Inspiring Success in the Accounting World Viviane Hagopian
Marketing Manager at Next Generation Company
In this inspiring interview, we delve into the remarkable journey of a successful accountant whose story begins in the sun-kissed beaches of Beirut, Lebanon, and unfolds across the globe to the bustling streets of Los Angeles, California.
From her early days escaping the civil war in Lebanon to forging a new life in America, her resilience and determination shine through. After graduating from California State University of Northridge with a Bachelor’s in Accounting Practices and Theory, she embarked on a career that took her through major corporations before setting out on her own with V&R Associates in San Diego.
Short Personal BIO
I was born in Beirut, Lebanon. A lot of my childhood memories were swimming at the beach and soaking up the Mediterranean sun. When the civil war broke out, I was 12… My family and I escaped to America when I was 16. We moved to Los Angeles, and I worked very hard paying my way through college. I went to the California State University of Northridge and received my Bachelor of Accounting Practices and Theory.
After graduating, I began working for corporations such as Sebastian International and the Sweet Factory. Once I met Robert Hagopian, we married, and I moved with him to start our life together in San Diego. I was in a different city and knew no one, but it began a new chapter in my life. I decided to begin my own accounting practice while raising two beautiful daughters named Lara and Thalia.
In my limited downtime, I enjoy reading romantic novels, spending time with family, indulging in chocolate desserts, and giving back to the community for charitable causes. I continuously believe that when you give, God will always provide.
Accounting Practice’s Name
My accounting practice is called V&R Associates.
Our website is www.vandraccounting.com
Background and Entry into the Accounting Industry
I knew I wanted to pursue accounting when I began college.
At the time they said it was the hardest major people avoided, which piqued my interest. One of the first accounting jobs I had was at Jons supermarket where I helped with the books after hours. Once I graduated, I entered the corporate world with full-time positions in the field.
In which ways do your services help your clients? And even further, can you describe to our audience who is your ideal client?
Our services give peace of mind to our clients that they’re in good hands to help plan ahead, avoid audits, and gain insight into better business decisions or ways to save on taxes. Our specialty is holistic accounting that looks at the entire picture of a company’s financial health. We provide bookkeeping services and prepare financials to plan for taxes. Of course, we also provide tax services where we have the joy of working with various individuals and businesses of all types.
Our ideal client is a business owner who wants to gain insight into their company’s numbers and better equipe themselves for company growth. Weather big or small, every owner can benefit. By preparing their company’s books and acting as their trusted CFO, our goal is to enable these business owners to get the answers they need to make more informed decisions for their long-term prosperity.
From your perspective, what's the toughest problem today's accounting practices have to face?
A lot of people today think they can easily do their own company’s bookkeeping (especially small businesses). Sometimes with simple cases, this is true.
However, we see a lot of problems this may cause to company financials and clients usually end up coming to us in hopes that we can fix their books. I see this an issue as a lot of people get wrapped up into the marketing and promised [to do their own bookkeeping] that big software companies make.
People forget the true value accountants and professional bookkeepers have to offer. It’s extremely important to categorize items correctly and understand the impact that certain actions can cause on the overall company health and financial status the statements will reveal.
How has the accounting industry changed since you first started practicing?
We see a lot more automation as the accounting industry evolves.
This includes the automation with software but also a lot of activities we used to do in person are now virtually done using video conferencing, phone calls, and screen sharing.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in accounting, and what resources do you rely on?
It’s always important to stay up to date with the field.
This includes yearly educational requirements/certifications that are required by law. This also includes staying up to date with industry trends by following up with the news and subscribing to accounting industry newsletters.
What are the most significant challenges facing accounting practice owners today, and how can they overcome them?
The biggest challenges include:
- staying up to date with the trends/rules in accounting and
To combat the trends/rules it’s important to remain up to date and educated. This needs to be done per individual by finding the best newsletters, dedicating time to staying informed, and remaining compliant with educational requirements.
Competition is also a big one. There are always more businesses that start and software companies that try swaying the public to DIY (do it yourself). To battle this challenge, you must continuously think of how you can provide value to your customer that is unique from your competitors. When you find a way to deliver that value, you will be able to create your own competitive advantage that will help you long-term.
Can you share tips or advice for new accountants or accounting practice owners just starting?
Don’t start! Ha, ha! Just joking.
You need to be prepared for stress and have a very dedicated mindset. Find a way to unwind your mind and schedule time for yourself and your family.
If you can do this, along with your talented skills, you will be successful. Give yourself time, don’t give up, remain determined, and you will see the fruits of your labor.
What do you see as the future of the accounting industry, and how do you think it will evolve in the coming years?
As the accounting industry evolves, further automation is bound to happen just like most industries we see today.
People fear that their job as an accountant will eventually become irrelevant or unneeded, but I predict that the daily tasks we do will only shift.
As automation improved and evolves, it will hopefully be seen as our helping hand and not our enemy.
Finally, for those who wish to reach out to you or learn more about your work, what's the most effective method or place to contact you?
The best way to reach me is sending a quick email to email@example.com.
I see all the emails and would be thrilled to connect with you.
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