Puzzling out a solution to a complex problem.
It’s one of the things Justin Sargent most enjoys. He’s a gamer, which in 2018, could mean a lot of things. For Justin, it means that he enjoys all types of games — board games, video games, tabletop war games — anything where he gets to dig in deep and solve a problem.
He carries that appreciation for problem solving into his work at Reconciled It, where he’s been a bookkeeper since 2015. “You can reconcile an account, and then everything’s matching,” Justin says. “There’s also problem solving and troubleshooting that’s comparable to putting together a puzzle. That can be really satisfying.”
Bookkeeping wasn’t Justin’s background. He graduated from Duke University with a BA in the classics and a minor in English. He spent a few years working in retail and customer service but was missing the intellectual stimulation — and the stability — that can come from a solid day job. He’d always been good at math, so he got an accounting certificate from Champlain College and landed a job as an accounts payable clerk for a local grocer.
A few years later, he came across an ad for a remote bookkeeper with an online bookkeeping startup called Reconciled It. He’s been with us ever since.
Over the last three years, Justin has built a particularly relevant specialty — e-commerce accounting. With virtually anything available online, the world of e-commerce seems to be on a never-ending trajectory upwards. And the accounting and bookkeeping issues e-commerce companies face aren’t necessarily the same as your traditional brick and mortar retailer.
An e-commerce company has the potential for an enormous — perhaps infinite — number of transactions everyday. And if they’re selling through multiple platforms, that data is all held in different locations and compiled in different ways. A bookkeeper working with an e-commerce company has to understand all the tools the company is using, find the relevant reports, and input them into the correct places in QuickBooks — and they need to do it accurately and quickly.
Justin’s goal is to make decision-making as easy as possible for his clients. After all, that’s the point of all that data — to help a business decide what step to take next. Sometimes his job is to help his client understand what information they need in the first place. Not every entrepreneur or business owner has a financial background, so they may not know what reports provide them the most valuable data for their decision-making processes. Justin walks them through the relevant reports and helps them figure out what the numbers mean for their business.
When he’s done solving bookkeeping problems, he keeps that puzzling brain happy with some gaming. And when he needs a rest, he turns to his other loves — folk dancing and pub singing (which is, as you might suspect, singing...in a pub).
We don’t know if he ever sings for his clients, but if it would help make a financial report easier to understand, he probably would.
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