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Studio 512: Outsourced Accounting with Bookminders

Our team was back in the studio with Co-Host Rosie Newberry this past week. CEO Jessica Minkus and Director of Business Development Pamela Falkner Hartigan explored what makes outsourced accounting so attractive and what clients can expect when onboarding with Bookminders.

Visit Studio 512’s website or review the segment highlights:

Rosie asked why businesses and nonprofits choose to outsource accounting rather than hiring internally: Jessica explained that when factoring in the costs of salary and benefits, training, employee turnover, and limited access to expertise, outsourced accounting is often the stronger choice. “Leadership doesn’t have to manage the HR responsibilities of hiring an employee. They should get redundancy and an entire company of experts, not just one or two people. And, depending on the outsourced firm, there may be hosting as well meaning they take responsibility for security of the financial information.”

Pam described how Bookminders’ holistic approach to analyzing and building out client services has placed Bookminders above other outsourcing options: “At the very start of onboarding, we review each client’s process for efficiencies, design the accounting system, and manage it from start to finish.” She details the array of professionals that each client has access to: “They’ll have an onboarding accountant, an ongoing accountant, and a client relations manager all of whom are supported by the operations and management team.”

Jessica notes that Bookminders’ Quality Assurance department, led and staffed by senior staff, ensures that financials are accurate and complete. “We also continually review the file for process improvements to ensure that all clients receive a consistent, high-level of service. Not only do we manage clients’ financial info, we provide a secure, cloud-based platform so they can access their information from anywhere.”

Lastly, Rosie asked Pam what a prospective client can expect when they reach out to Bookminders: “They’ll talk to a member of our business development team. The conversation will be around whether a partnership would be mutually beneficial. If not, we often are able to refer them elsewhere.” If a client does move on to the next step, “Bookminders bills volumetrically. We will look at their activity and accounting needs to prepare the best possible estimate for our service, which is usually within a 10% variance.” After moving forward, the BD team facilitates a smooth handoff to the operations team. “That starts at the initial client meeting, throughout onboarding and even after.”

Outsourced accounting firms like Bookminders provide affordable access to many experts.

Studio 512: Why Nonprofits Partner with Bookminders

Bookminders CEO Jessica Minkus and Director of Business Development Pamela Falkner Hartigan joined Studio 512 Co-Host Rosie Newberry to discuss why nonprofit organizations choose to partner with Bookminders.

Visit Studio 512’s website or review the segment highlights:

Jessica spoke to some of the challenges nonprofits face such as the limited funds for operations personnel and general administration: “Even if organizations can get this type of funding, it’s typically not enough to afford an experienced, nonprofit accountant. There could be a lot of turnover in the position.” Jessica explained that this turnover and the need to wear multiple hats results in many staff being in the accounting system which can result in inconsistent and inaccurate financials.


Pam described another challenge in the sector, fiscal visibility: “[Nonprofits must] report back to funders how the money is being used. The effort required to track multiple funding sources is a large ask. The funders really want to know how the money is being spent, especially when there are restrictions around that. In addition, [nonprofits] must report back to their board and their program managers.”


Rosie asked what makes Bookminders so attractive to nonprofits. Jessica explained that Bookminders’ accountants typically have 10-15 years of experience prior to joining the company. Further, “the quality of our staff is just something that nonprofits can’t afford for full-time or even part-time. In addition, we train a second person on the account so there’s that redundancy.”

Pam noted that Bookminders staff “build in another layer to the internal controls and the separation of duties” which the limited staff, typical of many nonprofits, can lack.


Jessica reviewed how Bookminders helps nonprofits meet the various tracking requirements: “In real time, we are tracking all of their programs, administrative, and fundraising financial activities. At the same time, we are also tracking their use of with and without donor restricted funds.”


Pam explained why accountants are eager to refer their nonprofit clients to Bookminders: “It’s definitely the quality of service! It doesn’t matter which staff is assigned to the account, the quality of service is going to be the same [because we are] accurate, consistent, and organized.” Pam further explains that the year-end package sent to the auditor “makes the audit start process so much easier and their time more productive.”


The segment concluded with Jessica describing the company’s nonprofit experience: “Bookminders has been working with nonprofits for over 30 years, half of our clients are nonprofit clients. About 25% of our referrals come from existing and previous clients. When executive directors or board treasurers move from one organization to another, they often bring us in [at the new org].”

