Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of profiles of this year’s Insightful Accountant’s Top 100 ProAdvisors. Over the remainder of the year, we will introduce you to our winners—checking in on their insights regarding a wide range of topics, including what it is like to be a leader in their profession, how to stay on top and what the future holds.

Jacqueline Edwards understands the internal and external factors that affect her clients’ growth. Every day, she not only provides support and strategy to help identify and take advantage of opportunities, but also to protect from inefficiencies and risks.

Working from New York City, the owner and operator of Business Pipeline Inc. has spent the past three decades as a business manager and Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, offering bookkeeping, business consulting, marketing and training to business owners.

The Business Pipeline has become a trusted partner by helping to enrich their clients’ bookkeeping and business development initiatives and promoting economic growth with effective collaboration to pursue their most important goals.

The Business Pipeline business managers are dedicated to financial management, using QuickBooks Online as one of their primary tools and other proprietary software. The team of talented consultants also can help observe business practices, and offer strategic and measurable goals and ideas to increase profits, enhance invoicing efficiency, and build a healthier and more attractive brand.

We sat down with Jacqueline to get her thoughts on being a Top 100 ProAdvisor, her path to success and the best advice she ever received.

How does the award fit into your overall mission statement?

Our mission is to automate financial management for small businesses. Bookkeeping is the nerve center of businesses, yet it has long been an arduous task for small businesses. We’re building books that automate financial management and help small business owners get back to doing what they love. The Top 100 ProAdvisor Award gives me more exposure to achieving my mission.

How will you leverage the honor in your continued success?

I want to build on this honor by continuing to learn and embrace innovation as the industry grows so I can share that knowledge and best practices with my clients and customers.

What are some of your strategies/initiatives for 2023?

My strategies drill down to wellness community checks on a business and personal level. If one area goes off balance, the other will soon follow because they are intertwined. Wellness scales are essential without driving that perfection scale that is not reachable.

I teach that as individuals we have different things on our scale, and where our efforts align is where our categories overlap. The overlap is essential because you know you are never alone in balancing the scale. You always have someone assisting you in that area, and depending upon how large that area is, it may be several people, but this is how we stay off the path of overworking ourselves.

For example, my scale has part and full-time clients (engagement letter clients), projects (one-off customer jobs), my free time (travel, hobbies, downtime), my health (doctors), and my family (partner, children, relatives support) the professionals within these wellness communities help me to succeed without being overwhelmed in their synergistic relationships.

What are some of the biggest issues/trends impacting the accounting space today?

One of the most significant issues is that business owners believe unskilled people can do their books. They view the competency of the job as based on knowing how to use the software to process data thinking that’s all there is to it.

However, any good bookkeeper or accountant understands accounting principles making the business less vulnerable to cash flow issues, and understanding the data to grow and sustain the business is equally important. Hiring a seasoned professional instead of someone who can learn the software creates a large utilization gap.

Until they work with someone who has specialized in bookkeeping or accounting, they can’t see the shortcomings to the value of the business since you don’t know what you don’t know. And missing out on what you don’t understand or know stunts your growth.

So, while technology trends are increasing the processing of data and simplifying A/R and A/P tasks, a skilled bookkeeper or accountant is still needed to help bring that business forward in ways someone without accounting principles cannot.

What’s the biggest item on your to-do list right now?

I am recapturing my health now that I’m in the survivorship part of my breast cancer journey. Then, for the business, redesigning my website.

I teach that as individuals we have different things on our scale, and where our efforts align is where our categories overlap. The overlap is essential because you know you are never alone in balancing the scale.

What are your expectations for 2023 and beyond?

My 2023 expectation is to maintain my current position in the marketplace and add a more significant educational platform piece to the business.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer your clients today?

I want small business owners to hire accounting professionals to help them achieve their short and long-term goals instead of someone smart enough to use the software.

What was the best advice you ever received?

When you get a no, view it as a five-second funeral and move on. A no is never your problem—it’s how you view it.

Is there a story/anecdote you can share that really sums up the work you do for your clients?

Anyone who knows me knows I’m inspired by potential because there is no time limit or expiration date. I believe potential can change from time to time, but as long as you always reach for it, the path where you are supposed to be will reveal itself. The potential will never bring you down the wrong path.

I quickly get to the root of the core issues and help clients achieve clarity, more excellent analysis capability and overall business improvements to the bottom line. My clients like that I explain complex issues in simple terms. Understanding the ins and outs of real business problems, I implement lasting solutions, cutting through the nonsense and getting to the solution quickly and efficiently.

A great example is when I had a self-managed absent commercial building owner with a huge tax bill with the city. They wanted to dispute the amount owned and brought me in to do so. They were on another accounting platform with incomplete data, making it difficult for the CPA to file taxes in those seven years, and I placed them on QBO to manage the $40 million asset.

I did seven years of back work in a year to prove the amount the owner owed the city with supporting documentation and clean books. I collected $1.3 million in back rent that year. I identified theft over those seven years totaling $5 million, introduced them to the cloud drive file system that eliminated their paper file issue, created workflows to manage accounts receivable and payable, and proved they owed the city $4 million less than requested.

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