Episode 66: Beyond Bookkeeping With Lisa Campbell

Episode 66: Beyond Bookkeeping With Lisa Campbell

Because to me, it’s really, really important that the entrepreneurs out there understand that there are generalists bookkeepers and accountants. And then, there are those who really want to partner with you and make change in your business. And then, for those accountants and bookkeepers who want to know how to do that, they don’t realize necessarily that there’s a lot of work that goes into that before you can focus on that. You can’t continue with the grind day in and day out and provide advisory services. You’ve got to get your house in order first and position yourself to be able to do that. 

Susanne Mariga:Welcome to the Profit Talk Show. In this show, we’re going to explore strategies to help you maximize profits in your business while scaling and creating the lifestyle that you want as an entrepreneur. I am your host, Susanne Mariga. I am a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Profit First Professional and a Certified Tax Coach. And today, we’re going to talk about strategies to help you maximize profits in your business. 
Susanne Mariga:Hello Profit First Entrepreneurs and Thought Leaders. I am so excited today because we have a very special guest, and we also have a very different topic than what we normally talk about. We actually have a guest speaker and her name is Lisa Campbell. And, Lisa is a speaker. She is also a Profit First Coach like me, and she is also an author of a brand-new book that just came out, and it is already a #1 bestseller, incredible release, and it’s called Beyond Bookkeeping. And what Lisa does is, she specializes in helping bookkeepers, accountants and entrepreneurs really build business that are profitable, that are systematized as well as create sustainable businesses without losing sleep. So, please join me in welcoming Lisa Campbell to the platform. And today, we’re going to have a very unique conversation talking to our accountants, bookkeepers and tax preparers out there that we know you listen to our podcasts. 
Susanne Mariga:So, we got an episode specifically for you, and that is really how to build a really, really great accounting and tax practice and how to optimize that. But, in addition for you, entrepreneurs that are out there too, this is going to be a great conversation for you because it’s going to teach you how to make sure you have the right accountant on board because you’re going to want to make sure that your accountant has these traits that we’re talking about today. So, please join me and welcoming, Lisa Campbell to the platform. Hey, Lisa, how are you? 
Lisa Campbell:Hey Susanne, I’m great. Thank you so much for having me. This is awesome. 
Susanne Mariga:I am really, really excited. I don’t get to have too many other Profit First Professionals on our podcast. So, I’m so excited about having you today and being able to go back and forth with you. Lisa is very special because she actually is our in charge of our entire Canadian operations with Profit First. She also trains accountants, bookkeepers from all over the world on really how to create these really great consulting practices. So, Lisa, let’s talk about it a little. Why did you get into this? Why is this so important and tell me about what brought you to this point in your journey? 
Lisa Campbell:Well, I can tell you that it was not intentional. I actually started to systemize my own bookkeeping practice because I was losing track of deadlines, and I wasn’t able to really do much with the clients. Just stuff would come in, we grind it out and then out of a go, and it was just really unfulfilling and stressful. And so, I started to systemize my practice and what I found I was able to do once I did that, it was I could delegate a lot of the compliance work to somebody else which freed me up. And so, when I was freed up with the time, I started looking at how can I now use this time to do better for my clients to help them more with their business? And s,  I started to study the Profit First methodology, and that just got me super stoked because you and I both know, we could talk forever about that, the changes and the impact that would have on a business. 
Lisa Campbell:So, once I did that, I guess I just started talking about it online and other bookkeepers and accountants would contact me and say, “How did you do this? How did you do that?” And so, for over a year, I struggled with how can I get this information out in a way that makes sense for other people to follow suit because the way to live that way, where you’re actually making change for your clients is so much better than the day in and day out grind. And so, I was able to just shift the whole thing and focus only on helping my clients and helping them be more profitable, get them out of debt, that sort of thing, and it just kind of snowballed from there. So, we now got an entire mastermind program where we work with just the accountants and bookkeepers to get them in that same position. 
Lisa Campbell:Because to me, it’s really, really important that the entrepreneurs out there understand that there are generalists, bookkeepers, and accountants. And then, there are those who really want to partner with you and make change in your business. And then, for those accountants and bookkeepers who want to know how to do that, they don’t realize necessarily that there’s a lot of work that goes into that before you can focus on that. You can’t continue with the grind day in and day out and provide advisory services. You’ve got to get your house in order first and position yourself to be able to do that. 
Susanne Mariga:That is so truly. So, I tell you, it’s like the left brain and the right brain, like you almost have to shut one off to restart one in order to get into that. So, you definitely have to make sure you’ve got a great system in order and great help in order to be able to be able to really expand upon helping your clients. And it’s interesting because a lot of times when clients come to me, they always say, “I got this accountant,” and don’t say about the bookkeepers. So, particularly the accountants. And it’s like painful to talk to this person. They’re always talking tax code and way up down to me. I don’t understand the thing that they’re saying. 
