Navigating Entrepreneurship in Accounting: A Non-Traditional Journey

Navigating Entrepreneurship in Accounting: A Non-Traditional Journey

In the realm of accounting, the stereotypical career trajectory often envisions professionals working within firms, corporations, or structured organizations. However, the reality is far more diverse, with accounting careers capable of taking unconventional routes. Recently, Vishal hosted a webinar in collaboration with Paro, a freelance network of financial professionals, featuring a speaker whose accounting career has veered off the traditional path and onto an entrepreneurial journey. Let's delve into the story of Kyle McGowan-Moore, CPA, owner of KAM Financial Services, to explore how her self-starter mindset has shaped a unique accounting career path.

Meet the Entrepreneurial Accountant: Kyle McGowan-Moore

Career Overview:

Kyle McGowan-Moore commenced her career as a real estate accountant and a licensed CPA right after completing college. With a rapid progression in her career, she assumed leadership positions within four years. As her responsibilities expanded to encompass the entire accounting landscape, recommendations from her roles led to requests for assistance from individuals and small businesses grappling with diverse accounting issues. This demand eventually gave birth to her entrepreneurial venture, KAM Financial Services (KAMFi). Despite the success of KAMFi, Kyle has continued to nurture her corporate accounting career, finding a harmonious balance between both roles.

A Non-Traditional Path by Design

Choosing Dual Roles:

Unlike a conventional decision between corporate accounting and entrepreneurship, Kyle's path seamlessly blends both worlds. Working as a full-time controller for a manufacturing company, she simultaneously operates her own business, KAM Financial Services, providing virtual accounting services. Her entrepreneurial journey unfolded organically, with each individual she helped recommending her to others, leading to consistent growth. Balancing both roles, Kyle has found a unique equilibrium that sets her apart in the accounting landscape.

Lessons from Traditional Accounting Roles

Problem-Solving Prowess:

Kyle attributes her effective problem-solving skills to her experiences in traditional accounting roles. While routine accounting tasks may be straightforward, the true value shines through when challenges arise simultaneously. Her ability to navigate and resolve issues efficiently stems from the problem-solving demands encountered in her corporate roles. These experiences have been instrumental in shaping her entrepreneurial journey.

Overcoming Challenges: Corporate and Entrepreneurial

Entrepreneurial Challenges:

For KAM Financial Services, the primary challenge lies in convincing small businesses, traditionally inclined towards in-house accountants, that virtual accounting is a viable and more affordable option. Breaking the mold of traditional accounting roles posed an uphill battle, although the shift accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Corporate Challenges:

On the corporate front, Kyle faces resistance from potential employers who perceive her business operation as a threat. Convincing them that her commitment to corporate America is steadfast and not a temporary arrangement proves challenging. The dual roles, while beneficial for her clients and diverse industry exposure, sometimes clash with corporate expectations.

The Impact of Entrepreneurial Spirit

Problem-Solving Drive:

Possessing an entrepreneurial spirit translates to a perpetual quest for problem-solving. Kyle's innate drive to challenge existing processes and seek continuous improvement positions her as an asset both in corporate America and for her clients. Her proactive approach contributes to streamlining and optimizing processes, making her a valuable professional in diverse contexts.

Advice for Aspiring Accounting Entrepreneurs

Define Your Journey:

Kyle emphasizes the importance of being ready and willing to define one's entrepreneurial journey. Each path is unique and should be based on individual timelines, with personally set goals and milestones. The entrepreneurial journey is a personal narrative, and success is found in embracing its individuality.

Leveraging the CPA License for Career Enhancement

Continuous Learning:

Kyle leverages her CPA license to bridge gaps in her education that may not have been covered in her accounting roles. Even without direct experience in areas like cost accounting, her CPA designation signifies familiarity with fundamental concepts. Continuous Professional Education (CPE) courses ensure she stays abreast of key developments in the accounting field.

Respect and Prestige:

The respect and prestige associated with the CPA title open doors, underscoring the seriousness of the examination. Employers appreciate the commitment demonstrated by those who obtain the CPA designation, recognizing it as an extra mile that speaks volumes about one's work ethic.

Vishal: A Catalyst for Success

Surviving the CPA Exam:

Kyle credits Vishal as an indispensable ally in her journey to conquer the CPA Exam. As a single mother starting the program, the flexibility of attending lectures anytime, anywhere allowed her to pursue her goals while maintaining an active presence in her daughter's life. The study guides' clarity and the engaging instructors made her exam preparation manageable, and the mnemonics from the program are still etched in her memory.

In conclusion, the accounting profession offers diverse paths, welcoming self-starters with ambitious entrepreneurial mindsets. Kyle McGowan-Moore's journey exemplifies how a non-traditional career path can be both unique and fulfilling. Aspiring accountants can draw inspiration from her experiences and embrace the entrepreneurial spirit within the dynamic landscape of accounting.

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