Our Mission statement: To help small businesses grow through peace of mind and financial understanding. At A & J Bookworks, we strive to let each of our clients know that their business is our top priority.
My journey to Business owner and entrepreneur begins with working in the hospitality industry, at a resort in North Bonneville, in my early twenties with four young children where I began to focus on prospective careers and my future. Over the years of employment at the resort, I was able to work my way up to an administrative position as the executive assistant to the GM. In a short time, I learned that I enjoyed the work and decided to follow it as a possible career. I made the decision to further my education and began college course work to become an administrative assistant. Although this position was not a challenge, I enjoyed it and felt as if I was making a difference in other people’s work and life. Fortunately, for the both of us, the company saw the potential and gave me the responsibility of assisting the controller of the resort with the financial side of hospitality – Payroll, recordkeeping, banking, bookkeeping, budgeting. Shortly thereafter, when the economy shifted, I took a second job as a bookkeeper for a local concrete company in North Bonneville. The owner, after seeing the improvements I had made in his office and his business, recommended me to his father who owned a local sand and gravel trucking company that had DOT contracts for State and City road work. Because he owned sand and gravel pits in Bonneville, I had to get certified to run the scales for the business, although not typical for my position I am always willing to go the extra mile if need be.
Unfortunately, this is where my journey took a bit of a turn. Still enrolled at college and pursuing my Associate degree, I was diagnosed with cancer. Unsurprisingly, I was forced to quit school and my career to focus on my health and treatment.
Thankfully, I was one of the lucky few that was able to make a full recovery but found that I was facing a new problem on my horizon. I found that it was exponentially more difficult to find work in the same industry of bookkeeping and accounting with such a sizable gap in my work history as it took about a year for me to recover. Never the less I eventually found a job in retail, working for a major corporation. Through work ethic and a pursuit of more responsibilities I was quickly promoted to management and cash office work. This, however, was not my end goal and decided that I need to finish my education and again enrolled to college. While studying for a degree in administrative assistant I was required to take accounting courses and enjoyed it far more than administrative assisting.
When I graduated college, with an Associates of Applied Science in Accounting from Clark College, I was hired at an accounting firm in south east Portland. Right away I was tasked with the management of multiple client’s books, payroll and tax preparation services. I was enamored with the work, every day was new and different, new challenges, new clients, new responsibilities. I loved being able to assist people with their goals and making plans to achieve the financial success they desired. Accounting challenges my mind on a day to day basis and it makes me feels good to be able to help people run their business through understanding of their finances.
Over the years I found that some of my clients needed help outside of just financial understanding, they also needed help with an understanding of marketing and management. Therefore, I had no choice but to once again head back to college and further my education so I could continue to help my clients. While maintaining full time work and four amazing children, I went back to college for two more Associates degrees, one in business management and then another in marketing.
With my new knowledge and drive I decided that it was time that I set out on my own and create a business of my own. With these skills, and my own brand of accounting, I am able to fully assist my clients from day one and help them to become the most successful versions of themselves.
I have worked with numerous business industries, from hotel and hospitality, construction, consulting, education, restaurants, retail as well as many others. However, I have also been given the privilege of working with multiple non-profit organizations in the area as well as not for profit organizations. Most proudly I am currently the treasurer and accountant for the Kelso Music Boosters which is a non-profit organization that works with Kelso High School in fundraising for the music programs including, but not limited to, the marching band, choir, mariachi band and orchestra as well as many others.
Degrees & Certifications:
Associate of Applied Sciences – Accounting 2014
Associate of Applied Sciences – Business Administration – Management 2015
Associate of Applied Sciences – Marketing 2017
QuickBooks Certified Pro Advisor for both Desktop and Online versions
Future goal: Bachelor of Science – Accounting