Meet Marilyn, a Dog Trainer Who Uses Cloud Accounting to Manage Her Canine Clientele

Marilyn Aston, owner of One Leg Up Canine Company shares how she leans on cloud accounting with FreshBooks.

I’ve always been an animal person, just never imagined I could pay my rent working with dogs. With an education in animal care and plenty of passion, my dreams came true when I started One Leg Up Canine Company back in 2012.

Since then, I’ve been offering my furry clients a number of services from dog training to dog walking to daycare.

Over the years, my vision was to allow my business to be shaped by my clients. I think that’s what makes my business really unique.

The individual dogs in our care determine the kinds of services we ought to offer and how we approach our day to day. And at the end of it all, our profit and growth stems from the well-being and care for those dogs.

But the transition into entrepreneurship wasn’t easy. Although I was driven by the desire for career freedom, the early days of being a business owner are anything but free. I had to learn the ropes on my own—and a lot of the learning had little to do with dogs.

Accounting, the Old School Paper Way

At the end of the day, I started my own business to do what made me happy. Training and caring for these dogs did just that.

However, being a new self-employed professional came with the not so glamorous side of business: Accounting.

Before venturing out on my own, I worked a number of office jobs, including vet clinics. Since I was an office manager in the past, I knew I needed to invoice in order to get paid. But beyond that, accounting wasn’t a priority compared to what I wanted to focus on when I started my business.

But, I knew it had to happen at some point. When I first began tracking my clients, my accounting solution was a mere pen and paper.

I had an accounting book and wrote down each client, and jotted down whether or not they paid me. I probably had my notebook for too long before finding cloud accounting.

It got to the point that I was spending way too much time sitting at my desk, tracking paperwork. I didn’t spend enough time doing what I love, which is working with the dogs. I definitely outgrew the old pen and paper pretty quickly.

Cloud Accounting on My Radar

Knowing that it was time to break free from my old solution, I sought out cloud accounting. I actually used FreshBooks in past jobs, so I knew the cloud was the next big step.

Before committing to FreshBooks, I did my due diligence and tried other services along the way. I wanted to find the platform I was most comfortable with.

At the end of my search, all signs pointed to FreshBooks. What stood out for me was their customer support. In my past job, I so clearly remember a time when they helped me through an issue, and even sent my office some goodies. Contacting customer support for any business is daunting at times, but FreshBooks really went above and beyond, and that stuck in my memory.

So it was a simple decision to choose FreshBooks for my business. It’s really easy to use and I don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to figure it out. Plus, if I have questions, I can always call support and know that they’d help me.

Payment Tracking Is No Longer a Hassle

With FreshBooks, I can easily track which clients have paid me and which have not. It also cuts the awkward money conversation. When an invoice is late, I don’t have to personally give them a heads up. FreshBooks automatically sends out a reminder and I don’t have to worry about it!

FreshBooks turns invoice lemons into lemonade – get started for free

Shifting the Focus from Accounting to Doing What I Love

FreshBooks has definitely given me the opportunity to spend more time focusing on my clients, building my business and understanding all of the aspects of running a business.

Having the freedom to do that without needing to sit down and do paperwork is great. That’s a big deal, especially when you’re running things by yourself.

I would consider the value I get for the cost of FreshBooks really fair. For the price I pay for the services I use, I believe is completely worth the money.

Beyond the cost, FreshBooks gives business owners something they need most: The time to focus on what you’re good at.

I’m not good at accounting, but I know that I’m good at dog training. FreshBooks will give you the opportunity to deliver on the areas that will help turn your business into whatever you want it to be—it’s definitely done that for me.

about the author

Founder, One Leg Up Canine Company Marilyn is the Founder of One Leg Up Canine Company, a Canadian dog training, dog walking and dog daycare business. She uses FreshBooks to help run and grow her business.