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Avatar for strategy.meld, PLLC
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6. strategy.meld, PLLC
5.0

(3)

5.0

(3)

Offers remote services
Discounts available
Anyone would be lucky to have the opportunity to work with Christian Putnam. His attention to detail, passion for relentless improvement and doing things the right way, is well-balanced by his easy-going attitude. He is pleasant to work with and extremely capable. A colleague of mine at Google introduced me to Christian in September 2017. I was looking for someone to help me with the accounting for Well Constructed (www.wellconstructed.org), a nonprofit I co-founded in 2015 that provides clean water to communities in rural Ghana, West Africa. Since 2015, Well Constructed has completed 100 water projects, providing clean water to over 50,000 people. Well Constructed has a small paid staff in Ghana, but the United States staff members are all volunteers, which allows us to use donor dollars exclusively on our programs. When Christian joined, I was doing the accounting for the organization. My background is in civil engineering, construction management, and data analysis, certainly not accounting. As Well Constructed grew, I became more and more unqualified to manage the finances. Since Christian began volunteering almost three years ago, we’ve met on a weekly basis via video chat, and through these meetings, Christian has transformed our accounting practices and operating structure. The accounting that I sloppily performed via spreadsheets is now in a robust accounting software platform. We also went back and reviewed every previous transaction since the organization’s founding in 2015. Christian took it upon himself to do a comprehensive process audit of our organization, and drove many organizational improvements as a result of the audit, including formalizing the Board of Directors and their Bylaws, instituting a clearly defined expense approval process, and a number of other processes that our scrappy organization lacked. I sleep much better at night now, confident that our books are correct and we have necessary financial controls in place thanks to Christian’s knowledge and diligence. In February 2020, Christian travelled with me to Ghana to meet the Well Constructed team in Ghana and the communities our work serves. His main objective on this trip was to audit the Ghana team’s financial processes, and implement the Expensify App to track their spending. He quickly bonded with Samuel, the Treasurer of the Ghana Team. Samuel eagerly took to Christian’s guidance, and over the course of the trip they made great strides in improving the team’s processes and spreadsheet capabilities. Since returning from Ghana, Christian has spent a great deal of time learning the tax system in Ghana to better understand the finances of the team in Ghana. He’s also set up weekly meetings with Samuel, to continue this training. Christian is unlike any volunteer I’ve worked with at Well Constructed. Most of our volunteers are colleagues of mine at Google who, like Christian, are very talented, but we’ve never had anyone with the combination of talent, humility, diligence, and reliability that Christian brings to Well Constructed. Often a talented volunteer will get quite involved for a few months, but then get busy with work or family, and back out of their prior commitments to Well Constructed. We’ve also had wonderful volunteers who use this as an opportunity for a letter of recommendation for graduate school, and once accepted Well Constructed is no longer a priority. I can always count on Christian to make our weekly meeting, and have done some work to prepare for it. When Christian makes a commitment, I know he will follow through. I can also always count on Christian to do things the right way, no matter how painful it is. There have been times that he wasn’t 100% confident about how we should record a transaction in our accounting software. In some of these cases, the amount of money has been insignificant (< $1), and I’ve encouraged us to make a quick decision for the sake of saving time. In these instances Christian has pushed back on me, sometimes accepting the decision, but coming back a week later after doing more research and suggesting corrective action. His integrity and principled approach can slow things down a little from time to time, but he is willing to do the extra work to produce work that he is proud of, and I am very grateful for it. When Christian started at Well Constructed, we had completed 17 projects in Ghana. In less than 3 years since joining, we’ve grown more than 5x (100). Much of this is indirectly due to Christian’s relentless dedication to improving our financial processes, which has freed up an enormous amount of time I previously spent struggling through it, that is now spent fundraising and managing the team in Ghana. Christian now serves as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors of Well Constructed.See more

$90/hour

estimated cost

$90/hour

estimated cost

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What is an accountant?

Accountants are financial professionals who have received an accounting degree from a four-year university or college. By trade, accountants prepare, maintain and examine the financial statements of an individual, business or institution. An accountant prepares reports for tax purposes and can also perform audits of public companies. Common tasks include creating budgets, analyzing profits and losses of a company, processing payroll, preparing financial statements for company leadership, and creating and maintaining financial database systems for a company.    

Accountants do not automatically have a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation unless they have passed the Uniform CPA Examination and received the proper license. Regardless of whether they are CPA certified or not, accountants can assist businesses and individuals with bookkeeping and financial reporting, while CPAs are more knowledgeable in tax codes as a result of the CPA licensing examination and continuing education requirements. CPAs are also eligible to represent clients before the IRS if audit support is required, while a non-CPA accountant is not. Academic background, years in the field and professional reputation all can affect an accountant’s rates.

Check out the average hourly rate for accounting services in your area.

How much does it cost to hire an accountant?

Accountants’ rates vary based on their education, licenses, experience, and the work for which they are being hired. An accountant may charge an hourly rate when a company or individual needs their services on a short-term basis, such as when performing an audit or requesting assistance setting up a financial database or process. Hourly rates can range as widely as $40 per hour to $300 or more per hour, depending on your geographic location and the accountant. Check out the average hourly rate for accounting services in your region.

Accountants may offer a package rate for weekly, monthly or annual services to reward ongoing customers. Many accountants offer online services where small businesses can access online accounting software and payroll assistance, and the accountant — for a monthly or other recurring fee — provides financial analysis and reporting of their numbers. For basic monthly accounting services, an accountant might charge anywhere from $75 to $500 or more, depending on what was included in a given package, the size of the client’s business, and the complexity of work requested. Nationally, full-time staff accountants earn between $40,000 and $80,000, depending on experience and other factors.

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