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IAM1760 – Certified Public Accountant Offers Personalized Bookkeeping Services

Podcast Interview with Emil Abedian

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In episode IAM360 of the CEO Chat podcast, host Gresham Harkless interviews Emil Abedian, the founder and CEO of Anchor Bookkeeping. Emil is a Certified Public Accountant and partner of the CPA firm Abedian and Totlian, which offers business consulting, accounting, and tax services for small to midsize businesses.

In the interview, Emil talks about his experience working alongside small business owners and recognizing the need for affordable yet personalized bookkeeping services. He shares his unique approach to bookkeeping, which involves one-on-one service and customized solutions tailored to each client's needs. Emil emphasizes the importance of accurate bookkeeping for small businesses to ensure financial success.

Emil also discusses the challenges of starting a business and the importance of perseverance and hard work. He shares his CEO hacks and nuggets, which include focusing on your strengths and delegating tasks to others. Emil also defines what being a CEO means to him, which involves being a leader who inspires and empowers others to achieve their goals.

Overall, the episode provides valuable insights into personalized bookkeeping services for small businesses and the importance of accurate financial records. Emil's experience and unique approach to bookkeeping makes this episode a must-listen for anyone looking to improve their financial situation as a small business owner.

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Emil Abedian Teaser 00:00

All three people, you, your CPA, tax prepared, whoever does that, and more importantly, the IRS understands. That's what we do. Now, we've been doing this, as I mentioned for 10-15 years now, and we know what IRS is looking for and what they want. That's what we provide our small business owners, not only to them, we provide it to their CPAs also.

Intro 00:21

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you are in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:47

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, or what I like to call the CB Nation architects. Those that are looking to level up their organizations.

In this month, we are focusing on knowing thy numbers. I could hear the phrases from Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank, and if you understand or don't understand exactly what numbers is, think finance, economics, accounting, capital, investment funding, bootstrapping, anything that's around numbers. So, we have to understand how important it is to know your numbers and how important that is for you to forecast, make decisions, and to be able to truly strategize around your business and do that successfully.

Things are gonna be a little bit different, obviously, this month. So look for CEO hacks and CEO nuggets and interviews that focus around this. But more than everything else, make sure that you know your numbers because they're extremely important to the life of your business.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Emil Abedian of Anchor Bookkeeping. Emil, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Emil Abedian 02:14

Thank you so much, Gresh. Pleasure being here.

Gresham Harkless 02:17

No problem. Super excited to have you on Emil. I wanted to read a little bit more about Emil so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing.

Emil of Anchor Bookkeeping, founder and Chief Executive Officer is a Chief Public Accountant and partner of a CPA firm, a premier boutique accounting firm in the Los Angeles area, offering business consulting, accounting, and tax services for small to mid-size businesses.

After working alongside frustrated small businesses for more than a decade, Emil founded Anchor Bookkeeping in 2018, recognizing a need in the market for affordable, yet personalized one-on-one bookkeeping services for small business owners.

Emil, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Emil Abedian 02:56

I am ready, Gresh. Let's do it.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:58

Let's do it. So they kick everything off. I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Emil Abedian 03:06

I've been doing this for quite some time. I started my CPA firm about 10 years ago, and prior to that I worked with firms and all that. But the main reason I founded Anchor Bookkeeping because I wanna create a bookkeeping or accounting solution for the smallest businesses. When I say smallest businesses, I refer to really micro companies, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 300,000, $400,000 revenue, annual revenue clients.

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I wanted these kinds of businesses to have the same kind of access that larger million-dollar companies have to their CPAs and consultant throughout the year, but yet at an affordable monthly flat fee, so they know exactly what they're getting at what cost. So this is really why I wanted to create Anchor Bookkeeping.

As I mentioned, I've been working with these businesses for over a decade, close to 15 years and I see the issues and problems they're facing on a daily basis, whether it's with their marketing or accounting or how to get funding or even management issues they're facing. Obviously, I can't help them with all of these things. It's not my specialty, but if I can do just what I do best, which is accounting, and I can help them with that portion, that will make me happy. That's the goal with Anchor Bookkeeping. That's why I started it.

Gresham Harkless 04:21

Nice. I'm sure that definitely also makes them happy as well. I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper. Could you tell us a little bit more about Anchor? Tell us, if somebody wants to get started, how exactly they should do that.

Emil Abedian 04:30

Yeah, so as I mentioned, straightforward, we provide bookkeeping services mainly ,strictly. We are not a software company where the business owners have to subscribe to it to do their own bookkeeping. We wanna simplify the bookkeeping process for the smallest business owners by utilizing the technology. We are using technology to do that for our business owners. And as I mentioned, we are bookkeeping company.

