Lindsay Darby is half of Kickstart Accounting. Two years ago Lindsay, along with her business partner Danielle Hayden, signed the paperwork to incorporate as a full service outsourced accounting services firm.... which means that small businesses who don't have a financial team in-house can come to these ladies to work on bookkeeping, payroll, taxes, forecasting, financial reporting and strategic planning. "We focus on the numbers so you can get back to running your business."... because someone has to!
No matter how much–or how little–money you have in your business banking account, it wouldn't hurt to talk to an accountant. So, during a break from practicing deep breathing techniques and sorting your receipts, take a little time to prime yourself on the basics of bookkeeping in our interview with Lindsay below!
Cleveland Flea: How long have you've been running your business?
Lindsay Darby: Our business began a little over two years ago.
CF: What’s your role at your business?
LD: Formally, I’m a co-founder and we split all duties between us. But I would say my informal role is the relationship builder. I think it’s important for our clients to have a great relationship with us. After all, sharing all of your financial information is not an easy thing for many people.
CF: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in helping small business owners with their accounting/bookkeeping?
LD: I graduated 10 years ago from Cleveland State and went right into public accounting for a regional firm based here in Cleveland. I spent many years auditing and left to work as a Controller for a small company. I enjoyed the work I was doing, but wasn’t fulfilled. Danielle was previously a CFO for a small business when she noticed that there was a void in the Cleveland market for accounting services for small businesses and from there Kickstart was born. On New Year’s Eve 2014, I received a lengthy text from, telling me about this great idea she had to start this firm and wanted to know if I would join her on this venture & we were incorporated two weeks later.
CF: What got you into working in accounting? Did you do anything before this that prompted your interests?
LD: Math was my first love (I know, such a nerd at heart) but I also enjoyed money, so accounting was the perfect union for me.
CF: How much of your job is tax oriented? What other types of things do you work on with entrepreneurs that people might not be aware of?
LD: I would say roughly 20% of my time is spent on taxes (sales taxes, tax returns, net profit returns and calculating quarterly estimates). The rest of my time is spent on doing the client work – bookkeeping, payroll, forecasting, financial reporting, budgeting, and planning. We also work with clients on developing an overall strategy that aligns with their dreams and goals.
CF: What are some of the big surprises that small business owners can avoid by using a bookkeeper?
LD: I think the biggest thing that small business owners avoid by using a bookkeeper is denial. We provide all of our customers with monthly financial statements and always ask them to review them to make sure they are aware of exactly how their business is doing and will discuss any unusual item with the client. In doing this, they aren’t going into tax time with no idea as to how the business did last year and what does that mean to them personally, will they owe additional taxes. We also assist clients with understanding their financials or representing them with potential investors. By reviewing the businesses monthly financials and looking at their budgets business owners are able to avoid surprises and find confidence in being prepared.
CF: What's one thing people would be surprised to learn about your field?
LD: We’re not all stuffy old men! And once you understand what you’re looking at, it’s not so boring or difficult as most people believe it is.
CF: Where can we find you when you're not working? Any hidden gems we should know about?
I love spending time in Ohio City, the area is so diverse, and you never know who you will meet. A few of my favorite places there are the West Side Market, SoHo Chicken + Whiskey, Johnny Mango’s and Bar Centro. I cannot leave without picking up flowers at Lush & Lovely Floristry and checking out the new arrivals at Salty Not Sweet Boutique.
Want to know more about how good accounting better your business?
Reserve your free ticket for our Money Talks Q& A with Lindsay on March 15!
Happy hour starts at 6PM, with our formal Q & A beginning at 7PM sharp. At the end of our formal interview we'll field questions from the audience. Meet and greet our expert and Team Flea face-to-face following the Q & A's finale at 8PM. Stick around afterwards to get your fill of sips and snacks at the bar!