In 2016, Certified Public Accountant Serika Sterling decided to take the leap to start a business that would assist micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) in becoming tax compliant.
She recognised at the time that entrepreneurs were not able to take advantage of opportunities due to lack of tax compliance and improper records and so Senior Accounting Services was born.
“On day one, I had zero clients. I went to these businesses, but I found that you are not readily accepted on day one. It takes time and I got ignored by a lot of persons. But that did not deter me and I established a mantra that if I made one meaningful connection, then it was useful,” she shared.
Sterling says she found that many business persons did not know the value of taxation services, and the challenge so she had to educate them.
It was then that she approached the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) and was able to work with the agency to improve knowledge about tax and financial literacy among local entrepreneurs and to get them to become more compliant with their tax obligations.
It was through working with the JBDC, she realised how much she needed assistance in areas such as marketing and business development.
“JBDC and I had a series of meetings where they broke down all the details for me and provided guidance on how I could achieve my goals and gave me a good sense of direction. I learnt what makes a business strong, as working with the JBDC shows us how to create an environment of balance that entrepreneurs need to survive and thrive,”
Four years later, Senior Accounting Services has been able to establish itself as the firm of choice for more than 100 businesses, including MSMEs and even larger entities.
In recognition of her achievements as a business owner, Sterling was recently named the JBDC B.O.S.S. Lady of the Year.
“This award is a testament that I am working to establish the best business possible. It is a testament that hard work does pay off and it tells me that you did it already and you can do it again,”
says the proud business owner.
“Entrepreneurship requires a lot of hard work. You need to be mentally tough to handle rejection and the consequences of making mistakes as you absorb all the blows for every decision and you are taking on the risks, so it requires a fighting spirit.”