As a co-founder and Board Chair of TBKC, Darin Webb has exhibited this month’s value of Excellence since the beginning. Darin has been a key factor in the nonprofit organization’s growth, developing DISCOVERBOOKKEEPING’s curriculum, and building TBKC’s brand in the workforce development community. With Darin’s influence and support, the organization continues to become a significant resource center for New York City residents.
Read more about TBKC’s origins and Darin’s bookkeeping advice below.
Darin Webb, Co-Founder of The Bookkeeping Center
1. What influenced you to invest in the field of bookkeeping?
After college, my first real job was working for a nonprofit art organization. I rented out rehearsal space to Broadway shows. I handled the scheduling, billing and collection. This was my first venture into bookkeeping. The organization’s accountant trained me on a DOS program, called Accpac, along with Lotus 123, a spreadsheet program. I believe I was hooked from that moment on. All of my following jobs revolved around bookkeeping. In 1997, I was able to break out on my own as an independent bookkeeper. I had about 10 weekly clients, but as those clients started referring me to other organizations, it wasn’t long before I had to hire a Client relations position to handle the phone calls. Then, we had to start hiring bookkeepers. It all kind of happened without much effort on my part. In 2001, I incorporated under The Bookkeeping Company (TBC) and 10 years later we are still going strong.
2. Why did you decide to establish TBKC?
We were finding it difficult to find quality bookkeepers. Everyone knew QuickBooks, but they couldn’t tell you what the software was doing or how it worked. This was a problem when clients started asking bookkeepers questions. It is not a good thing when bookkeepers say, “I don’t know, that is just how the program works.” We created DISCOVERBOOKKEEPING as a way to train employees on what they need to know when dealing with clients. The idea was to help build a better pool of bookkeepers in the workforce for TBC to hire.
3. How do you manage the operations of both the for-profit business, TBCNYC and not-for-profit organization, TBKC?
Luckily, I don’t have to. TBKC is booming under the leadership of our Executive Director, Thomas Graham and the Board of Directors. TBC also has great leadership in place. Mathew Heggem was recently appointed President of the company back in August. Right now I’m assisting Mathew with his transition. I am very excited about assuming the role of bookkeeper once more.
4. Where do you see TBKC five years from now?
I see TBKC not only serving the local community but working towards serving communities nationally. I would love to see centers open up in metro areas across the US. I believe we have the leadership to do this now that we are working on the partnerships that will make it happen.
5. Who is Max Green and how does he represent excellence?
Max Green is our online spokesperson. He is the symbol of what can be achieved by participating in our programs. The key to success.
6. Why do you think bookkeeping is important for small business owners?
No matter the size, type or location of your business, it needs a bookkeeper. We all have bills to pay. I guarantee that will never change. Bookkeeping is the one stable profession in every industry. Without good books, the foundation of your business will crumble.
7. What advice would you like to give upcoming bookkeepers now entering or transitioning into the field?
Anyone can learn bookkeeping. It’s about the details. But once you have the knowledge, you must have the confidence to use it. I have seen it time after time. Students understand and they know what to do, but when you put them into a real situation and add a little bit of pressure, they panic. That is the surest way to lose that bookkeeping job. Have confidence that you know what you are talking about, and if you have forgotten something, never say, “I don’t know.” Your standard answer is, “Let me finish up on what I’m doing and I will check on that.” Then take a moment to think about the question and the answer will come to you. If it doesn’t, then call us here at TBKC. We are and will always be your resource center.
8. What do you think employers value most in their bookkeepers?
I don’t think there is only one answer, but I feel communication ranks high on the list. Small business owners are busy building their business. They want to have confidence that the bookkeeper is on top of things. If the bookkeeper makes sure to have frequent appointments with business owners and talk about questions and issues, then it will be a long-lasting relationship.
9. Why do you think TBKC is such a significant member of the workforce development community?
As I said earlier, every business needs a bookkeeper in some shape or form. It’s a trainable skill, and it is a skill that will always be needed.
Darin is passionate about building the workforce. With his support, TBKC strives to instill the value of Excellence in the participants of DISCOVERBOOKKEEPING as they pursue their careers in bookkeeping and financial administration.