This week’s business spotlight is someone that will help many of us when the holidays are over and tax season rolls around….Dayne Dela Cruz from Elite Bookkeeping, LLC. If you’re a small business owner and you love what you do, but don’t necessarily love keeping track of your numbers, Dayne will be a life saver! Although Elite Bookkeeping is a relatively new business, Dayne comes with a vast background of knowledge and service in accounting, bookkeeping, and taxation. So if you’re like me, and you hand your accountant a box of unorganized receipts come tax time, this weeks blog post may be for you!
Me: Tell us a little about Elite Bookkeeping.
Dayne: We help small businesses keep their finances in order throughout the year, instead of having to scramble all at one time towards the end of the year, which is what a lot of people do. We work with the accountants and all of the staff members involved in the book keeping process to make sure everything stays on track throughout the year, and you don’t have to file extensions come tax time.
Me: What is your background and experience?
Dayne: I have a formal background in accounting. With experience in individual tax, business tax, as well as Trust and Estate tax.
Me: How did you get started in bookkeeping?
Dayne: I was working with a CPA firm for 2 years after I received my accounting degree. Time wise, I was working 60 hours, 6 days a week, and having to drive 2 hours in traffic to get to Downtown. We had 2 small children at the time and had left the tax firm. An opportunity came up where a co-worker asked if I wanted to help him out with some projects and that’s where it started. So an opportunity came and I took it.
Me: How long has Elite Bookkeeping been around?
Dayne: It’s been around since Jan of 2015, so we are almost 2 years old.
Me: Do you have any other people working for you in the business?
Dayne: Actually, yes, my wife, Maile works with me. She has an accounting background as well.
Me: What services do you provide for your clients?
Dayne: Right now, general bookkeeping, training on Quickbooks online or desktop. Clean up work, where we take businesses who are behind on their books and bring them up to speed, train them on how to stay current and on top of their books and then monitor them to make sure they stay ahead, on task and not fall behind again. We are looking to grow into other services such as payroll and possibly forecasting.
Me: What is the mission of Elite Bookkeeping?
Dayne: We give business owners back their why. New business owners first start out with a lot of cash flow problems because they aren’t accountants. They started their business because it is something they love to do and the numbers or finance side of it isn’t something they love. So they get further and further behind because they focus on what they do love and not on what they aren’t good at. 1 or 2 months behind isn’t so bad, but I’ve worked with people anywhere from 18 months to 5 years behind on their paperwork. So if we can give a business owner back their why, I think we have accomplished our goals.
Me: I can tell you are very passionate about how you help clients. What makes you most excited to work with business owners?
Dayne: Honestly, probably the big messy ones who are so far behind they feel like they are lost, and being able to bring them back up to speed, balance their checkbooks and get them on top of their finances again makes me really excited. I feel like I have really accomplished something when I can change somebodys life so drastically. For example, I have a restaurant client I do the books for. Husband and wife team, their CEO left and they took over the books on their own, but they didn’t really understand it and they were 18 months behind. The bank hadn’t been reconciled for over a year, and I was able to get everything zeroed out. As the numbers start to match up, it makes me really excited. And when the numbers match up, the numbers start to make sense to the clients and they start to understand their books. And when they can understand their books, they can make better business decisions.
Me: What is unique about Elite Bookkeeping that you offer other business owners?
Dayne: The biggest thing is my flexibility to work around my clients schedules.
Me: Does your business have any community volunteer involvement?
Dayne: I am working with a non-profit group in Waianae called Westside Business Services. We have a group of people who get together to provide small business owners advice on how to run their business. I guess it is similar to SCORE, but we are helping the business community in Waianae. We are helping business become more visible. A lot of businesses don’t have the marketing budget or marketing knowledge to be visible. So we help them with things like this.
Me: If there is one piece of advice you would give somebody just starting out in this field, what would it be?
Dayne: Be personable and always take every opportunity that comes your way.
Me: Do you have one particular story about a client that stands out in your mind, that you were able to change their lives?
Dayne: Yeah, I got a referral for a franchise owner. He had just started out in 2015 and had somebody doing his books for him. She was ok, but she wasn’t Quickbooks trained. Then she left and someone else came and took over the books, no formal background in accounting. but she tried and was willing to learn. So I went in, cleaned up the books and trained her to be able to keep the books balanced and in order. One day, a few weeks ago, she texted me and said she was able to do her first journal entry on her own and it worked! Just knowing that I had taught her to be confident enough to try it herself and be successful made me really happy. It was such a big win for her and she was so excited. That makes it all worth while.
Me: Is there anything else you want people to know about Elite Bookkeeping?
Dayne: The one thing we have pride in is small business. The small businesses we represent, we want to see them grow and compete. We don’t want to see them close down.
Me: Tell me a little bit about your family.
Dayne: My wife and I actually met in high school, but not until our senior year, even though we went to the same high school the whole time. We didn’t have any classes together at all. She was in multimedia classes and I was more the jock kid, who played baseball. After we graduated high school, we both went off to college together, to the University of Hawaii West Oahu, while it was still down at the Leeward Community College. First we were doing two different degrees. My wife switched over to be an accounting major and I started out in a general business degree, but really enjoyed the accounting classes and changed my major to accounting. So we both graduated with accounting degrees. We have been married for five years and we have two children, Scarlette and Ryder.
Me: If you had a friend or family member coming to visit Hawaii for the first time, what would you recommend they do when they first get here?
Dayne: Definitely go to the beach. We go to Ko Olina a lot now that we have small kids, but when I was growing up, I loved Makapuu and Sandy’s!
Me: Do you have any favorite restaurants?
Dayne: I love a lot of restaurants down in the Kaimuki area. I really enjoy Koko head Cafe. I always take people there if they don’t get down that way very often. Also, Via Gelato, Otto Cake, and Sconies I really like all the sweets. There is also a place called Chocolate and Vanilla and Pipeline They are really good, too!
Me: If you aren’t helping people balance their numbers, where can we find you?
Dayne: Actually my wife and I joined a crossfire gym, so we and do that several times a week. We really enjoy it.
Me: What’s the best advice you have ever received, either in business or in life?
Dayne: Always take the opportunities, you never know when it will come again.
Me: Do you have a favorite book?
Dayne: I grew up reading the Harry Potter and Goosebumps books, so anything by R.L Stine and J.K Rowling.
Me: Do you have a favorite movie?
Dayne: Home Alone, for sure!
Me: What is your favorite drink?
Dayne: I cut out soda since we started going to cross-fit, but before that it would have to be root beer.
So now that you know a little more about Dayne and how he helps small business owners, if you or anyone you know is looking for someone to help take the sting out of this year’s tax season, check out his website and contact him to see how he can help you!
Dayne Dela Cruz
Elite Bookkeeping, LLC