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Cindy Schroeder – 2016 Most Powerful Women in Accounting

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Cindy Schroeder

Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
Owner, Bright Bookkeeping LLC and Bookkeeping Buds;
Bachelors in Accountancy, Northern Illinois University



What advice would you give to female college students about the opportunities for women in the accounting profession?

The reason that I decided to choose Accounting as my major was because it is a well-rounded background to have. Regardless of if you end up staying in the field it really is the root of all business and will help you with whatever you end up doing. The accounting profession is changing with many opportunities especially for women.  With the industry moving to more of a business advisory role, I think women are much better suited to have the knowledge and the compassion that most small business owners are looking for.

What would you suggest to accounting firms that are interested in retaining and advancing more qualified female staff?

Work at having all members of your team have an active role in the firm but especially woman as they have a lot to offer. Be sure to listen to what they have to say and although it may not be the way you would do things initially, they may have some good ideas that you can incorporate into the firm. If you make your employees empowered they get invested more in their jobs and will stay longer.
Why did you choose to work in – and stay in – the accounting field?

I have always been very detailed and enjoyed working with numbers. Many people get joy from working a crossword puzzle, I get this same enjoyment from completing bank reconciliations or putting a quickbooks file back together correctly. I work with small business owners who all have their own passion and I love learning from them and helping them be more successful. I never imagined the experiences I would have or people I would get to meet due to being a bookkeeper, from working remotely at Disney World to meeting the band Train, it has just been an exciting adventure.

What are you currently reading?

The Synergist by Les McKeown

What changes do you foresee in the accounting profession of the near future (3-5 years)?

I think Bookkeepers will start to be taken more seriously, the title will stay the same but the definition of what a bookkeeper does will continue to evolve. We will stop being thought of as number crunchers and relied on more for our technology expertise and advisory skills on top of taking away your accounting headache. I hope there continues to be a push in the industry for apps to work together in unison to make work processes more efficient.

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

Bookkeeping Buds is a community I am building to help women be successful at building their own bookkeeping businesses. We help each other learn about all the changing technology, how to work with clients and be each other’s advocates in the process. By using quarterly goal setting activities we focus on working on our business and not in our business, well at least 4 times a year.

I use social media to keep my followers informed on changes in the industry, new technology, and events that may be important in how they are running their businesses. I also give presentations about QuickBooks for small business owners at groups like SCORE.

Describe one person who has been an important mentor to you and how that person helped shape the direction or focus of your professional life.

I am fortunate to have many mentors in my life that started with my fabulous parents who taught me how to work hard and play nice with others even if they are your brothers and sisters.  Scott Cook, for creating a program that provides me the freedom to have my own business and the employees at Intuit who push me out of my comfort zone and help to build my confidence, especially Kim Amsbaugh, Donna Duncan, Alison Ball, Dannielle Ernst, Mindy King, Shauna Maher and Kim Austin.  To all my Buds that I am inspired by, look up to and learn from on many levels especially Kay Morgan, Heidi Thorne, Debbie Kennedy, Marnie Stretch, Cindy Hovig, and Misty Megia.   And last but not least, my most important mentor is my husband Pete who is my sounding board and always supports me and pushes me to follow all my crazy dreams.

Please share a personal rule or principle that you follow.

I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse. Walt Disney

This statement to me means that you should not forget to enjoy all the simple things each day brings and even little things can turn into something extraordinary.



See the other recipients of the 2016 Most Powerful Women in Accounting award.