Meet SEWN member…
Born to solve problems…
Allison Feenstra actually started her accounting journey at age 17, when her CPA mother taught her basic bookkeeping. At first she did it because she could but somewhere along the way she fell in love with accounting and tax.
“I’m a problem solver by nature, so I really enjoy helping other people solve problems. No one likes to think about accounting and taxes, but tax issues can be stressful for small business owners, so I spend my time helping people plan better to avoid those problems in the first place, and to solve them when that’s not possible. I have a particular interest in the area of tax; I love it because it is complicated and ever-changing. There are so many different ways to help people reduce their accounting headaches and minimize their tax bills.”
Allison’s husband was born and raised on the Coast and it made sense to live here but shortly after the birth of their daughter they discovered one of the sad facts of local life: there is virtually no child care. Eventually they came back and she hung out her shingle as a Chartered Professional Accountant.
A particular ah hah moment with a client had a big impact on how she approaches her work: “A client emailed to ask for help with an estate tax plan, and I was going to simply email them information and calculations. My mentor advised me to have a meeting instead. “Wouldn’t that be a waste of time?” I asked. I was trying to be efficient, to save the client costs, but I scheduled the meeting anyway, and it was a good thing I did. Not only did I gather additional valuable information from the discussion, but I realized that what the client was really looking for was the advice of a trusted advisor as part of a larger issue, and a personal discussion was the only way that they felt comfortable enough to provide the whole story. My mentor had known this, which is why he suggested a meeting. I realized then that in order to truly help my clients, I needed to get to know them as much as possible.”
SEWN is a natural fit for Allison as she grows her client network but she says there’s much more to it than possible work.
“Building connections isn’t simply about getting business; for me it’s about being able to build a network of referrals for any local service or product that I or my clients might need in business, and I think the SEWN community provides a great place to build that network.
I’m looking forward to helping other SEWN members have one less headache in their business lives by looking after the accounting and tax details, and to being that person that they can call up for help whenever they need it – not just when the tax man comes calling.”
Photos by Lindyn Williams
Published July 2017