We provide each business that we work with, their own dedicated bookkeeper, our in-house, Glendale, Bayes, ca, Glendale, California-based bookkeepers who do their bookkeeping, prepare the financial statements ongoing basis on a monthly basis, and just upload those financial statements back to the client's portal on our website so they have access to at any given time. Whenever they need it.

If they needed to sit down to talk to their CPA for tax planning purpose or just if the bank requires it, they have access to at any given time, basically. Not only that, we provide them with the financials and the bookkeeping. Their dedicated bookkeeper is available at any given time for them just through a chat, text, email, or just a phone call away. So they just pick up the phone and call, call their dedicated bookkeeper has done their bookkeeping.

They know exactly what they've gone through. It's not just a customer service person just picking up the phone and you have to explain the entire process, you work very closely with your own bookkeeper, throughout the year, and as long as you're with Anchor Bookkeeping.

Gresham Harkless 05:57

Nice. I definitely appreciate that motto. Definitely, correct me if I'm wrong, I feel like with especially accounting and understanding your books, it's definitely obviously the science to doing it, but I feel like it's also an art.

So I feel like that's a really great advantage to be able to talk to your regular bookkeeper where you can tap into their expertise and understand exactly if you should do, A, B, and C and why exactly you should do that, or vice versa. Because sometimes when you just have the system, you don't really get that expertise.

Emil Abedian 06:22

That's the problem Gresh, that we see with a lot of small business owners. They might have bookkeepers doing the work for them, but they don't understand the numbers. You got to understand your numbers to make smart decisions about your own business. Or they might just get software which does the work for them, which, I don't think does the work, but they think that it does it. But you got to understand it.

You got to have support in your team who can explain it to you. Why did this number go up and down throughout the year so you understand what's going on and again to make wise decisions. Not only that, IRS requires it and different government agencies require it, but just for your growth purpose, you need to know your numbers.

Gresham Harkless 07:01

Yeah, absolutely. You understand, obviously no one wants to ever get in any hot water, so you stay away from that. But at the same time, to be able to think about your business, not just today, but also, 5, 10, 15 years down the line, it's important that you take those steps in the very beginning. So I appreciate you for making that accessible to, affordable rate for Small to medium-sized businesses.

Do you consider that to be like, what I would call like your secret sauce and it could be for you or it could be for your organization, but the thing that kind of sets you apart?

Emil Abedian 07:27

That's part of it, yes. Talking to small business owners, a lot of them think that bookkeeping is the same thing as data entry. Unfortunately, there's a lot of bookkeepers out there, quote and quote, that just does data entry. They enter data and then send it over to the client or the client CPA for tax return preparation and it's their own responsibility. I did my part, I'm just a bookkeeper.

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We don't see it that way. What I see, bookkeeping is more than that. It's accounting, it's financial statements, and when you do your own accounting for your personal finances, and a lot of people do budgeting and put together some small numbers, income and expenses for your own personal finances, you can do it the way you want to because no one looks at it. As long as you understand it, that's perfectly fine.

But when it comes to business accounting and bookkeeping, not only that you get to understand the numbers, your CPA has to understand it because he or she will have to prepare the tax return. But more importantly, the IRS needs to understand it. IRS has the ways, their own ways of putting the numbers together and putting into the tax returns. So you have to make sure all three people, you, your CPA, tax prepared, whoever does that, and. More importantly, the IRS understands, and that's what we do now.

We've been doing this, as I mentioned, for 10-15 years now, and we know what IRS is looking for and what they want, and that's what we provide our small business owners. Not only to them, we provide it to their CPAs also, and the CPAs or the client can contact us at any given time with any questions. We have a lot of CPAs contact us during the tax season asking us questions about the financials, and our bookkeepers are right there responding to them again through chat, text, phone, however they wanna contact us, doesn't matter for us.

That's why I would say it's our secret results. We're there for our client. We just don't do the work and shift it over to them. We continue the relationship and explain it to them. To them, to the CPA and prepared in a way that IRS wants it and understands it. That's what I think would be our secret sauce in this case.

Gresham Harkless 09:24

Nice. I definitely appreciate that because I think a lot of times, I always talk about communication just on a general level. Like a lot of people don't realize that communication is all about the person on the other end understanding.

So just like you were talking about where you have the numbers, you have that broad data, but does the CPA understand it? Does the business owner understand it? Does the IRS understand it? Is it in alignment with all those different things? So to be able to translate that and make sure that everybody is on the same page is definitely important. So I appreciate that perspective and perspective on of your secret sauce.

So, I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And This might be an Apple book or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Emil Abedian 10:05

That's a good one. As an entrepreneur, days are going up and down. Your motivation level is going up and down from one day to another. One day you get a great idea. You are burning, you're flying high, you can't sleep at night. It's excellent. A couple of weeks later, or even a few days later life sucks. You don't know how you're gonna cover your next payroll and you are losing your business. It goes up and down like a rollercoaster. I'm sure you talk to the CEOs all the time and you know how it is and which is fine. That's part of it, that's part of the business.

