Get Inspired

There is no “right” time to start your business

Meet Karen McConomy, an inspiration to all would-be entrepreneurs. She exemplifies the idea that there is no “right” time to start a business. She put her career on hold to move overseas and raise her family. After >10 years abroad, she decided to open her own business with the goal of helping other small businesses manage their finances. Read her story for all you need to know in order to open your own finance agency.

helping business manage their finances

Karen McConomy founded ‘Your Numbers Person’ in 2018 to help businesses understand and manage their finances. They empower small business owners to improve their financial literacy in a judgment-free zone.
Their services include bookkeeping, accounts receivable and accounts payable management, payroll management, business planning, financial app and workflow advice, and cash flow planning.

Karen McConomy founder of ‘Your Numbers Person’

How did you start your business?

I have a background in finance. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, I spent over a decade in financial services at Goldman Sachs and BNY Mellon. However, our family lived overseas while our children were young and I was out of the paid workforce for over a decade. I moved back to the US when our two kids were already in college and considered my options. I wanted to return to a career in finance, but prioritized having more flexibility in my day-to-day life. I consulted with trusted colleagues and mentors. Ellen Grealish, a friend and founder of FlexProfessionals, advised me, “Learn QuickBooks!” I studied online and got certified, found my first client on UpWork, a popular freelancing platform, and the rest is history. What a great journey this has been!

“I wanted to return to a career in finance, but prioritized having more flexibility in my day-to-day life”

What do you wish anyone starting a business like yours should know?

1. Getting certified in QuickBooks Online is free.
True confession, I did not know that before I got started! This free course was the first step in starting my business. Today, I make sure to stay on top of all the latest cloud-based financial technology to better manage my clients’ finances.

2. Set boundaries.
It’s important to avoid scope creep when additional requirements are added to the project scope outside of the proper channels, generally after the project has started. The requested changes might seem harmless, but they risk impacting the project’s schedule, budget, costs, and quality.

3. Invest in your work setup.
A second (or third!) screen helps you work more efficiently.

4. Trust your gut instincts.
You know that gut feeling about clients you don’t want to work with, work you don’t want to take on, or hard truths you need to gently tell your clients. Your instincts are usually right and you should act on them earlier.

“QuickBooks Online is free, I did not know that before I got started!”


What advice would you give to your past self before opening your own business?

There are three quick tips I would give myself. First, get Clickup. Consolidating all my work in one place has made it much easier to stay organized. Second, go as paperless as possible. Third, make time for exercise. Being a small business owner can be all-consuming but it’s important to find the time for yourself.

What is your goal?

I’ve always loved numbers and finance. But many entrepreneurs are intimidated by numbers, accounting, and money which can hold their businesses back. My goal is to help small business owners succeed with better financial reporting, interpretation of those financial statements, and clarity on business decisions. Ultimately, this enhances strategic decision-making and drives profits for the business. It also allows the owner to free up time to focus on core needs and work/life balance.

If you had to name the top two things that helped you the most in the beginning, what would they be?

First and foremost, online meetings have been a game-changer! Does anyone remember when you had to dial into a conference number?
Additionally, advice from a few trusted people was invaluable in my professional journey. I would specifically like to shout out Ellen Grealish, Debbie Miraglia, and my very supportive family.


Karen McConomy is the founder of ‘Your Numbers Person’ founded in 2018

*The purpose of this page is solely to provide information and should not be considered as financial advice
**Melio does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice; you should consult a professional advisor before making any financial decisions.