How Accounting Pro Rebecca Works Better With Clients in FreshBooks

FreshBooks helps this accountant nail her shared workflow with clients and keep accurate, up-to-date records.

Rebecca Kittel, accountant, smiles looking away from camera

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Company: Ledger Sense

Industry: Accounting

Location: Concord, NC, USA

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Needed accounting software that made it easy to work with small businesses clients

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FreshBooks Time Tracking, Invoices, Accounting Reports, and Accountant Access

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Easier to coach clients to use the platform and focus on strategic work

Meet Rebecca Kittel, MBA. She’s an accountant and owner of Ledger Sense, which specializes in providing virtual accounting to small businesses.

For some small business owners, it can be intimidating to work with an accounting professional. That couldn’t be further from the truth for Rebecca and her clients. As a small business owner herself, Rebecca knows firsthand the challenges of working alone. (Read this story from her client, Alexis’s, point of view.)

Rebecca and her client, Alexis, are both small business owners, and they exemplify what a smooth accountant-client workflow looks like to meet their shared goal: Accurately tracking and managing Alexis’s business finances.

Rebecca and Alexis have been working (and using FreshBooks) together for over 2 years. Here’s what Rebecca had to say about connecting with her clients and working collaboratively on the tasks that affect them day-to-day.

What led you to start your own accounting firm?

Rebecca: I have degrees in accounting, finance, and an MBA. I worked at a Fortune 100 financial services company before I even graduated college. While I loved what I did, I started to burn out after 7 years. I thought I’d take time off to be a stay-at-home mom but quickly learned that I feel most fulfilled when I’m working, too. I started doing contract work, and once I fell into the world of small business accounting, I really found my passion. Now, I’ve been working as a small business accountant and strategic partner for 5 years, and running my business, Ledger Sense, for almost a year.

How did you get started with FreshBooks?

Rebecca: The short answer is it was referral-based. A potential client approached another client of mine and asked if their bookkeeper would be interested in cleaning up their books. I’m a QuickBooks Pro Advisor, so when I found out it was a completely different system, I thought, “Accounting systems, for the most part, have a lot of the same functionality. I can take this on.”

To be very honest, I essentially agreed to do it before I’d really had the chance to complete all the FreshBooks training that was available. At the time, I had a small panic attack, thinking, “Wow, what did I agree to? This is different than what I’m used to!” But then once I got into it, and with help from the excellent Support team and Laura [Senior Partner Program Specialist], I learned the system really quickly. Then it was off to the races and I was able to do my first cleanup job in FreshBooks. That’s how I just dove right in, got to know the system, and haven’t stopped since then.

Even though it was a referral that got you started, what was it that made you continue using FreshBooks?

Rebecca: I really like that it’s focused on the same type of person I enjoy working with—small business owners, solopreneurs, and creative individuals. It’s streamlined and it’s easier for non-accountant business owners to use. I like that FreshBooks focuses on the most common functionalities for that type of business owner. We’ve got Time Tracking, Invoicing, and Projects and that really relates to so much of that market space. I didn’t want to miss out on having that under my tool belt.

I really like that FreshBooks is focused on the same type of person I enjoy working with—small business owners, solopreneurs, and creative individuals.

How do you use FreshBooks on a day-to-day basis when you’re helping your client Alexis?

Rebecca: I would say that the Accounting section in FreshBooks is the area that I spend all my time. I do the bookkeeping: I’ll go in, review everything, and handle the transactions that come in. For invoicing, I’ll check in with Alexis to make sure we’re on the same page as far as the hours that we’re invoicing. I’ll go in and review the Invoice—making sure that the mechanics, like payment terms or payment type, are as they should be. Alexis has great clients, so there’s not a whole lot of follow-up afterward. And that’s our monthly process. It’s been many months in the making, and now it’s just second nature, and it’s been working well.

Are there other ways that you and Alexis work together with FreshBooks?

Rebecca: Alexis and I come together at least once a quarter and we go over reports. These are more strategic meetings, where I share all the reporting information from FreshBooks, and we talk about the bigger picture and goals she has for the business. This is my favorite meeting where it’s not just about the numbers, it’s about where the business is for now and where her vision is headed. Of course, like any small business owner, any time that she wants to go in, she can run her reports, and she has the assurance that things have been completed for previous periods.

FreshBooks certification for accounting professionals

Do you think that it’s reassuring for clients to work in FreshBooks with their accounting professionals?

Rebecca: I would say so, in the respect that it’s easy to delegate the correct access that somebody needs. As a business owner myself, I can imagine that it feels really secure to be able to dictate what somebody has access to or doesn’t have access to. I have some clients who prefer for me to really only have traditional accountant access. Whereas there are others who want me to be more involved and assist in all different areas. So I think that gives business owners a lot more comfort.

As a small business owner yourself, how do you bring that into serving other small business clients?

Rebecca: I’ve found that there’s a slight coaching aspect to what I do. There’s definitely been a lot of listening and sometimes there is some reassurance from me as a small business owner that it’s a wild rollercoaster. They’re not alone and I am supporting them—yes, as an accounting professional, but also just cheering them on.

I think for me, maybe the hardest part of being a small business owner is it’s just you. Being on my own, I have found a couple of communities—the FreshBooks Community being a great example—where you can connect with other small business owners and share the aches and pains and celebrate the successes. I feel like I come to the table with clients and understand not just the accounting, but the hard decisions you make as a small business owner.

Stephanie Rochon

Written by Stephanie Rochon, Content Marketing Manager, FreshBooks

Posted on March 10, 2023