Close search field

Case Study

Bookkeeping to CFO, How a Freelancer Transformed into a National Firm

Goals Goals

  • Grow the bookkeeping business
  • Discover how to best hire team members
  • Increase profit margins for the firm

Key Benefits Experienced Key Benefits Experienced

  • Learned to delegate service delivery to team members
  • Transitioned the firm to high-value CFO services
  • Implemented a robust LinkedIn marketing process

“The seed was planted that maybe my accounting firm could be more than what it was.”

JULIE HERRES

Julie Herres is the founder of GreenOak Accounting, a firm that provides bookkeeping, accounting, CFO and tax services to mental health private practice owners throughout the United States. When Julie founded GreenOak Accounting, she started working with a handful of therapists, and as more therapist referrals came in, she started noticing trends across the practices that were thriving. Based on those trends, she developed success ratios as a way to quickly determine the health of a practice. Today, the firm’s focus on mental health private practice is geared towards helping business owners understand the story that their numbers are telling. Here’s her story going from a bookkeeper to an outsourced CFO.

Starting an Accounting Side Business

In 2015, Julie Herres was a homemaker and pregnant with her third child. She wanted to find work that would fit her schedule as a stay-at-home mom. At the time, her husband worked as well, but due to unforeseen circumstances, saw a decrease in income. Ms. Herres wanted to begin building a bookkeeping business for some side income, and ideally, this new firm would allow her freedom to work around her children’s school schedules and become a nice lifestyle business.

With a desire to move from bookkeeping to CFO services, Ms.Herres began to find monthly bookkeeping clients within the therapist niche. As she continued to give good service to these clients, she kept getting more referrals from within the therapist community. She also used Upwork and sold her time for $35 an hour. As a freelancer, her goal was accomplished: she was bringing in side income and working inside the home to accommodate her family’s schedule. 

Accounting Firm Gains Clients, Growth Exceeds Expectations

By 2017, Ms. Herres’ accounting firm had a steady flow of clients. She admitted, however, that she was getting a bit comfortable with where she was at until one day she saw a Facebook ad with Corvee’s CEO, Andrew Argue. “The seed was planted that maybe my accounting firm could be more than what it was,” Ms. Herres explained. “I was starting to feel a little frazzled with all the work that was coming in—I had no staff and so I did everything myself. There were no systems in place, it was all in my head.”

Ms. Herres also admitted that she could no longer take a vacation without work interference because of her new responsibilities. She needed a way to grow the firm and relieve some of the burden off of herself. That’s when she flew to Miami for her first 7 Figure Firms event. 

“It was a life-changing experience because it opened my eyes for the very first time on new possibilities for my firm. I never imagined I could grow it past a certain level, and suddenly it seemed very realistic and doable.

That key moment—making a big investment in herself to improve her business—was a turning point. “Some people want to cut business back to be with family more, but I wanted to grow my firm and still have my family schedule…to have my cake and eat it too, so to speak.” With a supportive husband and a nanny to help as needed, Ms. Herres began the process of transforming her firm from just bookkeeping to CFO services.

Accounting Firm Hires Help and Scales by Transitioning From Bookkeeping to CFO

Soon after being inside the 7 Figure Firms coaching program, Ms. Herres hired her first part-time contractor. Meanwhile, she got the advice to further focus on her niche with therapists, and that decision has helped her build her brand and deliver better service to her clients. More recently, she started a podcast to help therapists, counselors and other mental health clinicians start, build and grow their practices.

The 7 Figure Firms program helped Ms. Herres develop her sales process in order to sell, price and package monthly CFO engagements. It also helped her implement an extremely successful LinkedIn marketing process that continues to give her new leads and appointments regularly. In addition, the program has bettered her accounts receivable process by giving her the confidence to bill upfront and in full rather than bill hourly and only after the work was done.

While still overseeing some of the fulfillment, Ms. Herres has added more team members who now do the service delivery, which allows her to mostly manage the business doing marketing, podcasting, webinars and networking. “The 7 Figure Firms program helped me to become less of the accountant working in the back and more of the face of the business, to work on my firm rather than in my firm,” she explained. 

Her biggest evolution is the belief that she’s now in control and can create her own destiny, something that she lacked five years ago when she was just beginning this journey. “2015 me couldn’t have imagined 2020 me,” she noted. 7 Figure Firms played a big part in Ms. Herres’ journey from a bookkeeping freelancer at $35 an hour on Upwork to becoming the go-to CFO for therapists around the nation. “I continue to stay in the program because there’s always new ideas to implement, and I want to keep my firm on the cutting-edge so I can have what’s best for me and my clients.”

More Case Studies


See How You Can Optimize
Your Tax and Accounting Firm
with Corvee

Want to Learn More?

Please fill out the form below.

Interested in Partnering?

Fill out the form below, and we’ll be in touch.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Want to Learn More?

Please fill out the form below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Want to Learn More?

Please fill out the form below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Want to Learn More?

Please fill out the form below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Want to Learn More?

Please fill out the form below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How Tax & Accounting Firms Can Help Clients Prepare For the New Administration’s Proposed Tax Policy