Ask most anyone to describe a stereotypical accountant and the words vegan and pink hair aren’t likely be the first that come to mind.
Yet, these two words only begin to describe CPA, Heather Zeitzwolfe. As a long-time vegan, Heather works with her clients, many of whom are also vegan, offering services that include cash flow management, financial forecasting, budgeting, and profit management.
Heather’s passion is helping companies to not only stay afloat during uncertain times, but thrive by implementing simple strategies to keep comings in the black.
Heather has noticed common errors many entrepreneurs make when it comes to running a business. One of the most common is that they let passion override the fact they need to make money and make a profit.
To avoid this, it’s necessary to have a plan to grow your business. The sooner an entrepreneur can implement good financial practices, the better. There are several aspects to a financially viable business including understanding where your money is distributed, spent and invested.
- Overhead both personally and professionally
Heather advises to keep your finances as organized as possible. Keep receipts, up to date books, and retain the services of an expert who can help you to have a better understanding of what a deduction is and is not.
Avoid mixing your personal monies with business funds. Keep separate accounts including checking accounts and credit cards. This will minimize any missed reporting for those who delay the inevitable… filing taxes.
An overriding principle for Heather is teaching her clients to treat their business like a business.
“You should constantly be looking at your numbers. You can’t make decisions in your business if you don’t know where your numbers are at. Keep your finger on the pulse of your business.”
Heather is also a firm believer in hiring coaches and mentors who will get you out of your comfort zone. It’s difficult to grow your business when you aren’t willing to do things differently and at times take steps that are uncomfortable.
Planning for the Future
Heather advises entrepreneurs to work on building up savings for emergencies. Start with working toward putting a month of expenses aside. Build to two, then six, then a year. When you have a buffer of a year’s expenses, you can make better financial choices and minimize stress.
Keep in mind, this is an emergency fund, not a “dip into it to buy something fun” fund or a tax account. Those should be completely different accounts.
Heather’s Vegan Journey
A passionate, committed vegan, Heather readily admits she wasn’t always an animal advocate. Yet now she is a firm believer in “do no harm” to animals and will go to any length to assure animals rights are protected.
Heather dabbled with vegetarianism in her youth. Although she watched films put out by PETA, she admits she did turn a blind eye. Yet, about 15 years ago, she and her husband decided to get healthier by losing weight. Knowing a few vegans, this was the route they chose.
Like many vegans, that one decision was the beginning of a complete change of habits, thoughts, energy and ultimately compassion for animals. Heather now admits that her eyes were opened by choosing to be vegan and there is no going back to how things used to be.
It took what it took for Heather to fully understanding the suffering animals go through and be willing to be a voice for the voiceless.
Now the proud mama to multiple cats, Heather loves talking about what it means to be vegan. She considers herself an advocate and has various ways she expresses her advocacy. Cooking is one of her favorites.
“I love cooking for non-vegans to show them how delicious our way of eating actually is,” she beams.
A few years ago, Heather was involved with a group out of Portland, Oregon called the Radical Cheerleaders. A playful, yet serious group of vegans, the Radical Cheerleaders brought the light of day to the treatment of animals through entertainment. Once they got people to stop long enough to watch them as they performed on the streets of Portland, this was an opportunity to educate people from all walks of life.
Her hope is that the now disbanded group will one day start up again.
If you’re looking for an accountant who is not your stereotypical, buttoned up, gray suit type of CPA, Heather is happy to have a conversation with you. One of her favorite service offerings is Money Coaching. With a focus on Profits First, Heather helps her clients plan for a bright future and a thriving business.