K.C. Courtnier Chosen as Top 100 ProAdvisor 2017

K.C. Courtnier has been selected as one of the Top 100 ProAdvisors of 2017 by the officials of the Insightful Accountant organization and by popular vote of ProAdvisors numbering over 200,000 in 2017.  She also achieved this ranking in 2015 and 2016.

Qualification required a history of excellence in serving numerous QuickBooks customers resulting in customer delight, as well as proven excellence in skills and performance. K.C. has served companies in the greater Portland, OR area since 1997. She co-leads the Woodard Groups Portland chapter, a QuickBooks focused nationwide networking organization. Her chapter won the 2014 Fastest Growing Group award and won the Superstars award in 2015 and 2017. An Intuit Premier Reseller, she has been a member of Intuit’s elite top-tier reseller program since 2008.

Insightful Accountant recently interviewed K.C. for this feature article in their newsletter. They wrote:

“Mention the term “grow your business” and K.C. Courtnier is not going to disagree. But over the years, the founder of 2nd-Site Business Solutions has adopted a philosophy she believes is the one every ProAdvisor she embrace – “enjoy the business and work on your own terms.”

Her energy is focused on striving for personal gratification in the workplace, not monetary gratification. That means spending more time in her home office and working the clients and projects she enjoys. The most significant change she made was to stop driving to client locations unless it is truly necessary. After the initial meeting, she says it’s just as easy to complete most projects, even training work, using remote access solutions.

Kathleen also backed away from Point of Sale work and continues to refer QuickBooks Online prospects to people who love QBO.

Her firm, which she launched in Portland, Ore., in 1997, works with clients ranging from large enterprises to small, independent businesses and across a wide variety of industries, including professional services, medical, retail and wholesale, trades, high-tech and manufacturing, and yes, even accountants.

Today, 2nd-Site Business Solutions focuses on the promotion, sale and support of QuickBooks Enterprise and Intuit QuickBooks Payments accounts.

What does it mean to you to be recognized out of more than 200,000 ProAdvisors in the world?

Wow, that number gets larger every year, making the honor just that much more meaningful. It certainly gives me a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction to be recognized as one of the movers and shakers of the QuickBooks world.

Your first thoughts on getting news of the honor?

To be honest, my initial reaction was “Phew!” It would have felt like a fall from grace if I hadn’t been selected after making the list in previous years. That being said, I hope I have the courage to set ego aside next year and voluntarily remove myself from the running in order to make room for someone else to be selected. There are so many outstanding professionals out there who also deserve to be recognized.

How has your ProAdvisor practice changed or evolved over the last couple of years?

The most significant change has been my decision to stop driving to client locations unless it’s truly necessary. After the initial meeting, it’s just as easy to complete most projects, even training work, using remote access solutions. Spending time on the road is bad for the environment, a huge time waste and stressful.

Now that I spend more time in my home office, I’m much more relaxed. And in that more relaxed mental state, I’ve realized that it’s okay to let go of doing the things that no longer bring me joy.

Why is continuing to enhance your skills and acumen critical to staying one step ahead of the curve?

I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t recognized 20 years ago that to succeed as an independent consultant, I would need to accurately predict what my target market would need and want before they knew they needed and wanted it. You can’t stay at the front of the pack by being a follower. You have to see what’s coming before it’s obvious and be a frontrunner. Initially, that meant recognizing QuickBooks would outsell and outpace Peachtree, MYOB, DacEasy, Money, and all of the other competitors. It didn’t have to be the best solution; it had to appeal to the most buyers. I focused on learning everything I possibly could about QuickBooks so that I’d be the one with the answers when people started asking questions.

It’s an ongoing process that needs to be a part of the daily schedule, rather than an afterthought if and when there’s spare time. There is no spare time, so including networking events, training webinars and conventions in my schedule is essential to being able to recommend viable solutions to my clients.

What do you do?

