This is the final week of LFID’s Give Thanks series. Over the past three weeks, I’ve been sharing interviews with the people who have worked alongside me to bring this design business into being—people for whom I am so incredibly thankful! If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out my previous interviews with Rachel Weaver, blogger extraordinaire, and Rob Rice of Rob Rice Illustrations.
Today is an exciting day. Today, I bring you my partner in work, play, and all of life. He’s the man who makes sure my books are balanced and the one who keeps my head on straight. I’m so incredibly honored to be able to introduce you to my very best friend, Larry Figueroa. That’s right—my hubs!
For the past 4.5 years, Larry has worked in corporate accounting at a firm in downtown Grand Rapids. We’ve been married a little over two years, and he has been a huge encouragement in getting LFID off the ground. He is in charge of paying my taxes on time, making sure all that cash flow stuff makes sense, and keeping me grounded when I'm feeling pulled in a million directions. He's just the greatest!
And now, here’s Larry:
Tell us a little about your background, what you do, and why you decided to pursue the route you did:
I have worked for BDO for the last 4.5 years as a tax consultant. I took a few accounting classes in college, did well, and enjoyed the work. I was in college during the '08 financial crisis and recession and my professors made sure to let us know that there were still plenty of jobs in accounting which made a career in public accounting appealing at the time.
You have an exciting new endeavor coming up in your life…Tell our readers a little about that:
Yep, I just accepted a position with Church of the Servant as the interim minister of worship.
Why have you decided to make this leap, and where do you hope it will take you?
I've been thinking about pursuing graduate school for quite some time. I've been having trouble understanding how to take the step from my current firm to graduate school and this position opened up at just the right time. I'm excited about the awesome team I'm going to work with, the community at Church of the Servant that I'll be able to serve, and the opportunity to spend significant time exploring worship and music. And I think it will serve as a solid buffer between the current chapter in my life and whatever comes next.
A lot of small business owners keep their accounting “in house” to save on costs. What would you say are the benefits of having a professional like yourself assist with a small business’s accounting?
From a tax standpoint, it helps bring to light a lot of additional deductions you might be entitled to, but either aren't sure how to calculate or don't even know exist. This type of help can happen once a year. The benefits of ongoing accounting help depend on the size of your business and industry. If you're in the service industry and are dealing with a low volume of transactions per month, the financial reporting should be fairly straightforward. If you're facing something moderately more complex, it may be worth having an outside accountant review your financials on a periodic basis. That will help save on the cost of having someone else do it, but will still give you some assurance that you're thinking about the numbers correctly.
Tell us about your process when working with a new client:
Building trust is a big part of the process when working with a new client. This means responding to client inquiries quickly and following up on questions they might have for you. It also means being forthright in what you can and can't do for them and how much it will cost.
Tell us about a favorite project or achievement:
I made manager at a large public accounting firm in four years (no internship). That's a fast promotion cycle in this industry and I'm proud of the work that went into making that happen.
What is one of your favorite things about what you do?
I enjoy planning with teams and facing difficult logistical and technical challenges. I'm always surprised by how much positive change can happen with a small amount of effort when you're working in a team.
What is it like living with an interior designer? ;-)
I love that entering each room is an opportunity to experience a unique expression of beauty. It's almost like each room in the house is a new track on a record. You get to enjoy each one individually but as a whole they come together and voice your vision for what home should feel like.
What would you say are the values that direct and guide you life?
Learning and community. Every day, I strive to drill deeper into some body of knowledge I'm studying. I'm allergic to superficiality. Community, specifically friendship, helps you to move out of pure head knowledge and forces you to ask what positive (or negative) impact your knowledge has on the people around you.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, tell us something that has been a blessing to you this year. What are you thankful for?
I'm thankful for friendship. We have a beautiful community of friends in Grand Rapids. We have fun together, enjoy interesting conversation, and this almost always happens around a bottle of wine and yummy food.
If a reader wanted to get in contact with you, how would they do so?
Tweet me at @lfigueroa1 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Seriously, I am laughing constantly when I'm with this guy.
Such a treat to introduce him to all of you!