Susanne Mariga:And even though it sounds like it probably is brilliant, or I get the other expect you, and that’s like the accountant doesn’t talk to them at all. It’s like in the year you got a tax return. It’s like, “Couldn’t you call me in June and said, you’ve been doing my books all this time, fix it and told me about it, so I could have made the changes to that”, so this is definitely an important work Lisa on there. So, let’s talk about how does an accountant really create a practice where they are really starting to add value to their clients? 
Lisa Campbell:You have to look at what is it that you’re already doing that’s adding value that maybe you’re not capturing in your engagement with your client, or what are you not expanding on? For example, if you have a cluster of clients who are maybe in a particular industry, I guarantee you, you have built out systems around the things that go on inside that industry that you’ve just built out of just having necessity, you built it out, and you’re repeating that process over and over again, but a traditional bookkeeper or accountant might not have the same understanding or the knowledge that you do. So, you’ve all sort of inadvertently become a specialist in that industry. And, I’m just using industry as an example, like dentists or lawyers or something like that. There are specific things that need to be done. 
Lisa Campbell:Non-profits. There are requirements that are not necessarily the same in other businesses. When you do that over and over again, you are inadvertently becoming a specialist. And so, you need to sort of expand on that so that your clients understand, “Hey, this is what we do day in and day out.” And the thing about that is that it’s repeatable. So, you can have your team doing it. Your team is repeating those processes. If you build them out properly, which enables you to be hands-off, you can step back now and look at the numbers and actually say to your clients that you’re working with, “This is what I see. This is where I see this going. This is a problem. Let’s nip this in the bud right now. Let’s create a strategy to avoid this and let’s partner together and really work on your long-term goals. What is it that you want for your company? What is it that you want for your family life? And let’s make it happen?”
Lisa Campbell:That’s what’s been missing because if you think about it, traditionally, if you think of accounting as a linear line, the accountants that working on what happened last year, the bookkeeper might be working on what happened last month and the business owners going, “Okay, this is happening today.” And nobody’s thinking what’s happening tomorrow. That’s the big missing piece, and that’s the area that I like to focus on. I know you do as well with your clients. Very important that we partner with our clients and help them look at what is coming up. Not what’s already happened. We can use what’s already happened to create a plan, but let’s look at what’s going to happen in the future. 
Susanne Mariga:I love that. That is really, really good. And out of that, I’ve got really a couple of questions I want to dig in a little bit further. The first question is, what stops accountants from doing that? What stops them from being forward looking from really starting to really add value and really hone in on a specialty? What stops them from progressing in that way? 
Lisa Campbell:The biggest thing I find is time. They’re so overwhelmed with the work. They are just trying to meet deadlines, trying to catch up on trying to manage the team. They haven’t got their systems, their processes in place. They don’t have any of that stuff where they could hand off. So, they’re literally doing it all themselves. So, the biggest excuse I hear is, I don’t have time. When things slow down, I will look into scaling my business. I will look into creating a better model so that I can partner with my clients, that sort of thing, but the time never comes as you know it because most people are always taking on new clients and then there are bigger projects and all these things that need to get done. It has to be a very intentional process. I am deciding that I’m going to stop. So, slow it down a little bit and focus, dedicate time to working on how to build this out properly so that I can get to that place where I can help my clients. 
Susanne Mariga:It’s like the chicken and egg. You can’t have a chicken without an egg. And so, you got to really prioritize starting to build the infrastructure in your business, and then you can accept the clients, and then you can really start to expand in what you do. That is really, really good from that standpoint. 
Lisa Campbell:Exactly. And I can tell you that is the biggest excuse I hear. But I could also tell you that I’ve got tons of mastermind members who have said no to that excuse. They’ve said, “this is the year I’m going to make change,” and they’ve actually made change, and they can tell you, you can absolutely do it, but you have to decide that that’s what you’re going to do. And that’s not for everybody. Not everybody is ready to move into that space of leveling up and serving their clients in a different way. And that’s fine. But, when you feel that you are, and you just feel that time is the issue that’s holding you back. That is not an excuse. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s what we do with them. That makes the difference. 
Susanne Mariga:Definitely. Something else that you mentioned too,  Lisa and I want to hone on this a little bit more is being forward-thinking versus retroactive thinking because that is a big complaint that we get about accountants that they’re so happy looking at their rear end, that they can’t envision the pothole in front of them. Well, let’s talk about how do you get more forward-thinking? How do you start to hone in on that? And what does that look like? 
