Featured Client Success Story
In an effort to share many great success stories, and as a thank you to our clients, we will feature a client profile on our website every month. These profiles consist of a brief bio-testimonial and a short photography session; all completed by Janine Domingues-Vasquez, an amazing local photographer and writer who will help us with this initiative. We will announce each featured client on social media with a link to our page and theirs. Stay tuned!
Talitha Benjamin & Scott Richie
Talitha Benjamin and Scott Richie are partners in life and in business.
A little over two years ago they opened the Accordion Club located at 316 W. Geer Street in Durham. It happened very suddenly: Scott was walking home one day when he saw a “For Lease” sign and decided to take a look. It wasn’t long before he and Talitha were planning how they would make the Accordion Club the local bar they had been wanting in their own neighborhood (the couple live within walking distance of the bar). Scott got to work on demolition, building the bar, and doing nearly everything except the plumbing, electric, and HVAC. When developing the menu Talitha and Scott kept their potential customers in mind, knowing that Durham consumers are well-educated about food and drink and they like to eat when they drink. Drawing inspiration from Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Talitha spent many summers, she decided on a breakfast burrito with green hatch chiles and hot dogs with toppings such as kimchi, nacho cheese, and spicy green chili as a staple for the bar menu.
Talitha, who has a background in bookkeeping, balanced the books for one year. However, when they switched their point of sale (POS) service there was an unexpected glitch. She found herself spending too much time confirming that the numbers were correct and so she opted to explore professional accounting firms. After meeting with Patricia Villa, Talitha knew that she wanted to work with her. Patricia understood the problem with POS glitch and how to fix it, and she was kind too. During a stressful family transition, Talitha says “Patricia was patient, understanding, and non-judgemental,” which the couple appreciates. And Patricia took the time to help Talitha understand tax and corporate accounting. Patricia and the CSFAS team have been working for Talitha and Scott for nearly eight months. In this time they have freed up at least 20 hours per month of Talitha’s time. Time that she can spend reading their clean financial records and planning for her future with Scott. To learn more about Accordion Club visit: https://www.instagram.com/accordionclub/.
Accordion Club’s accounting team at CSFAS: Patricia & Vickie
More Client Success Stories
Ben Quinn, Growth Strategist
In 2008 he began working with Carole Scotto, MBA, and president of CSFAS. Carole and her team assist Ben with tax and financial planning, bookkeeping, and accounting. Ben says “Carole has the ability to look at the business as a whole and make suggestions.” He continues “bookkeeping and accounting can be time-consuming “with CSFAS I can let the experts be experts.” Ben says “the flat fee makes working with CSFAS is a consistent investment in my business and my future”.
In 2014 he began his first real estate projects as a small business investor and real estate entrepreneur. His portfolio has grown to include new construction, historic restorations, commercial rentals, and land development.
Ben offers the following advice for anyone starting a business: Who you choose to partner with is very important. Don’t work with people who cut corners or don’t know their craft. Your professional team must be experienced and trustworthy to make sure you are moving in the right direction with a strong foundation. Here, Ben takes his own advice, “with CSFAS there is no concern that I’ll outgrow them; they do everything I need.” Carole, Patricia and the rest of the CSFAS team is exactly the type of partner he recommends. For example, clean financial records are important to any industry but the real estate development industry is transactional. The possibility of an audit creates a strong need for correct numbers. As a business advisor and real estate entrepreneur Ben has many partners, vendors, and many moving parts. Carole and her team can handle the complexities of the construction and real estate business transactions. He also feels comfortable knowing that someone at CSFAS is always available and knowledgeable of his unique situation. Ben says, “I really enjoy working with CSFAS. They are trustworthy, knowledgeable, kind, and fun people.” To learn more, visit http://www.farmblue.com.
Ben’s accounting team at CSFAS: Carole & Lavone
Janet Lee, Poké Master
Janet Lee’s life changed in a yoga class. The Duke business school graduate took her instructor’s gentle reminder to “do what you love and take care of your body” and turned it into her life’s mission. The next day the food-lover gave her 30-day notice and planned her move from corporate sales and management into the restaurant industry. ZenFish Poké Bar in Durham was born. She knew she wanted to create a space full of love and inclusivity. Two values important to every aspect of Janet’s life. “Do good. Eat well.” is the ZenFish Poké Bar motto. Janet named her Signature Bowls after the values she holds dear: courageous, kindness, grateful, compassion, and veggie. Janet described some of her challenges as asking for help, delegating tasks, and finding funding. Since the beginning, she was used to doing all the financial tasks herself which ate up a lot of her time.
Working with CSFAS has allowed Janet to focus on the bigger picture. They are accommodating, responsive, trustworthy, and dependable. “If it weren’t for this accounting team, I wouldn’t be able to expand to a second location,” says Janet. For Janet, having clean financial records means knowledge and good decision-making. CSFAS helps ensure that the financials are healthy and running smoothly; handles all the monthly sales tax and analyzes where the business might be overspending. Patricia and her team are always willing to explain and teach, which Janet appreciates. “We want to keep the business profitable,” says Janet. Fresh, local ingredients, a strong team, and balanced books are key ingredients for Janet’s success. To learn more about Janet & Zenfish please visit http://www.zenfishpokebar.com/.
Janet’s accounting team at CSFAS: Patricia & Rajini
Jeffrey L. Austin, Elder Law Attorney
Austin’s small business is a one-man shop with support staff that help with operations, administration, and finance. Some challenges he faced at the start were creating a time management system, accounting and bookkeeping tasks, and administrative work. He spent two years doing most of the work himself but within two years Austin was introduced to Patricia Villa and CS Financial & Accounting Services Inc. (CSFAS) by a trusted local business owner. Austin hired the team for their knowledge, professionalism and high level of customer service. The CSFAS team provides support by overseeing client billing, managing time sheets, making bank deposits, and more. CSFAS advises Austin on taxes and business growth. Austin states, “Patricia and the CSFAS staff give me clean financial records that help me budget appropriately, do projections, and much more.” Now he spends two hours every week reading his business financial reports and other tasks that only he can complete. The rest of his new-found time is now allotted towards big picture planning, self-learning, and client work. Austin says he appreciates “that Patricia and the entire team give such personalized attention, always make time for clients, and are so customer-focused.” To learn more about Jeffrey and his work, please visit http://www.jeffaustinlaw.com/.
Jeff’s accounting team at CSFAS: Patricia & Vickie