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NAWBO Member Q&A: Tammy Stifel

Tammy Stifel is the founder of OrganizerForU, a West Des Moines-based company specializing in QuickBooks training, bookkeeping and financial process improvement. Her career before starting a business includes more than 15 years in accounting in a variety of industries.

Stifel is the director of membership for NAWBO Iowa and is a partner in the Business Warriors group, a composite of women business owners who each blog about their area of expertise to enlighten others.

Can you take me through your personal background?

I grew up in Dubuque, surrounded by the beautiful scenic bluffs and steeples in the city, along with my seven siblings. I learned quickly to be self-sufficient and task-oriented. Accepting responsibility and meeting deadlines were essential skills I developed as a child. Plus, finding one’s voice and having both collaboration and negotiation skills were essential in a large family.

After completing high school and my secondary education in accounting, I met my husband. We will celebrate our 32nd anniversary this year. We have two sons and a daughter-in-law, and this fall our first grandson will arrive, which is exciting, of course. I enjoy everything outdoors, dabbling in photography, making memories with friends and family and appreciating life’s many blessings.

What is your profession/business?

My career has been in the accounting profession, and I’ve had numerous roles in the information technology, software development, insurance and finance industries. Each position always led to the next until I started my own company, OrganizerForU, in 2009, to guide, assist and manage the bookkeeping operations of others.

OrganizerForU was created by incorporating two of my favorite skills — managing money and developing procedures — with my passion for implementing processes! All are essential for an adequately organized accounting and bookkeeping department if a small business is to function well and have the financial information needed for making strategic decisions. Time efficiency is cost effective.

What is the favorite part of what you do?

The favorite part of my job is simply helping a business discover what isn’t functioning in their process or what’s at the root of their bookkeeping procedural problem. We then determine if we need to revise, recreate or renew their procedure to keep the system flowing as needed to have accurate and timely financials. I love uncovering the hiccups in financial recordkeeping!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I envisioned operating a place for all kids to be loved, safe, happy and fed. I still think of that, and I haven’t given up on having a role in making that a reality. It just may be more in supporting existing human service programs from behind the scenes.

If you could time travel, where would you go?

I would like to travel back in time so I could observe and even be a part of the creation of the computer. My mind is energized when I get my hands on all the details that make something work. My dad loved to tinker with electrical gadgets, so I think that he may have passed on the desire-to-explore side of my personality. Breaking down what isn’t working and rebuilding it to function properly delights me!