Lisa Campbell:Well, you and I both know the way we operate is that we look at, historically, what has happened. And we get them to a position where we have to make subtle changes along the way. You don’t want to repeat the same mistakes and hope that this year, we’re going to be more profitable or hope that this year we’re going to pay off our debt. We have to create an actual plan to make that happen. It’s like anything in life. If you want something to happen, you have to plan for it, and you have to execute that plan. It’s not just going to fall on your lap. So, your space and my space, that’s what we focus on is looking at where do we want to go? And then, how are we going to get there? That’s key. 
Susanne Mariga:I love that. That is really, really great from that standpoint. Very, very good on that one. And then, another thing I think that you mentioned too, Lisa, and really this is where your business has really sprung out is a lot of times, we try to do things at a silo. We try to do things alone and that growth and that encouragement and those mix of ideas comes from being part of a mastermind, being part of a group or collective where we spur one another on, and we share ideas and how that has helped people really, really move their businesses forward. 
Lisa Campbell:Absolutely. It was one of those unexpected bonuses. So, when I first launched the program, I think we had nine people in the very first legacy group, and it was great. They developed absolutely amazing friendships that like for life, like really great relationships. And then, as we picked up momentum and people started hearing about it, I think we’ve got like 80 members consistently at a time. And they’re all getting on to the Zoom calls at the same time. They’re all in that same space where they’re running extremely busy practices. They’ve probably got families. We’re all stuck on lockdown down. All of this stuff is going on. They’re all in the same boat. And we get under the calls, and they have problems that they can relate to. They’re not in a random group where you’ve got new bookkeepers or accountants, and you’ve got old school and new school. 
Lisa Campbell:And all of a sudden, literally, everybody’s in the same boat. They’re all busy. They’re all trying to level up. They’re all trying to systemize while running their practices. They all have lots of obligations, and they get on there, and they share problems, and they share wins, and they share cries and anger, outbursts and stuff like that. And the community has become such a support network. That’s when we have our exit interviews when they finish the program. That is one of the key things that people will say is they cannot express the gratitude that they have for the new network of relationships that they have formed through that 12 months. 
Susanne Mariga:I love that the online community is, one thing COVID did really good was, it forced us to really start to build relationships really in a global way. Completely global. It’s no longer just rushing downtown to your chamber of commerce or to your local CPA society. It’s become a global network via zoom. We chat from Canada and Houston, Texas, of all places, probably across the world. 
Lisa Campbell:Exactly. And you think about most people in our profession are isolated, especially if you don’t have a team, if you haven’t built that out yet, and it doesn’t have to be a massive team, it could be a team of one or two, but if you don’t have that, you’re typically stuck behind a screen. Like I said, you’re banging out paperwork, and you just try to meet deadlines, and you wonder what an existence.  You and I both probably been there. I’m not sure if you have, but I have where I just sit down at my desk all day and bang out all this paperwork, and then I’m going to be done. And then I got a make dinner. It’s such an unfulfilling existence. And so, when you can collaborate with peers that are also stressed and going through all these other things, not only are you encouraged, but you are, you don’t feel so isolated anymore. And you feel part of a community, and you’re all leveling up together for a higher purpose, which is to ultimately serve our entrepreneurs, that’s the backbone of our economy. It’s a win, win.
Susanne Mariga:I love that. And, even if you guys are not accountants, my entrepreneurs out there. It’s important to have that group around you that gives you that different perspective about your business and about what’s going on. And, they say A players are your top five to 10% of the candidate pool that’s out there. And maybe you’re not going to be able to find that power play in your local community just because of the statistics. But, you will be able to find that on a global or even a national level. And so, it’s important to get plugged in and to get that party of advisors or that masterminds to be able to exchange ideas and go what are you doing that are at your level. And, this is where that really helps, making sure you’re part of a collective that meets even online. 
Lisa Campbell:Exactly. And we’re not limited geographically anymore. And you think about it, entrepreneurship is hard. You’re making all the decisions. Everything is on you. You’re quite often the administrator, the sales person, the financial person, you’re all of these things. And it’s very, very hard to do that. And when you hire the right people or even surround yourself, like you said, in a mastermind group where you’re surrounding yourself with other people in similar situations, it’s just, “Wow, I’m not alone. Other people also go through this. Other people have found this solution to my problem. And I’m going to follow that path now, because I know there’s an answer.” Absolutely. Surrounding yourself on a global level is huge. 
Susanne Mariga:Definitely. So, Lisa, tell me about Beyond Bookkeeping or your new book that you just released out there. Tell me about this book and why now that you did it? 
Lisa Campbell:I can tell you a lot of the reason why I wrote it is that I get a lot of people asking me, “What is this mastermind program that you do?” And I get super, super excited. So, I’ll be on a discovery call with a bookkeeper and accountant and trying to get all of it out. What do we do in that program? What changes are you looking at? What could you possibly do inside your business? It’s really hard to get on a simple call. And, of course, forget half the things that I want to say. So, I thought what I’m going to do? I’m going to write a book, explaining what it is. Not necessarily step by step what we do, but more so to open up your mind to the possibility. 
