What’s it like to be a 2nd generation CPA mompreneur?  What does it take to never give up on getting the designation of CPA, even if it means achieving it 15 years after you passed the CPA exam?

Every female CPA has a story and Heather’s is fascinating. This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Heather Satterley, CPA.  Heather is a second generation CPA mompreneur and shares her unique journey to becoming a CPA as well as how she supports CPAs in understanding the technology that is available to make their jobs easier and provide essential value to their clients.

Heather was also recently named one of the Top 50 Women in Accounting 2019 by Practice Ignition.

In addition to her 100% virtual consulting company, Heather has a YouTube channel called the “Appy Hour”.  She and her co-host have free webinars, discussing various technology apps and programs available for accountants, helping them to feel competent and confident with the ever-growing technologies available.

During the interview we discuss:

  • Heather’s mom decided after her small business failed, to go back to college and get her Master’s degree because she felt that if she had a CPA to advise her, the business wouldn’t have failed
  • She wanted to have the skills to support businesses to succeed rather than experience the issues that she had experienced running her own business
  • When Heather was in high school, her mom started her accounting career
  • Heather never thought she wanted to be a CPA because she saw how long and hard her mom worked
  • She initially wanted to be a movie star and a rock star but when she was 22 she had her first child and became an inventory clerk at a small company and eventually did bookkeeping for a computer store, giving her knowledge of Quickbooks
  • Her mom asked her to come work for her because of her Quickbooks experience
  • She ended up going back to school and getting her accounting degree
  • At the time Rhode Island changed the rules and required 150 hours of experience in order to become certified
  • She passed the CPA exam, worked for a few accounting firms and got her enrolled agent’s licence while trying to accumulate her accreditation hours
  • By this time she had 3 children and didn’t have the bandwidth to go back to school to get her Master’s Degree
  • She started her firm Satterley Training and Consulting because she came across so many accountants who were uncomfortable with the technology and changes that were happening for the accounting industry
  • She started her firm to help accountants become competent and confident using these new technologies
  • Eventually she was offered the opportunity to get a Master’s Degree of Science in Innovation from Northeastern University
  • Heather never gave up the desire to be a CPA and 15 years after getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, she got her CPA credential
  • She points out that we are in a time of change, where what accountants have always done is being disrupted
  • When asked what advice she would give to accountants starting their careers she says never stop learning, keep sharpening your skills and be open to new ideas
  • She discusses what is was like to be the child of a CPA mompreneur
  • How it was important for her to be a strong female role model for her own children
  • She drew a lot of strength from what her mom showed her was possible
  • We discuss the struggle with “mom guilt” and how to still go after your dreams
  • She shares how firms are going to lose talented female accountants if they don’t provide the flexibility that woman want and deserve
  • We discuss the technologies available to work virtually, especially during this time of the Coronavirus
  • Programs like Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams are just some of the technologies that keep accountants connected to their clients and their teams
  • Share File, Smart Vault and Box are just some of the cloud storage applications available
  • Brick and mortar accounting firms are going to need to make technology changes now and after the virus is over
  • This is an opportunity to give your firm a competitive edge because firm’s that are virtual can provide services to clients all over the world
  • Implementing change needs to be done gradually, but it needs to be done
  • If a firm is looking to sell their book of business, they have to be marketable and one of those marketability requirements is going to be technology
  • There are plenty of things you can do now to make your firm more marketable if you are looking to sell in a few years
  • She suggests finding one thing you can do, like going 25% paperless by 2021, and bringing in a consultant to help you plan it out
  • Share your client’s success stories with using technology so that other client’s will get onboard easily
  • She shared the details of the free resources that major tech companies are making available
  • Her top tip for CPA moms is find a mentor and be a mentor
  • She had one mentor that changed everything for her, helping her to believe in herself
  • Then years later she was able to change someone else’s life by just sharing an encouraging word
  • She shares that working moms are superheroes and I couldn’t agree more!
  • You can find out more about Heather at https://satterleyconsulting.com/ or at https://www.theappyhour.com/