This post is part of our Behind the Books series, where we introduce you to the incredibly talented and hardworking people that make up the Acuity team. We’re excited for you to get to know them. To watch the full interview, check out the video at the bottom of this post.
Hi, this is Sammy with Acuity. I am the Team Lead for the Cloud Accounting and Tech Stack teams here, and I’m super excited to have Patti Swearengen joining us. Patti is a cloud accounting specialist. She has been with Acuity five years, and we are very, very happy to learn a little bit more about Patti today. Thank you for being here, Patti.
Thank you for having me.
So Patti, tell us, how did you get into accounting finance?
Well, when I came to the states 20 years ago, I had my own business and I had to learn how to do the books. And then when I left that business, I was offered the opportunity to go and do the books for several friends of mine. So I continued doing bookkeeping.
That’s awesome. Can you tell me, I know in your five years you’ve probably had many clients, right. Do you have a favorite client now or a favorite client of all time that you’d kind of like to highlight?
Well, I think one of my previous bookkeepers got the best response to this in saying that they’re all my favorite clients. But I like Vergent Bioscience. It was the first big client I was given, and I was very nervous, but you helped me through it. They’re always very responsive and very nice people to work with.
Oh, that’s awesome. And they’re a long-term client. They’ve been with us for at least a couple of years though, right?
Oh, I think it’s more like four, yeah.
Wow. Very nice. So tell us, what does a day in your world look like?
Well, I am very fortunate. I live at the beach, so I get up in the morning and watch the sun come up. Maybe go out for a walk on the beach. And then I come and sit at my computer and review what I have to do for the day. So, I feel very fortunate that I can work at home and that my home is at the beach.
I am so jealous. That sounds so nice, living on the beach.
Well, it’s a bit of a building site here at the moment because I live where Hurricane Michael hit. So, lots of building going on.
They’re still rebuilding?
Oh yeah. They will be for some years.
Wow. Who do you feel needs Acuity services?
I think small startups – you know, people who don’t want to spend the money on a full-time person – Acuity is a good fit for them. We can give them a good service, and they don’t have to worry about their bookkeeping. That’s the last thing you want to do when you’re starting up a business is worry about who’s doing the bookkeeping.
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think it’s also important to know that, like you just mentioned, you have a large client for four years. We have controller, tax, and CFO practices that could actually even support these small clients as they grow, or even larger-sized clients as they need.
How is Acuity different than other places that you have been in your career?
Well, it’s a great team. Working for Acuity is like being one of a family. They’re very open with everything and very communicative. It’s just a great place to work, and I believe they’ve won one of the best places to work in Atlanta for several years.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, I mean the culture here is really amazing, so that is some great feedback. So, what didn’t I ask you that I should have asked that people wouldn’t know about you?
I have a surprising secret. I used to race offshore powerboats.
Yes, I did it in my twenties in England and Europe and South Africa for four years.
Wow. That’s very interesting. So, what made you stop?
I mean, it wasn’t a full-time job for me. I was doing it part-time with a sponsor, and it kind of takes up your whole life. I did it for four years, and that was enough.
Well, that definitely sounds exciting. And we’re definitely happy and grateful to have you here as one of our team members. So, thank you again for being in behind the books, and we look forward to another five years.
Okay! Thanks, Sammy.