As an Intuit Premier Reseller, I primarily sell and support QuickBooks Enterprise and do project work on all desktop versions of QuickBooks. For four years, I led a local ProAdvisor User Group for the Portland/Vancouver area. A year after we disbanded, I became a co-leader, along with Jennifer Dymond, of the Portland Woodard Group. Our monthly meetings include a lot of mutual support, sharing of information and referral exchanges so we all become successful together. I believe that community involvement, in my case it’s the ProAdvisor community, is a great way to “pay it forward.”

Give us a snapshot of today’s accounting landscape. 

I see a brave new world that’s becoming harder and harder for me, nearing retirement, to keep up with. It’s information overload. I also see an overwhelming emphasis on how to create a successful accounting practice using technology and the cloud, and streamlined workflow systems and value pricing – all of which is fine, points well taken, especially if you’re a standard bookkeeping or accounting firm.

But I want to point out that I have never followed the rules and recommendations considered necessary for success and I have been very successful. So to anyone who has no desire to follow the pack, I say never let someone tell you what success looks like or how to achieve it. Hear everything there is to hear, and then follow your own path, set your own course, use your own ingenuity, intuition, definitions and, most of all, be in tune with the universe because the abundance is readily available if you’re open to accepting it.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?  

My dad grew up dirt poor in the Chicago slums during the gangster days of Prohibition and the Great Depression. As an adult, he worked 60 hours a week for years to provide for his family to ensure we never went without necessities like he did.

So, I was really surprised when he told me one day, “K.C., don’t work just to get money and put it in the bank. If you die with money in the bank, it’s done you no good. There’re only two reasons to earn money. One is to pay for the things you need. The other is to pay for the things you want. So save for retirement but don’t save it all. Live your life and spend your money on the things or experiences that matter to you, so you don’t end up realizing you forgot to live life to the fullest.“

Dad didn’t follow his own advice, but I have, and I’m so grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had as a result.

What is the story that best describes how you help your clients?  

The very first client I had was a small landscape business owned and operated by a man who, like so many business owners, assumed his wife should do his books along with raising the kids and running the household, etc. She hired me to help her learn QuickBooks. But each time I visited their home office, we spent the first hour with her crying on my shoulder, telling me all of the problems she was having with the kids. How overwhelmed she felt trying to do the books and how her husband didn’t understand her.

I had to get her through her emotional distress before she could focus on QuickBooks. I had that client for a very long time, long after she learned all there was to know about QuickBooks. Half of the money I earned was as a family therapist. It taught me to listen, above all else, and to empower clients through positive feedback.  I learned to always speak to my clients in terms they could relate to. Many of the testimonials posted on my ProAdvisor listing refer to that ability to understand the client and encourage them to believe they are capable.

How do you create balance in your work and personal life? 

I’m not sure that I do. I’m a total workaholic, given the opportunity. But, if I ask the universe to intervene, balance does seem to appear. People often ask me about my marketing strategy or offer to help me with marketing, and I have to tell them I don’t market. I don’t advertise. I don’t look for business. I never have. I just tell my higher power what I want to have happen and it happens.

I learned in the first year of business that if I try to get new clients, it’s an effort in futility. If I simply trust the universe to provide and step back, the phone starts ringing, the emails pour in. In 20 years, it has always worked. I have always had ample business and plenty of money, except if I start to worry. That turns off the flow immediately. I can’t explain why it works, but it does.

So, if I want more personal time, especially in the summer, I just put that request out there and I get exactly enough business to meet my needs and still have plenty of time to enjoy family, friends and good books. I let the synchronicity of the universe create balance in my life.

What’s on your to-do list the rest of 2017?  

Facilitate lots of Enterprise sales to new clients who call me out of the blue. Are you listening, Universe?  Keep drinking vegetable smoothies daily – a new habit I’m striving to develop. Take three more vacation trips in August, September and October, and plan at least four for next year. Clean out my office closet. Learn about one new app every month. And be open to new opportunities and be ready to pivot when they appear.”

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