Bernadette Johnson-Hairl: Up-Close
Nobody recommends a bad movie, a bad restaurant or a bad accountant. Since 2001, over 90 percent of my new clients are referrals. People are recommending me, so I guess that means I’m doing something right.
I have diverse analytical skills, proven business sense and an innate ability to maximize an organization’s performance. I’m a skilled facilitator and financial consultant, and a multifaceted resource for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and women in the workplace. But my clients really appreciate the fact that I can explain the books in PLAIN ENGLISH! That plays an integral part in the operational success of my clients’ organizations.
Many people think I’m strange because I like accounting so much. I’ve always loved numbers and have always been very analytical. Growing up, I’ve always struggled with the objective subjects. One thing I like about Accounting is there’s only one answer! Although, I have a creative flair, in my industry…. creativity can send you to jail. I am a honors graduate of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, earning a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. While at Cheyney, I played on the Women’s Basketball Team, was a peer tutor and resident advisor.
I completed my MBA at the Keller Graduate School of Management. I am a certified QuickBooks training specialist and a part-time adjunct Accounting professor.
Prior to launching By The Book Accounting, I worked for public and private organizations to increase profitability and financial accuracy. I’ve supervised large and small accounting departments and have extensive experience in managing payables and receivables, cost accounting, corporate and individual tax preparation, and fiscal management strategies. One of my most notable accomplishments includes spearheading the restructuring of county government’s accounts payable department that resulted in the diversion of a potential 8.5 million dollar loss.
I brand my accounting practice – and myself as a speaker – as being different. Not only am I a good accountant, but I’m a good accountant with a personality and sense of humor. My colleagues tend to be so stiff and rigid that when I tell a joke, they don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, I have square tendencies and my analytical side shines when it comes to business but, I have what I call ’rounded edges.’
I love building relationships with my clients so I can get to know them as an individual and them as business owners. By making sure my clients are more than just a folder or a tax return, I can advise them year round on business and accounting practices that can improve their bottom line and their tax returns.
Next to accounting, I love speaking and holding workshops. Part of that ‘personality’ is that I’m a ham and always have been. When I get the attention of an audience, I am in business. Speaking engagements and workshops are my opportunity to distinguish myself from all the other accountants in the phone book. It also addresses a third passion, which is teaching. When I see that “AHA” on a person’s face it’s golden for me. When I held my first workshop in 2003, there were three people in attendance and two of those were relatives. But that one other person is still my client today.
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