Melanie Schroeder is a Canadian Registered Professional Counsellor and a Chartered Professional Accountant.
She started her firm, Out of the Box Chartered Professional Accountant Inc in 2015, catering to small businesses from both a financial and emotional standpoint. Beginning as a sole practitioner means she understands the grind her clients endure as they grow.
“I let my firm grow organically and was able to quit my part-time job last December. I’d reduced my hours as I got busier with my practice. Due to my chronic fatigue syndrome I need to manage my energy and time closely, which is another reason why I love Receipt Bank’s time saving functionality. Now I’m full time with 25 bookkeeping clients, and I just hired my second employee.”
Schroeder approaches her client base with 20 years of experience, a powerful tech stack (including Receipt Bank) and a soft touch, choosing to infuse “the philosophy that life is about more than hard work and number crunching,” into her practice.
With Receipt Bank, she can focus less on the number crunching and, “simplify, simplify, simplify – make it easy to save time,” says Schroeder.
“All my clients get a Receipt Bank account.” Whether they’re a personal tax client or a bookkeeping client or just a year-end client, everyone gets a Receipt Bank license.”
We asked her to share some key observations from her unique perspective as both counsellor and financial advisor:
The reality is, how we do anything is how we do everything. This means that if an entrepreneur has self-worth issues, these will show up when implementing value-based billing, and manifest in other areas of their business as well.Melanie Schroeder
Here are a few key points to keep in mind.
“Everyone needs to assess and address their level of self-esteem. This includes the desire, willingness and ability to be honest with oneself. Your level of self-worth, self-efficacy and self-confidence directly affects how you interact with others and take on challenges in your business. Challenges like; raising your prices, or dealing with objections from clients over service value.”
“Evaluate your mindset. Where are the areas you are experiencing challenges? There will be a belief you have that is causing a block in progress. You may want to change it, or you may want to understand it more. Dig deeper.”
“Expand your idea of business. In the way cogs operate together to move the hands around the face of a watch – marketing, operations, administration, and external forces come together to form your business.
Strategic planning means considering all things that impact your business. In today’s landscape, that goes beyond the usual stakeholders, but also your community, the environment, and your employees.Melanie Schroeder
“Simplify. Business has become much more complicated than it used to be. Luckily, there are pioneering software companies out there that see and understand the greater the need there is for a simple interface that can quickly and accurately capture, codify and report on information for us.
We must be flexible yet structured. If we embrace technology, not for technology’s sake, but as a tool for simplification, we can create precisely the business we want.”
For Schroeder, the motivation behind growing a business means thinking about more than just the bottom line and reassessing her clients’ core belief systems.
“Unless you’re talking about external forces like the economy, it’s never just about money. Core beliefs and our relationship with money can influence success. It could be a belief around money; it could be a belief about our value or a boundaries issue. There are a few key underlying beliefs that could manifest in hundreds of different ways that can influence business growth.”
Building a business is an endeavour which requires all forms of help because success is not a one-way street. Accounting practices like Out of the Box are essential, as Melanie’s unique approach addresses the need for both healthy cash flow and mindset.