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Sharon Terpstra, CPB

Ally Bookkeeping & Beyond
Petrolia, Ontario

Why did you become a bookkeeper and/or accountant?
Originally it was about enjoying working with numbers. 

Tell us about your journey in becoming a bookkeeper and/or accountant.
I learned I enjoyed the puzzle of fixing bookkeeping issues and that added value to the work I was doing.

What was your first job in the finance world?
My first job that included bookkeeping was at a small, high-end photography studio in Ottawa. I had the title of Studio Manager, doing sales, admin functions, and manual bookkeeping using a ledger book, pencil, and calculator. My first endeavours into bookkeeping software started there, using QuickBooks Desktop 4.5. If that doesn’t date me. Lol. 

Could you tell us a little bit more about your journey to becoming a sole proprietor?
Following 10 years as Studio Manager, then 10 years as Office Manager at a construction company I found myself giving advice to bookkeepers who worked for our suppliers. I found I liked helping other businesses keep their books straight. I decided I should start getting paid for my advice.  

Why do you believe bookkeeping and/or accounting is such an important business?
Properly trained and/or educated bookkeepers are integral to the financial health of a business. As well as keeping the business compliant. 

If you are a sole proprietor, why did you start your own business?
To share my knowledge of bookkeeping and QuickBooks with a broader audience.

 What has been most beneficial to you in your bookkeeping and/or accounting career?
Joining IPBC was my best business decision. I had researched the available associations at that time, and decided IPBC was a more professional organization. They gave value to my experience, rather than just wanting to sell me their courses. I use the CPB designation as part of my sales pitch, to lend professionalism above any competition I may have.

 What are the next steps for you in your career?
Winding down but still take some small clients into retirement. I love helping the small business owner.

What do you see for the future of bookkeeping and/or accounting?
Using apps to automate and create efficiency is key to the bookkeeper of the future. And develop skills outside of data entry for long-term success.