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Ingrid Edstrom, CQB – 2016 40 Under 40 Honoree

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Ingrid Edstrom

President & CEO
Polymath, LLC
Ashland, OR



Aside from the accounting websites, which blog/website do you consider a must-read?
Between Wall and Main is a new one and one of the best. The wealth of fantastic information on that site is amazing and very inspirational.

In what ways have you contributed to your firm/company to make it better?
The best thing I have done and will continue to do is get out of my own way. We are all constantly learning and growing, and I find that the only things holding me and my team back are our own limiting beliefs. By supporting each other and thinking outside the box, we are creating something truly wonderful, and we are really enjoying it. I am proud to be part of an employee-owned company with a true round-table leadership system.

In what ways do you participate in the professional community to change/improve the accounting profession?

  • I teach/speak at conferences & events whenever given the opportunity.
  • I produce educational videos on the Polymath and Ask A Bookkeeper YouTube channels.
  • I am a weekly contributor for Between Wall and Main.
  • I regularly write articles for other online journals, and have been included in Intuit blogs, ICB, Accountex, Insightful Accountant, and others.
  • I am actively working with Jan Haugo and the Institute for Certified Bookkeepers to produce a replicable system for creating local ICB chapters.
  • Just ask. If it helps my colleagues succeed, I’ll probably be happy to try.

In what ways do you participate in your local community to help others?

I founded the Southern Oregon Bookkeepers association, which became a 501(c)3 non-profit in 2013, and I continue to serve on the board. We provide networking and educational opportunities to local bookkeepers and their clients. This organization has been an inspiration to other communities, and we are now working with Jan Haugo and the ICB to package these systems for other communities to copy as local ICB chapters.

I started the Southern Oregon Woodard Group in 2015, providing more networking and education opportunities with the support of the Woodard Network. In 2016 our group won the “Rising Star” award.

I serve as mentor to many of our local colleagues, both in person and in group settings. We are working hard to bring our rural community into the Firm of the Future mindset.

What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5years)?
Ongoing advances in technology and automation will render the traditional accounting “bean counter” completely obsolete. Any accountant not shifting to a bigger-picture, development-focused mindset and an advisory role risks being left behind

How do you see yourself participating in shaping the future of the accounting profession?

I really enjoy being part of such a rapidly changing industry. As one of the people on the front lines, I really enjoy learning as much as I can and then teaching it to my clients and colleagues, both in person and in our videos. I love finding ways to make learning fun and exciting for everyone.

What is your career philosophy?
Polymath’s vision is to make the world a better place, built on a foundation of thriving small businesses. As the President & CEO of our employee-owned firm, my primary role is to manifest this vision on a global level by supporting our colleagues in the profession. We know that we can’t help every small business in the world on our own; we need our community to work together for this vision to be realized, and we are excited that we get to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped change your life.
Kaydee Peterson for has inspired and helped my firm grow on so many levels. It was Kaydee who mentioned the National Advisor Network to me back in the late summer or early autumn of 2014. She encouraged me to join, saying that it was one of the best professional networks available for our industry, and she enthusiastically invited me to join their Woodard Group chapter up in Portland, Oregon, despite it being more than a five hour drive away.

As the months went on, Kaydee continued to be a resource. As a member of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network, she helped to keep me in the loop on what to really pay attention to in our ever-changing technology. She also strongly encouraged me to attend Scaling New Heights, which totally changed my world. I was amazed and inspired to see Kaydee’s magic at work at Scaling New Heights, and then again at QBConnect and SleeterCon in 2015. She is a perennial connector, uniting people and technology seamlessly. She flits from teaching an awesome class over to running demos and promotions for app partners. Her positive attitude and fun-loving spirit is contagious to everyone she encounters, especially when she is dressed up in lights and rainbows with her hula hoop. If anyone is to win the prize for pep and pride in our industry, it is Kaydee.

With all of these things in mind, it is no wonder that Kaydee was recently offered a position with Intuit. Now she continues to help even more accounting firms as a Business Development Manager. Her passion for accounting, business, and simply helping others is so amazing that even Oprah Winfrey saw it right away and was so impressed that she had to mention Kaydee by name in her keynote at QuickBooks Connect 2015. I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for her suggestions and encouragement, and I am very grateful.



Learn more about this year’s 40 Under 40 Honorees.