t get away from it. Over the years, I’ve become more than a bookkeeper, as I’ve studied how small businesses work – what makes them succeed and what makes them struggle. More and more, the people I worked for turned to me for advice on all things related to finance (nobody asked me about my studies of Diego Rivera — go figure).
Although I always imagined I was just supporting myself until I found my “calling,” I realized that I loved bookkeeping, and even more, I loved the people who ran the small businesses I was working for — the creativity, energy and passion I saw there drew me in, and I slowly came to realize that this was my calling.
Now, I am able to help many small businesses – more and more of them as my own business grows. I hired Connie Smith in 2016, to help with the bookkeeping. Connie has a great sense of humor, and her warm and helpful attitude is greatly appreciated by our clients. A little over a year later, Katie Wheeler joined our team. Katie’s specialty is organization and office practices. She helps us with that at Solutions, and she’s also available to work with clients who need help in that arena. I feel very fortunate to have found two kindred spirits who long for order and consistency as much as I do, and who are so much fun to work with!
With a background in self-employment, both retail and real estate, I recognize that every small business has their own unique needs for record-keeping. As a graduate of U.C.Berkeley and having the privilege of living in northern California, I respect the independence and self-sufficient spirit of business owners in rural locations. Working with Katherine, serving a variety of clients with an array of bookkeeping needs, allows me to use my skills in organization and customer service. I enjoy using computer software to make bookkeeping streamlined, accurate, and flexible to the needs of each of our clients. Helping small business owners keep up with the pace of business today is an exciting field, and I’m honored to be part of Katherine’s team.
I am fortunate to get to work with Katherine and Connie caring for the mechanics of running small businesses. All three of us seem to enjoy finding order and place from a jumble of information. Like a good puzzle. Soon after graduating with a BS from The Evergreen State College in 1998, my boyfriend (now husband) and I moved to Humboldt. My background as a small business owner gives me an understanding of the many aspects of running a business. I enjoy spending time with my kids and dogs at the beach and in the woods. We love this area and the kind of people that are drawn to live here. Small businesses are our friends and neighbors, they support our community and enrich it.
OUR EVENT LINKS
Everything requires balance, and while we work hard for our clients during the week, we have a wide range of interests outside of work. Here are some of the things we do for fun, and some of the terrific, local institutions we support.
Remembering Kathryn Ehnebuske
A lot of people call me the QuickBooks lady, but I’m really not. Kathryn Ehnebuske was the QuickBooks Lady. I first met her when she came to help me out, just as I come out to help many of you. Back in the days when I still had a lot to learn about QuickBooks and accounting (not that there isn’t still a lot to learn). She taught me a lot about those things, and she also taught me about life. We referred to her as “the accountant/spiritual guru.” She was always cheerful, always turned my insurmountable problems into manageable ones, always made me feel competent. From her, I learned not only how to be a good accountant, but what kind of accountant I wanted to be.
Kathy was devastated by Lyme’s disease. When I met her, she walked with a jaunty step, but also with a cane. For a few years, things seemed to get better, but then they got worse, and in the last few years of her practice, as it became harder for her to move around, she worked from home, meeting her clients virtually, and linking in to their computers help them out. Eventually, she gave that up as well, as focusing on her health became the priority. She lived the last few years of her life in Port Townsend, Washington, to be closer to family. She died there on February 20th of this year.
About the time she gave up her practice, I started mine, and she was a great encouragement. She also referred a few of her clients to me, so I know that some of you will remember her. Kathy did what she did for many of the same reasons I do. She loved the spirit and courage of entrepreneurs and wanted to support them. I know that many of you count her as instrumental to the success of your businesses.
Below is a link to the Lost Coast Outpost’s obituary for her, which tells you about her life, and the memorial service that will be held for her on May 18th.
People make their marks in the world in a vast variety of ways. For so many years, I wanted to be a part of a movement that would save the world from climate disaster, war, racism, or some other great evil. But that did not turn out to be my path in life. Being a really good bookkeeper didn’t seem like enough for a long time. But Kathy helped me to see that any skill, when used for a good purpose, was worthy. She made good bookkeeping one of her contributions to the world, and did it in the same spirit that she did everything else in her life. With great love for the earth and its residents; with a deep understanding of the bigger picture; with abiding respect for the people she helped.
“An obstacle can do one of two things: stop you in your tracks, or force you to be creative.” Amy Purdy
Connie and Katherine just got back from the QuickBooks Connect 2018 conference in San Jose. Intuit has held this conference annually, starting in 2013, and we’ve been there for the last 3. It’s three days of workshops, inspirational speakers, networking, exploring new apps, and just generally geeking out with other numbers nerds. But we don’t go down there just to be with our accounting clan, we go down there for you, our clients. We go there with your issues in mind, talking with folks who may have had similar problems and looking for Solutions. We’re back in town now, energized and full of ideas we want to try out, ready to bring our creativity to the seeming obstacles that come before us.
And just to let you know, the conference is not just for accountants. They have a track for small business owners as well, with lots of workshops geared just for you. As far as we know, we’re the only ones from Humboldt who are going down there, but we encourage more accountants and businesses owners to go. It’s a very reasonably priced conference, it’s not very far from us, the food is great, and you’ll come away with some concrete strategies for your business.
We would be proud to support the good work of the Northcoast Children’s Services, no matter what. But it’s so cool that we get to do it in this creative, exciting way, by buying a square at Pastels on the Plaza. The Plaza gets transformed for a couple of weeks (depending on the weather), a bunch of creative types get to try their hand at drawing on the sidewalk, the whole community comes out to check out the drawings. There’s just so many good things about this event! This year, we are very excited to have had our own artist. Katie’s daughter, Miri, did our drawing for us, her first Pastels.