Because you put a lot of time and effort in it. it's a lot of energy and it goes, your goes up and down, but you got to do things to keep your motivation level up at as much as possible. Obviously, it's normal for it to go down once in a while, but we can't afford to lose momentum. We got to keep working as business owners and entrepreneurs.

What I do for myself, my business is keep reading books. Sorry, let me correct myself. I don't read, I listen to books, so I listen to books all the time. I'm in the car all the time, so while I'm driving, I listen to books. At the gym or just when I'm out walking, so that keep me going.

Gresham Harkless 11:13

Nice. I definitely appreciate that and I'm a loyal subscriber to Audible. So I'm always listening to books as well too. I think it's funny when you put it in perspective. I've read a quote or something that said that you pay, maybe $25 or whatever for a book or an audiobook, and you can get one or two nuggets out of it that completely change your life, change your business.

So it's like such a great investment and great opportunity to get incredible ROI just by getting that small little hack that's within those things.

Now, I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice or if you can happen to a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Emil Abedian 11:48

So, the biggest device I give to entrepreneurs and really anyone, it doesn't need to be for a business, anything, do it right from the beginning and look at the big picture. Look at the way you will scale it down the line.

So if you wanna scale the business, you will be able to do it. It's all up to you, and you will get there sooner or later. So you would rather do it right from the beginning. Then digging into it and go back and try to fix it later on, that will save you a lot of time and money down the line. That's my biggest advice I can give to anyone starting a business or a life in general.

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Gresham Harkless 12:21

Nice. I definitely appreciate that nugget, because a lot of times, you don't put as much emphasis or understand how important it is putting processes and systems in until you start getting further, further along.

Then you wanna put those things in place. But, being able to tap into your expertise as well too, as far as like how to do that, is definitely huge because you understand that this is how you would wanna build like your, like Anchor Bookkeeping now. So you understand from that experience exactly how you wanna do that. So it's important to tap into those words of wisdom in that expertise.

Emil Abedian 12:52

Exactly. Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 12:54

Nice. Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote CEOs on this show. So Emil, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Emil Abedian 13:04

The CEO, you have a lot of responsibilities and duties. Obviously, you got to make sure a lot of things are taken care of the business. But in my opinion, especially in the service-based industry, the biggest thing a CEO has to do is have the guts to put your people, your team, your employees, your staff, whatever you could call them first before yourself. Obviously that's given.

But also before your clients and customers. I didn't do that when I started my first business. No, I was thinking that my clients are paying the bills, but that's wrong. Your employees are paying your bills. Without the good staff, without the good motivation and engagement, employees, you don't have team, you have individuals working for you. But that's not a team, that's not a business according to me.

You got to have the guts to put your people first, motivate them, engage them, and get them involved in your business, to get them where you want them because that will reflect on their quality of the work and will reflect over to the clients also. So if you have a good team, motivated team that really are on the same page that you are, your clients will feel it, your clients will see it. They will be much happier also.

So you have happy employees, happy clients, happy business, you are happy also. So that's my biggest thing. Your team is number one. Absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 14:16

There you go. Yeah. It's like a business perspective of what is, say happy wife, happy life. So it's like the same thing where you take care of your employees and then everything else comes into place. It makes sense because, if they're interacting with the clients, then all of a sudden you start to have a better experience, they're getting a better product and they're having better service.

Then it starts to just manifest itself, from there.

Emil Abedian 14:37

Absolutely, I totally believe in that.

Gresham Harkless 14:39

Nice. Emil, I truly appreciate your time. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know. And then of course, how best they can get ahold of you.

Emil Abedian 14:50

As I mentioned in the beginning Gresh is, you got to do things right. In my field, in accounting and bookkeeping, the number one thing is get the numbers. Number two is to understand the numbers. Make sure you talk to your accountant, your bookkeeper, your CP, whoever does the work for you.

It doesn't matter that they explain it to you, that you understand what's going on, because that's one of the reasons why a lot of businesses fail within the first few years is because they don't understand the numbers. Make sure you understand the numbers to be able to take the business to where you wanna take it.

Obviously, the way you can reach me is email, pick up the phone, call me however you want it. I'm here to answer any questions. Our small business community want to ask.

Gresham Harkless 15:35

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. And we'll have your link to your website as well as your email and phone number and information in the show notes as well.

But Emil, truly appreciate your time. Appreciate even more what you're doing to help out those small to medium-sized business, those micro businesses. I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Emil Abedian 15:51

My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.

Outro 15:54

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear at This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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