Bookminders tracks programs, financial activities and un- and restricted donor funds

Bookminders Receives Multiple Honors in the 2022 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Top Workplaces Awards

Jessica Minkus named Top Leader at 2022 Top Workplaces Awards Show

September 26, 2022: Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaBookminders has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2022 honor by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Top Workplaces. The company ranked 2nd overall out of 70 organizations honored in the small company category. Additionally, CEO Jessica Minkus was presented with the Leadership Award as the top executive in the division. Recognition for these awards is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures several culture drivers that are critical to organizational success including alignment, execution, and engagement.

Bookminders’ performance resulted in the award of every culture badge available through this assessment. The company further achieved a rank of Top 5% for all badges indicating employees have the highest regard for the company’s leaders, direction, work-life balance, and management support.

“Earning a Top Workplaces award is a badge of honor for companies, especially because it comes authentically from their employees,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “That’s something to be proud of. In today’s market, leaders must ensure they’re allowing employees to have a voice and be heard. That’s paramount. Top Workplaces do this, and it pays dividends.”

Tim Grant, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette business writer presented this year’s Top Leaders awards stating “these leaders possess key leadership qualities valued by their employees such as effective communication, goal setting, and strategic planning. They also focus on relationship building and are an inspiration to everyone around them.”

Jessica Minkus, Bookminders Chief Executive Office and 2022 Top Workplaces Top Leader Award Winner

Celebrated by employees for enlarging the company’s flexible work environment and employee-centric culture, Jessica was praised for her approachability, mentorship, and prioritization of employee well-being and success. “Jessica has an innate ability to maximize a person’s potential,” said Rhonda Stariha, Senior Accountant. Office Manager, Jenna Kelly identified how Jessica’s mentorship and leadership style has amplified the supportive attitude throughout the company, “every single person is here to help each other, because of Jessica….it has sprinkled down into everyone else.” “She’s just fun to work for,” exclaims Jeanine Finn, Senior Accountant. 

“Bookminders is proud to have offered a remote-first work environment since 1991,” states Bookminders CEO, Jessica Minkus. “Our work culture is one where the employee experience and their need for flexibility is at the forefront of decision making and one of our top priorities. Staff appreciate the structured autonomy which supports their delivery of timely and accurate outsourced accounting services to our clients. Work-life balance is and will always be the rule here, not the exception!”

Check out the Post-Gazette’s interactive Top Workplace guide.

Bookminders Management Team with CEO Jessica Minkus and Founder Thomas Joseph
Pictured Left to Right: Client Relations Managers Lisa Wentz, Anne Marie Wiegmann, and Mary Susan Anderson; Business Operations Manager, Jennifer Whitmore; Pittsburgh Business Development Manager, Melanie Rutan; Director of Training and Development, Maria Holtz; Chief Executive Officer, Jessica Minkus; Bookminders Founder, Thomas Joseph; Director of Business Development, Pamela Falkner-Hartigan; Quality Assurance Manager, Kathy Bacik-Bonetti; Office Manager, Jenna Kelly.

Studio 512: Bookminders is where Work-Life Balance is the Rule, not the Exception

Bookminders’ Chief Executive Officer Jessica Minkus sat down with NBC-KXAN Studio 512’s Rosie Newberry to discuss how and why our company has built an employee-centered remote-first team.

Visit Studio 512’s website or review the segment highlights:

Jessica recounted how the company was founded on a culture of remote-work and flexibility in 1991 and has continued to remain centered around these principles: “Putting the employee and their need for flexibility first is still the top priority today. We provide a supportive, non-competitive environment where we all are dedicated to each other’s success and providing an excellent product.”

Rosie and Jessica discussed how prioritizing flexibility and remote work provide support without micromanagement: “Our staff primarily work from their private home-office. Outside of the dedicated weekly client meetings with their clients, when they work is up to them,” says Minkus. “Our employees are professionals, they know the deadline they need to meet and the quality expectations. They don’t need permission to do whatever else they need or want to do throughout the day. “

“One of the features that makes remote-first possible is our secure, cloud-based environment…We’ve been perfecting this for decades and will continue to refine it to make the platform as efficient and accessible as possible.”

