Dorothy Kolb's Success Story: From Bookkeeper to Fractional CFO

February 16, 2022

Dorothy Kolb's Success Story: From Bookkeeper to Fractional CFO

Meet Dorothy, Founder of dk east associates

Dorothy has 20 years of experience in Finance and Accounting, she started her journey at Deloitte where she qualified as a CPA. After several years, she transitioned to working for major TV networks like CBS and NBC and even moved from finance and tried out production and operations. Her last company was downsized and she was let go from her CFO role whilst going through a divorce and being a proud mother of 4. Having to start from nothing again, with no financial support and this time with 4 children to raise, her story is incredibly inspiring. 

dk east associates is a fractional CFO services which aims to support female entrepreneurs who have startups in the creative and social impact industry. 

How did you start dk east associates, and transition from a bookkeeping practice to a CFO service?

I was recently divorced and got downsized out of my previous CFO job. I was never a bookkeeper as a trade but I found a client on Upwork and had to make something in order to support my family.  So as a matter of necessity I took the bookkeeping job.  It was ALWAYS time to move up since I was already a CFO previously. It was a matter of determining how to market myself that way.  My first two clients were female-owned businesses that saw what I was trying to do and supported my efforts with referrals which helped grow my client base.

Being a mother of 4, how do you organize your day?

I wake up at 5am and when it's not winter, I run 3 miles 3x a week. My sons are 15-20 so they are pretty self sufficient but when they were younger, I would work from 6-8am, get them to school and then work until about 2:30pm to get home before they finish school.  Now that I work remotely, I find myself working until 5pm!

I also run 2 podcasts, “Thriving in the Chaos” and “Oh Sh*t, What Now” which I’m really excited about!  We record 1-2 episodes every Friday and then send it off to our editor to review and publish. 

What advice would you give bookkeepers who want to transition into advisory?

Look beyond the numbers. I learned this lesson from a previous employee of mine who worked in the Accounts Payable team. She did an amazing job of it, but she’d always bring financial metrics to my attention. She started helping with forecasting and ended up getting a promotion!

I applied the same logic to my business, I’d make sure I deliver the best service for bookkeeping and at the same time point out key indicators for forecasting. Conversations naturally develop where clients start asking you to look into forecasting deeper which is outside the scope of bookkeeping and entering the world of advisory. 

What is the most exciting part of running your business?

I'm passionate about helping female entrepreneurs gain confidence by having clarity in their business finances. If you don’t come from a finance background, it’s easy to be intimidated by terms such as ‘cash flow’ but once you grasp an understanding of your finances, it can be a tool to help you understand how to grow your business!

How has LiveFlow helped you grow your business? 

I heard about LiveFlow through some of my friends in the accounting community and once I gave it a try, I knew it was a game changer. Automating manual tasks has been a huge time saver for me, not only does it help me provide my clients with more time to dig deep and help them understand their financials, it also helps me to keep focused. Not spending hours per client on manual tasks or double checking every imported figure, has been a huge win for me over the last few months. 

LiveFlow has been super valuable in building trust with my clients, now they no longer have to ask whether their reports have been updated or be worried about human error, which is a huge time saver. With LiveFlows Live reports, data from Quickbooks can be updated in a click of a button and there’s no need to worry about any cell references or formulas being broken. It’s easy to set up and use, the UI looks great, so whenever I share the reports with clients they’re always pleased with the quality. 

Want to grow your business and automate routine work? Try LiveFlow.

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