Ron Axe didn’t always enjoy being an accountant. “When I went to work on most days, I heard people mutter under their breath to coworkers, ‘Oh great, the auditors are here again.’” Ditching the negative stigma attached to auditors, Ron changed his approach when he started his own business, AxeCess Advisors. Launched in 2003, AxeCess Advisors utilizes specific tools and programs to educate and train business owners to appropriately evaluate their financial standings and provides tax planning services.
Ron initially chose a career in accounting to stick with the status quo. “When I started college, like many kids, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up,” Ron told us. “When I had to declare a major I selected accounting because my Dad was an accountant.” Working at different accounting firms, Ron quickly learned the tricks of the trade. Enjoying what he was doing, but recognizing the limited potential, Ron took a step back to reevaluate his career as a typical CPA. “I began to get disenchanted. I viewed my role as more of a historian than anything else,” he said. “I typically went into a business two to three months after their year-end and prepared financial statements that reflected financial performance the previous year. For those business owners that actually took the time to read the financial statements, the data was already stale. Most business owners just opened up their desk drawer and threw the reports in.”
Feeling that his work was more to check a box than to provide actual help to the business owners, Ron set out to find something that could add a bit of meaning to his accounting career. Enter QuickBooks. In the mid 1980s, Intuit released this uniquely developed software that helps small businesses track their finances. By helping customers understand the complex software, Ron was able to utilize his training as a CPA and act as a true business advisor. “QuickBooks was a tool that would evolve as a way to help business owners make decisions about their business operations that was based on real-time data,” Ron explained, but the difficulty was getting the employees using the program, to understand how to use it.
“Most people who installed QuickBooks quickly messed it up,” said Ron, stating that though the program markets an easy ‘1 2 3 step program,’ in reality it is much more complicated than it seems.
“Like any other tool, QuickBooks is only useful if the person using it knows how it works,” said Ron, “and that’s how I got started.” Becoming certified in QuickBooks, Ron would travel to different small businesses and train staff members in installing and using the program correctly and effectively.
“I remember one of my first clients, an Art Center located in Chicago. They had recently moved locations and were losing money hand over fist. When I first met with the owner, I asked which department was making money and which was losing. He simply shrugged his shoulders and told me he had no idea.” Ron immediately went into action. Setting up QuickBooks and analyzing the Center’s financial statements, Ron was able to efficiently pinpoint at any given moment which department was helping the Center and which was holding it down.
Feeling useful again, Ron was inspired to launch AxeCess Advisors, a business offering accounting services, rather than business accountants. Acting as a partner to their clients, AxeCess Advisors teaches the tools business owners need to create a responsible and financially stable company. “A good client for me is one who knows what they don’t know and trusts us to take care of the rest,” Ron says. Working out of their Illinois location, AxeCess Advisors provides accounting and tax services for small to mid-size businesses nationwide.
For more information about the services AxeCess Advisors provides, visit their website at www.axecessadvisors.com.