Lisa Campbell:You are a bookkeeper and accountant who is maybe been in business for 10, 20, 30 years, and you’re stuck on that hamster wheel. And you’ve made me think, I’m just a bookkeeper, or I’m just an accountant. I can’t possibly be an advisor. I can’t possibly help an entrepreneur. The intent of the book is to show you what things that you are already doing, that you can expand on, or even possibly, take some extra courses here, there, and everywhere where you can actually reach that level where you can get to that advisory role because it’s so much more rewarding than just plugging numbers all day long, or looking at what has happened. Let’s be proactive about this, and it opens up your mind to the possibility it’s also intended to help people understand you are not limited. You are not limited in this business because when you have experience in this business, you have so much knowledge up in here that you’re not even aware of. 
Lisa Campbell:I often ask people, go back to when you first started in this business, do you know anything more now than you did when you started? Absolutely you do, but you know what? We don’t take the time to acknowledge it ourselves. We get stuck, we just get stuck, and perhaps we don’t build properly, or we let all these things creep up on us, or we don’t know how to charge for certain services that our clients want. So, all of these things are in the book intended to open up your mind to what you can do. And then, of course, lots of tips and tricks on how to do it. 
Susanne Mariga:I ordered your book when it first came out. By the way, guys, it’s #1 bestseller. This book really, really blew up. It was a big, big deal. And, I loved reading it. It was very much like just your story and how you talk now. It was a fun read, but it was really informative. So, I definitely enjoy that. So, thank you. So, you guys gotta get her book, especially accountants and bookkeepers out there that are listening. It is a joy to read and very, very informative, so definitely check out her book on that angle. Definitely enjoy it. One of the things I love asking you, Lisa is, if you could leave our viewers and our listeners with one piece of advice, and it can be personal, it can be business related. What would that advice be? 
Lisa Campbell:Let me think. You stop me on that one. There’s so many things that I could say, but, let’s just take it back to absolute business because I think this is really important. And I see too many people struggling, both on the entrepreneur side and on the accounting side. I would suggest to people in your partnerships with the people that you surround yourself with. Always, always surround yourself with people who have done what you want to do, what you’re trying to achieve and learn from them. It’s really important to do that. So, we were talking about in mastermind groups, the entrepreneurs envelop yourself with people that have been successful, or at least on the same journey towards being successful, learn what they’ve done, learn their mistakes so that you don’t have to reproduce the same stakes. You can bypass all that. To me, that’s really important. 
Susanne Mariga:Yes. And that’s where that importance of those masterminds are selective about whom they allow in because that’s going to get you into a higher level of caliber of experience because you want to be in a group of peers where you’re not necessarily leading the bunch because that’s where you’re going to have the most opportunity to grow. They said, never be the smartest person in the room. 
Lisa Campbell:Everybody has to have opportunity to learn. I am constantly learning. I know you are constantly learning. It doesn’t stop. We just better and better and better. And all it does is, as long as it’s not better, just for me, it’s better for me. The people that I’m working with, my family, that sort of thing,  we always say we all rise together. That is really, really important. And I know you and I are both from a big community of firm believers, and we all rise together. That is very, very important. 
Susanne Mariga:Definitely. So, Lisa, how can we find you to work with you to learn, to get involved with this mastermind, and to really grow our practices and for even entrepreneurs that are looking to become more profitable, how do we find you and work with you? 
Lisa Campbell:Well, you can go to lisacampbellprofitcoach.com. And that’s sort of my umbrella brand there, and it’ll ask you what are you looking for? So, if you’re looking to work with a Profit First Professional, if you are looking to become one, if you’re looking to go into the Accelerator Advisor Mastermind Program in order to scale your business, that sort of thing, it’s all in there. So, lisacampbellprofitcoach.com. You can find anything you need to find out. And, if I can’t help you, I will point you in the direction of someone who can. 
Susanne Mariga:I love that. Thank you, Lisa. And, what I’m going to do for you guys is, I’m going to go ahead and put Lisa’s contact information, her website in the show notes so that you can contact her to work with her and learn more about her program. 
Lisa Campbell:Awesome. Thank you, Susanne. I appreciate that. 
Susanne Mariga:Thank you, Lisa, for joining us today and sharing your knowledge. 
Lisa Campbell:My pleasure. 
Susanne Mariga:I want you to have your most profitable year ever. Yes, no matter what’s going on in the economy, no matter what’s going on in the world, you can have your best year ever. And, I want to show you how. Join me in our private Facebook group where I will be hosting our Free, Yes, I said, FREE Profit First Masterclass on Facebook. Please join the Profit First Master Class with Susanne Mariga. I look forward to seeing you there and watching you have your best year ever.

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