We had the good fortune of connecting with Carrie Van Meter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carrie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have been an accountant in some form or fashion in multiple industries for the last 23 years. All positions and professions that I have been employed in/for were positions I created. I did them very different than most other Controllers, CFOs, Comptrollers, Executive Directors, etc. I was a translator of the numbers in the financials to the owners/operators in the way they needed it to be told to them. I always added great value to the Human Capital aspect and allowed for a ROI to the people versus the overhead.
I choose to start my business to not do bookkeeping/data entry – I don’t enjoy that part, so I hire people that do and that allows me to read the numbers and give them a voice. What do they say – how well did the company do, therefore how well can the company scale and/or perform.
I love telling business owners what their numbers say in reward and/or redirection of the compass.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are not just an accounting company – yes we do the same services as such. But we are a ‘value based’ business and mission plan. We have 3 tiers of service and every package is built specifically around that client (price plans included). We listen, learn and levitate a step above the rest! Even if you are the smallest client, you are delivered financials on a monthly basis – we do personalized emails to employee’s that we do their payroll to – we answer and return calls – we provide a level of service and information that is way more interactive and value based to everyone! We pride ourselves on that ‘confidential – collaborative – cohesive’ approach that every client feels like our only client!
We provide tools, feedback, input and education specific to each clients needs and business industry.
We work alongside the tax preparers to ensure that the experience is easy, factual, solid and strategic for the best tax position for our clients both personally and professionally!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend came to Pueblo for the week – She/He would stay in my home and enjoy watching the sun come down from my front porch in our beautiful town with a bottle of dandelion wine. We would make breakfast and catch up then go see my team at my office (because I can’t be proud enough of them).
We would go to the Pueblo Reservoir for the day of kayaking and close the day off at the 1129 Spirits & Eatery on the Riverwalk. We would again watch the sun come down from that view on the Riverwalk and people watch.
They next few days would be trips to Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods a few hikes in our beautiful mountains.
They would serve dinner at the Pueblo Rescue Homeless Shelter with me as I do every Tuesday and Thursday nights.
We would frequent our local restaurants – Brues Ale House, 4 of Harts, Coors Tavern and Pass Key
We would get facials and massages at Pure Spa & Wellness in Pueblo West and then go to the Colorado Connections to ride horses and again, watch the sun go down.
Laugh – Make Memories – Take pictures and catch up
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have a lot of people to give a shout out to in my 28 working years – I did what many famous people recommend “Surround yourself with those that know more than you” Be a sponge to listen to all areas in your community, fellow business owners, articles from direct source(s) for me the IRS website/updates LOL
I do owe a shout out to Marlo Burg – when I was 24 years old, I was his Asst. Controller/HR Manager. He owned an automation/robotic manufacturing plant that he started from the ground up. His Controller at the time would read the newspapers and spit out financial reports and just put them in front of everyone and sit back.
I would walk the plant and talk/listen to the people, educate and empower them to learn how they impacted the bottom line and document their feedback of savings and changes.
I knocked on the door of a Board meeting one day and invited myself to the table and with permission, made a proposal to Marlo. I presented the decrease of overhead costs without terminating people and increasing cash flow by 8% in a 6 month period. I made a financial presentation in a way that informed him and his Board of how profitable (or lack thereof) the business was and why – stunning the current Controller as he was unaware of my presence that day.
Marlo looked at my presentation and confirmed with me that I could make these changes in a 6 month period. I said “Yes sir” and he looked at the Controller and returned with a response “If you can do this in 6 months and report back to this Board your results – I’ll give you the Controllers job”
6 months later I sat at that Board table again, presenting the financials with direct results, reports and dashboards proving up my work – I walked out of that Board meeting the Controller of that company.
That day – Made me and lit the fire in my belly of what makes me different than the rest!