About Open Book Consulting

I empower entrepreneurs to understand their numbers so they can make better decisions

As a kid it struck me as funny that my grandmother Rose always wore gloves. It may sound weird, but the story behind those gloves is a key inspiration for my business. And in a way, those gloves tie into every entrepreneur’s story.

Grandma Rose was a florist, and one of my most distinct childhood memories was playing in her floral shop “Spring’s Flowers”. I would dye carnations there, and I remember watching the petals soak up food coloring on hot days as we sat in the walk-in refrigerator. At the time, there was no way I could have fully appreciated the quiet determination and love she put into her work.

Only later in life did I learn the reason she wore those gloves all the time: She was allergic to something in the plants. If she actually touched the flowers, she’d break out in a rash. But she loved what she did so much that she found a way to make it work. That entrepreneurial passion is such an inspiration to me to this day!

I help you understand the stories behind your numbers so you can run a successful business (instead of being run over by it)

Although people don’t usually think of accounting this way, there are stories behind your numbers. It turns out that understanding those stories matters a lot when it comes to the success of your business.

Things like cash flow projections and break-even analyses are nothing new. But the problem is they’re rarely explained in a way that makes sense to people who don’t speak “accountese”.

When I started working with clients on their bookkeeping, I quickly discovered that I really loved the education side of my work. I’d come in as a bookkeeper, but more and more often I found myself educating people on how to manage their business finances overall.

I only came to fully appreciate how much numbers were driven by behaviors through experience working with dozens of entrepreneurs whom I liked and admired. I love helping people understand QuickBooks and understand what their numbers mean. I love looking at the behaviors behind the numbers, which is something I also sort of grew into.

It’s not just about what you want to do; it’s who you want to be

When something goes south financially—when you’re laid off for instance—the outcome isn’t determined by how much money you have in the bank. It’s what we decide to do in our business, how we decide to treat people, how we decide to react, how we decide to sacrifice or not sacrifice. That’s what drives our businesses. And the measures of those actions are the numbers that our businesses generate.

“Who do I want to be?” Open Book Consulting, like so many other businesses, was conceived when I asked myself that question. Running my own business has helped me become the person I wanted to be, as with so many other small business owners.

You’re in business because in one way or another you want to affect positive change. I’m here to make sure the numbers are supporting your mission.

Built on a growth mindset

I began my corporate career in accounting during the Great Recession, in a whirlwind of layoffs and financial chaos. It was an increasingly high-pressure position, and although I have many positive memories of people I worked with during that time, I didn’t like the person it was turning me into.

In 2010 I was asked to lay off a coworker who was two years away from retirement. I went into my boss the very next day, did a closed-door session with her and said, “I don’t want you to lay off my coworker. She’s two years off from retirement, and the economy’s starting to move in the right direction. I’d like to go part-time, open my own bookkeeping business and see how it goes. Is this acceptable?”

She agreed. She didn’t want to follow through on the layoff any more than I did. My going part-time freed up enough cash to keep my colleague employed, and I got to pursue my dream.

That’s how Open Book Consulting was born.

Run your business instead of getting run over by your business

My grandparents Rose and Harley were generous, intelligent, and civic-minded entrepreneurs. Harley, a farmer with a productive civic and entrepreneurial streak, was constantly reinventing himself. And Rose was a force of a woman. But they struggled more than they should have financially. With Open Book Consulting as your trusted advisor, you can embody the values you admire in other people and be a leader of your business.

Best wishes,

– Debbi Allison

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Debbi Allison


(970) 218-5563