I started my bookkeeping business in 1987. Over the years, I have had clients in almost every industry and every corner of the state (and across the country!). I have presented at board meetings, helped new organizations get started, advised CEOs, and toured offices and stores of all types. My life in accounting has been one in which I have been a lot of places and seen a lot of things.
The recent pandemic has prompted me to reflect a little on that life in the numbers business. What have I enjoyed the most? What do I find challenging? What has lifted me up, inspired me, surprised me?
As I think back on three decades of workdays, what stands out the most for me are the people: the clients and co-workers, vendors and visitors, colleagues and CFOs. Some of them have become lifelong friends, some have come and gone, and some of them may have only crossed my path once or twice. But the pandemic has reduced our contact with our friends, families, co-workers, and customers. There is something to be said for exchanging handshakes and smiles, in working shoulder-to-shoulder and accomplishing a hard task, in coming into a familiar workplace every morning and seeing friendly, trusted faces.
However necessary it may be, social distancing is anti-social, and face coverings serve to mask our feelings as well as muffle our words. In terms of human interaction, there is less in our lives now, and our lives are the lesser for it. Of course, Zoom meetings have helped a little; at least we get to see faces.
Now more than ever, I treasure my employees and clients and the people who populate my workday. The pandemic and its restrictions have reminded me of that. In the final analysis, what makes business worth it, is when it’s personal. —Beth A. Marsh, CEO