Referencing the results of Bookminders’ most recent blind, biannual employee survey, Jessica reports, “100% of our employees reported feeling supported and listened to by management with the vast majority citing flexibility as the top benefit of Bookminders. Our team knows they have the autonomy to schedule their work around their life, not the other way around.”

When asked to further describe Bookminders staff, Jessica reviewed the general background of employees and their motivation for joining the team: “All of our staff have a degree in accounting or finance and a minimum of 5 years’ experience, but the majority have about 10-15 years…Our primarily female workforce has worked in public accounting – they’ve been CFOs, controllers, or accounting managers. In addition to accounting expertise, they have great customer service skills and the confidence to be a trusted resource for our clients.”

“They come to us because they value work-life balance, they need optimal flexibility but want to be professionally engaged and challenged. Here, they can grow and develop even though they choose to work part-time. We’re also extremely supportive of life changes. It’s really easy for staff to throttle work up or down. 100% of our employees report that they are satisfied with their job, which leads to fantastic employee retention. Right now, half of our staff have been with us for 5 years or more and 25% over 10, and we even have a handful that have been here for more than 20 years.”

Bookminders provides a supportive non-competitive environment with optimal work-life balance

Bookminders Appears on KXAN Studio 512

Bookminders’ Director of Business Development, Pamela Hartigan, joined NBC-KXAN Studio 512 Co-Host Rosie Newberry to talk about the company and the choice to enter the Austin market.

Visit Studio 512’s website or review the segment highlights:

When asked to describe Bookminders and our services, Pam replied, “Bookminders is an outsourced accounting service. We employ degreed accountants with a minimum of five years of expertise to do the work. We provide complete service where we do everything for clients including paying bills, preparing invoices, reconciling balance sheet accounts at month-end, and providing detailed reports. We also send a complete comprehensive package to the client’s CPA so they can do the taxes/audit. We fully resource all of our locations. There’s at least one Client Relations Manager for every office whom both staff and clients can connect with. Our internal operations and IT staff ensure Bookminder’s Cloud-based environment operates smoothly with practically no downtime.”

Pam detailed Bookminders’ client mix and emphasized that our nonprofit clients have complex accounting needs: “These firms do not want to manage the accounting process or the human resources involved with staff. With Bookminders, they receive a streamlined accounting process, financial controls, and quality assurance at a cost savings of hiring a part to a full-time employee. Clients are able to focus on growth while having access to highly skilled professionals.”

Rosie asked Pam how Bookminders finds its clients, to which Pam explained, “we don’t – our clients find us! Bookminders doesn’t solicit work, we make connections with CPA firms and they refer us to their clients. It’s a great partnership because we do not do taxes or audits, but the work that we do for our clients streamlines that process for the CPAs that do. By maintaining the highest standards and excellent service quality, we also get lots of referrals from our existing clients.”

When asked how Bookminders selected Austin as the latest office location, Pam stated: “This is Bookminders’ fifth office. We started out in Pittsburgh over 30 years ago and have grown organically since. Austin is frequently compared to Pittsburgh. There are many similarities between the two cities that made it seem like our services would be a natural fit here. Like Pittsburgh, Austin has tons of nonprofits, tech startups, and small to medium-sized businesses. Austin is known to be a friendly city that welcomed newcomers, which is the type of place we’ve always chosen for our offices. We felt confident that we could help small businesses and nonprofits in this area with the same excellent track records that we’ve established in our other markets.”

Clients are able to focus on growth while having access to highly skilled professionals.

Bookminders’ Employee Surveys Results in Culture Badges Verified by Top Workplaces

Bookminders Aspiring Top Workplaces Culture Badges

In March of this year, Energage surveyed our staff as part of their Top Workplaces program evaluation. This survey asked staff to rate the company and their role across a variety of cultural dimensions. While we’ll have to wait until the autumn awards ceremony to learn if Bookminders has been named a Top Workplaces honoree – we already have some amazing news from Energage. Our employees’ feedback has resulted in the award of every Culture Badge earned through the Top Workplaces survey!

