It was a cold winter day in February of 1999 in the heart of Prescott, Arizona. I didn’t bring a jacket. We pulled up in my father’s ’97 black Pontiac Grand Am. Robert A Glick, CPA was elegantly carved on a light wood sign outside of the office. We walked inside, Robert was sitting there, a bit bleary-eyed, looking not too thrilled with his computer after the hard drive crashed while he was working through tax files for his clients. My father owned an IT business and had a service call to help. Looking at my grandfather defeated behind that desk, papers scattered everywhere, knowing he was going to redo several files, I knew, without a doubt, that I did NOT want to do accounting.
College at ASU for business was what you’d expect in terms of required courses. I took Accounting 1 and 2, had a horrible teacher who always thought we should have read a chapter ahead and be ready for a pop quiz about the things we hadn’t covered yet. 50% of the class failed. I managed to squeak by with my B with a few others at the top of the class (my first overall “B” ever, which was quite disappointing). Thank goodness I didn’t choose an accounting degree. That would have sucked. Graduation day came; I was ready for the world of running businesses. Within a week, I had my first job offer! I was going to join the ranks of new retail sales representatives at Verizon Wireless. Good thing I got that business degree.
Within a few years, my wife, best friend, and I started a cloth diaper e-commerce business. We knew we needed to keep track of our books. Naturally, the job fell to me, the person who didn’t want the job. After doing some research, it turned out that QuickBooks had moved online. In 2013, it wasn’t terrific. Googling for alternatives, we found Xero. It was, and is, amazing. It connected to our bank, worked with SquareSpace to bring over all our sales, and was accessible from anywhere. Maybe accounting isn’t so bad, after all? I had a fantastic rep to help me through things and a phenomenal experience with the company.
Shortly after that, I went to work for Xero. I started my career by advising small businesses, much like myself, who were getting set up on the software. I learned as much as I could about every integration, how Xero accounted for things, who it worked for, and bugged my accounting colleagues at the company about everything I could to learn more. Within the year, I was promoted to consulting Canadian accounting and bookkeeping firms. While there were some differences to pick up, it wasn’t difficult to learn. I started learning more about the firms, how they operated, what struggles they were having, and how Xero could help alleviate those. It was at this point that I started to re-evaluate my stance on the accounting world. It turned out to be much more interesting than the imagined paper ledger with debits, credits, adjustments, and totals. I would even venture to say that it was exciting at times to solve puzzles for the clients that the firms and I were helping.
I was offered another promotion, this time working in Phoenix. My first introduction was a human named Liz Mason. Her firm was, and is, the biggest Xero partner in Arizona. Once we had a chance to sit down and chat, Liz’s passion for the accounting industry and bringing it into the future was beyond engaging. Talking about what she had done for clients, how she viewed the future of the industry, and her excitement about technology solidified my feelings on getting my CPA. I definitely wanted to make my career in the accounting field.
To date, I have helped thousands of businesses and hundreds of firms become more efficient in their operations, gain insight into their financials, and make better decisions about their operations. Having someone reach out and thank me for the organization and comfort that I’ve brought to their life is what I live for.
I am an Accounting Guru at High Rock Accounting. I love to learn, leverage technology, and help businesses understand their financials.