Mary Longacre, Custom Accounting Solutions, LLC
I recently had the opportunity to sit down (virtually) with Mary Longacre, Owner of Custom Accounting Solutions, LLC, located in Alexandria, VA, to profile her in our new "People and Business" Section. After I reached out to Mary and we started the process of the interview I realized that Mary was the first person I spoke with after we announced the launch of Intuitive Accountant at Scaling New Heights in June of this year. Not only was she the first person to stop by our booth, she was the first subscriber to our newsletter, so I am glad she could be the first professional we profile. (I see a trend in "Firsts" with Mary).
IA: How would you describe your primary business?
ML: As a Business Process Improvement Strategist I work with organizations to identify and implement business process improvements so that their businesses can be more profitable, more efficient and have the ability to grow in accordance with their goals. This may involve redesigning their accounting system to collect more accurate or more extensive data to enable better decision making; automating processes with additional software such as a CRM system or custom reporting; and eliminating or streamlining unproductive work. I also work directly with developers to beta-test their software and design better workflows and user experience.
IA: Do you have any other related businesses or are you directly involved in other organizations outside of your business?
ML: Mentor Plus “More Business Acumen” Consultant; Method Certified Solution Provider for Web-based CRM and Business Process Solutions; Certified QuickBooks Online Accountant Advisor; Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor/Intuit Authorized Reseller;Technical Editor for “QuickBooks 2012 in Depth” by Laura Madeira; Director of Chapter Development, National Advisor Network
IA: I am not familiar with Mentor Plus. Can you give a brief description of it and share some information on the National Advisor Network for those who are unfamiliar with them?
ML: Mentor Plus is dedicated to improving the success rate of small businesses by mentoring their mentors. Mentor Plus teaches business fundamentals and teaches accountants how to apply their accounting skills to measure and manage all areas of business performance.
The National Advisor Network (NAN) is a professional group of experienced and highly knowledgeable Intuit Advisors. Joe Woodard created NAN in 2009 to supplement Intuit’s QuickBooks® ProAdvisor and Reseller Programs with additional tools, resources and networking opportunities. NAN provides the most knowledgeable, most proactive and most experienced Intuit Advisors with a dedicated and exclusive online space to share ideas; cross-refer QuickBooks©-related products and specialized services. Members can exchange technical information, tips and tricks online and in person at local NAN Chapter meetings. Your readers can learn more at www.nationaladvisornetwork.com
IA: What is your business philosophy?
ML: Doing great things with great people for great success! In any business there’s always room for improvement. Good processes make people happier, make the job easier, provide for better quality and internal controls, and minimize waste and expense. Day to day processes need to be constantly evaluated in the context of the business strategy, environment and goals. Even if they aren’t broken, frequently taking a fresh look at things can provide new insights, although change for change’s sake is not the goal.
IA: We joked about this one, but what are your hobbies (since you must have about 1 hour per year to enjoy them!):
ML: Travel, art, reading
IA: What is your favorite food?
ML: Peanut Butter & Bacon sandwich, my Mom’s Blueberry Pie
IA: Peanut Butter and Bacon sandwich. Really? It sounds like something that would cost about $12 at the Food Truck park in Atlanta. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it, I'm just saying... "Really"? Where is your favorite place on earth?
IA: In closing, do you have any advice that you would like to share with new advisors:
ML: Keep learning. Find a mentor. Network with other advisors and share your knowledge. Focus on what your customer needs. Define your ideal customer and say no to the rest. Say yes to new challenges and opportunities. Read “Flight of the Buffalo: Soaring to Excellence, Learning to let Employees Lead” by James A. Belasco and Ralph C. Stayer; and “Firm Forward” by Edi Osborne (coming in Fall 2013.)
IA: That is great advice for new and "seasoned" advisors, and other business people as well. We can always learn more and we all need someone to help guide us through our daily routines and growth. Thank you for your time and insight Mary.
We will be doing a follow up article on the National Advisor Network since it is an organization that is part learning, part networking and part sharing and fits in closely with Mary's advice to new advisors, so keep reading.
If you would like to be a part of our "People and Business" section, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always...Thanks for being an Intuitive Accountant.