From client to team member, the journey of Doug
In 2006 I was elected the volunteer Treasurer of New Castle Presbytery, which is a faith-based collection of 55 churches throughout Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It's a fairly complicated financial system with money flowing in from churches and individuals and then out to specific causes or entities. In additon, we managed a trust that dispersed over $700,000- each year in grants to the community.
One of the first things we accomplished was to outsource the accounting to a local firm (this was before Breakwater was in existence). We recognized that we didn't have the in-house or volunteer financial expertise needed nor did the job require a full-time staff member.It was, by far, the best decision I made in 12 years of serving as treasurer.
Our first firm was outstanding and we saw immediate results. The arrangement gave us efficiency, objectivity and far better reporting and control — all for 1/3 the cost of an employee.Unfortunately, the small firm we hired was eventually sold to a larger CPA firm and did not have a bookkeeping focus. I asked our trusted auditing CPA firm (which specializes in non-profits) for recommendations. The first (and only!) call I made was to Lee Podolsky, President and Founder of Breakwater. We met within a few days and Breakwater took over soon thereafter.
I thought the arrangement with our first bookkeeping firm was the "gold standard." What I didn't know was there was a "platinum standard" and that's Breakwater. What makes it so? To use a sports metaphor, it's the depth of the bench. Our Account Associate was efficient and well-trained, eager to learn and master the nuances of the Presbytery, and incredibly patient and nice! In addition, we also were provided an Account Manager to oversee our account and provide balance sheet analysis. But wait there's more! The entire Breakwater Team was there to support us - providing "best practice" solutions and suggesting apps to streamline our workflow — most notably Gusto (payroll) and bill.com (payables). To say we were in good hands is a gross understatement — we could not have asked for better!
I was so impressed with my association with Breakwater that when I "retired" as the treasurer, I approached Lee about a part-time job since I now had some free time in my week. I started in January 2018.
Suffice to say that all of my impressions as a client were not only verified, but amplified as an employee. Breakwater is a true team environment. When one of us has a question or hits an unfamiliar situation or just needs advice — we turn to our “bench”. Without fail, someone has dealt with whatever we're trying to solve. As a result, our clients see streamlined and efficient responses to challenges and queries
I was thrilled with Breakwater as a client; now I'm incredibly lucky to be part of the team!