Accountant Starts Her Own Practice: Singer Accounting

In August 2015 Lindsey Greenleaf attended a Saint Vincent College (SVC) SBDC training seminar - The First Step to Small Business Success. At that time she was employed by a local accounting firm as a Certified Public Accountant. Lindsey and a co-worker were considering forming a partnership and starting their own firm. Their new firm would specialize in audit, accounting, and tax and consulting services to the general public including the area’s small business community and non-profits. The two were frustrated by the culture of their current employer and felt that they could form a company focused on the needs of their clients.

Shortly after attending the First Step seminar the partners met with a staff member of the SVC SBDC. During the initial meeting, discussion focused on the risks of self-employment, entity formation, marketing efforts, and differentiation by offering “value pricing” to their customers. The SBDC consultant also pointed out some issues pertaining to partnerships. He strongly recommended that the partners meet with an attorney to draw up a partnership agreement, outline what each were bringing to the table, and what their respective expectations and responsibilities were. Subsequently, the SBDC consultant was notified that Lindsey and her co-worker had decided that a partnership was not in their best interest and that Lindsey was going to venture out on her own. Lindsey also asked if the time table to complete the business planning process could be expedited to allow her to meet her goal of opening before the year’s end.

Lindsey, a graduate of Kutztown University, moved to Western Pennsylvania in early 2011 to assume the duties of Manager for a local accounting firm. During her time in the area she had developed a strong professional reputation and established numerous local contacts. She also identified a need for a service-orientated accounting firm fueling her desire to go on her own.

The SBDC consultant suggested that Lindsey meet with him again to discuss her new business model, and work on a formal business plan began. Complimented by area demographics and industry research provided by the SBDC staff, the plan was completed and submitted to a local lender.

Lindsey received loans totaling $75,000, was able to find office space, and met her goal of opening in 2015. She directly benefited from the assistance provided by the Saint Vincent College Small Business Development Center.
The SBDC staff member, along with the Ligonier Chamber of Commerce and other local representatives recently attended the Grand Opening of Lindsey’s new accounting firm, Singer Accounting.