Today I would like to introduce Christine Galli. Christine is the Executive Director of Technology in a Box right here in the Southeastern Michigan area. With the end of the year upon us, it’s time to get your books in order. This is also a good time to figure out what software solutions you will use next year for your payroll, inventory, marketing and sales.
Christine has a wealth of knowledge and experience. I am thrilled to be able to interview her. I hope you learn as much as I have.
Hi Christine, thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview. Let’s get started.
How did you get into this business? Why QuickBooks?
The start of my journey took place in a learning disability clinic and I was a learning specialist. For ten years, I tracked all of my client appointments by hand and submitted a paper report in order to be paid. In 1993, an office manager was hired to automate our processes and our green ledgers and pegboard system were replaced by computers and software. QuickBooks was introduced as our method of tracking our appointments and, with a click of a button, our clinical activity was printed out to be submitted for payment. It was MAGIC!
How long have you worked at Technology in a Box?
I left the clinic in 1994 and was partners in a company called Accounting Resource. We added another company called E-ccounting Solutions that concentrated on seminars and webinars for accounting firms and end users. In 2007, our company merged with three other practices to form Technology In A Box. Technology In A Box Learning Services became the educational arm in 2009.
What accomplishments, experience and skills compliment the job you do?
It was a proud moment to win the SBTDC Region 9 award. I attended a series of classes, participated in projects and submitted an application on behalf of Technology In A Box. I also had the privilege of being a co-author of the original QuickBooks Pro Advisor Certification Program (there are now over 100,000 Pro Advisors).
What jobs have you done in the past that add value to the job you do now?
When I was in high school and in college, I worked for my father in his franchise businesses. He was a true entrepreneur, a classic risk taker and a stickler for details. He was pretty fearless and demanded a lot, yet I felt comfortable in business, even though I went into education in college.
What are your most memorable moments?
When my clients have a revelation: that paying for my services creates money in their pocket. The bigger the value I bring to their pockets, the better I look. One of my finer moments was creating a Purchase Order system for an automotive supplier company. After we matched all of the Open Purchase Orders to the true orders, we found that they had over paid by 63,000.00. Ahhh, great stuff!
What has been one of your most challenging moments?
Running a business without clear direction is always a challenge. I don’t like to spin my wheels, I like having set goals. It happens when partners don’t align their visions and everyone is going in a different direction. I don’t have that now, I am the sole owner.
What do you love most about the job you do?
I love to remove road blocks to vital information, abolish manual labor when there is automation and create more EASY buttons in the world.
What advice would you give to a business just getting off the ground?
Do what you do best, look for a professional team that will help you with the rest. Meet with them often, know your business numbers!
With the end of the year upon us, what would you suggest to a business as they finish off their books for the year?
There are a host of year end activities that would help the business and their accountants have a Happy New Year. To name a few:
- Make sure you have contact information for all vendors who provided a service to your company and who received more than 600.00 in non-employee compensation. This automates the process when creating 1099s.
- If you ran reports for last year’s year end, would they match your tax return? If not, alert your accountant. We clean up so many company financials so that the accountant doesn’t have to do their work twice.
- Reconcile all Balance Sheet accounts, not just checking accounts. Every permanent account in the Balance Sheet has a corresponding institutional statement or document that validates the accuracy of your internal balances. For example, if you have a Line of Credit in your books, make sure the value matches the bank’s Line of Credit statement.
- Organize documents and back up your accounting data and keep them both in a safe place.
Do you provide any training?
I provide company-wide training and training of individuals. I also provide training for the franchises that I work with, such as Little Caesars Enterprises and Big O Tires.
What types of training do you offer?
This really depends on the company. I typically start with an assessment of how the company currently tracks their business transactions. Then, we determine what their reporting requirements are and we diagram the path of the information that leads to those reports. I assist the company with their due diligence of researching the best accounting software, one that is the right fit for their operations and their budget. If it is QuickBooks, we create the necessary infrastructure in their accounting data file and then implement the processes and train on each business segment.
Do you ever offer seminars?
I do offer demos and webinars on various aspects of QuickBooks and other software solutions. These are announced in my monthly e-newsletter. It’s best to join my newsletter on my website in order to know the schedule of dates.
What is the biggest and smallest type of business that you will work with?
I have worked with a one man contractor and a multi-store franchise. My ideal client is one that is a service based business that needs to automate their accounting processes with best practices and the right software solutions. I really love working with franchises and being the single source of implementation and training on QuickBooks their accounting processes.
What would you like companies to know about QuickBooks? Why should they consider using QuickBooks? Is there anything that stands out or is unique?
You can work faster, smarter, not harder, when you use an automated system. There are SO many features in QuickBooks, too many to mention, but I always ask my clients “What manual work are you doing to keep track of your information?” or “How long does it take you to find out the information you need to manage your business?” I would say over 80% of a company’s disjointed information could be streamlined in QuickBooks.
What are you passionate about? Do you do any volunteer work?
I am still passionate about teaching and literacy. I attend a downtown Detroit church and am exposed to many opportunities to serve. My sister headed up a “Homeless Week” where local shelters would come to our church for a week and have awesome meals and other perks. Many times our week was during the Super Bowl, so we had great fun with football games, submarine sandwiches and cheering for teams. Awhile back, I started a literacy program for Mariners Inn, a halfway house that needed their residence to learn reading and writing skills. Currently, I spearhead a Reading Camp every summer for a local drop in center for working parents. We always have fun learning new languages, reading award-winning books and being true to our church’s mission statement: A Beacon of Hope.
Anything else you would like to add?
I have a phenomenal husband, three loving and compassionate children and a host of awesome clients! (And a killer social media director, THAT’S YOU) Oh, I’m a Michigan State Spartan fan and I bleed green. 🙂
How can someone contact you to get more information or to schedule an appointment?
Go to www.traininginabox.net and schedule a free half hour call with me. I’d love to hear what businesses are looking for and where did they hear about us?
Is there any information a person should have on hand before calling you?
A company should step back and ask what barriers are in their systems that prevent them from knowing their vital signs of the company. They should do an internal calculation of how much this barrier costs them and figure out what would their budget be to fix their systems. How do you know if your business is running a tight ship if you don’t have the means of knowing your numbers?
Thank you Christine for taking the time to do this interview!
Christine Galli is the Executive Director of Training in a Box as well as the Co-author of Intuit’s Professional Advisor Certification course series. She specializes in QuickBooks setup, training and support for businesses & franchises. You can connect with Christine at:
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