Each badge is achieved after a company scores in the top 25% of organizations in their benchmark that have been surveyed in the past 12 months. In addition to receiving all 12 badges in the first year Bookminders participated in the Top Workplaces evaluation, we have received the additional distinction of placing in the top 5% for all badges. Our management team is thankful that the supportive, transparent, and positive work environment we strive to maintain is authentically experienced by our staff! As Bookminders continue to grow, flexibility, work-life balance, and supported autonomy will continue to be the center of our remote-first culture.

Discover what our employees had to say about each cultural dimension considered in awarding these badges.

Bookminders’ Culture Badges: Achieved with 2022 Top Workplaces Survey:

  • Work Life Balance
    • Employees have the flexibility they need to balance their work and personal life.
  • Employee Appreciation
    • Employees feel genuinely appreciated at Bookminders.
  • Supportive Managers
    • Employees feel the managers at Bookminders care about their concerns and help them learn, grow, and succeed.
  • Meaningful Work
    • Employees’ jobs make them feel like they are part of something meaningful.
  • Clued-In Employees
    • Employees feel well-informed about important decisions at Bookminders.
  • Trusted Leader
    • Employees have confidence in the leader of Bookminders.
  • Leaders In-The-Know
    • Employees believe senior managers know what is really happening at Bookminders.
  • Strong Values
    • Employees believe that Bookminders operates by strong values.
  • Open Minded
    • Employees believe Bookminders encourages different points of view.
  • Company Direction
    • Employees believe Bookminders is going in the right direction.
  • Innovation
    • Employees believe new ideas are encouraged at Bookminders.
  • Cross-Team Cooperation
    • Employees believe there is good inter-departmental cooperation at Bookminders.

Austin Selected as Location for Bookminders’ First Office in Texas

May 2, 2022: AUSTIN, TX – Currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, Bookminders is excited to announce its entrance into the Texas area with the debut of Bookminders Austin. Bookminders provides complete outsourced accounting solutions for over 475 small to mid-size businesses and nonprofit organizations across its current footprint and looks forward to extending service to Austin and the surrounding areas.

Clients across a wide-variety of industries benefit from the company’s propriety accounting management platform and processes that result in reliable, timely, and cost-effective bookkeeping services. Bookminders supports their nonprofit clients with superior grant management and monitoring, functional expense tracking and comprehensive Board reporting.

From its founding in 1991, Bookminders, has provided flexible, part-time positions in a primarily work-from-home setting for degreed accountants.  The company has built a smart, connected, and remote-first workforce. Advocates of the work-from-home concept before the term became a cultural norm, Bookminders leverages innovative, continually evolving technology and forward-thinking work management practices.

With their Austin office launch, Bookminders will hire several part-time, remote-first accountants to work in Central Texas. Their accountants visit with clients weekly and perform most processing duties from their home offices. Employees enjoy the freedom to modify their workload based on personal goals and their earnings scale directly in relation to their productivity and client portfolio size. Bookminders culture has always prioritized work-life balance, making it the rule, not the exception. 

Bookminders receives over half of its new clients through referrals from public accounting firms. They streamline the work for auditors and CPAs through their comprehensive, professional and standardized Year-End Packages. The company does not provide competing tax, audit, or consulting services, making it a perfect partner to organizations that do.

Business Development Director Pam Hartigan, who has been with the company since 2001 and relocated to Austin in 2021, is thrilled to lead the Bookminders Austin expansion. “I’m such a good fit for the ‘Keep Austin Weird’ movement,” she laughs, “and so is Bookminders. We’re both unique, authentic, and deeply committed. I’ve accomplished so much with Bookminders over the last 21 years, and together, we’re ready to help Austin businesses and nonprofits optimize resources through outsourced accounting.”

Bookminders has been named a 2021 Impact Company of the Year by DotCom Magazine. This award recognizes privately owned companies who have grown and adapted to the shifting economy to make an important impact on their clients, staff, and the industries in which they operate.                             

Follow Bookminders on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to keep up with new opportunities in the ATX and surrounding area.

Bookminders Appoints Jessica Minkus as new CEO

Pittsburgh, January 19, 2022.

Bookminders announced today that Jessica Minkus has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer. After a decade and a half with the organization, Jessica succeeds Bookminders’ Founder Thomas Joseph who had retained that title for over 30 years. Thomas Joseph will remain available in an advisory capacity to Jessica as she continues to grow and expand the company.

Bookminders has spent over 30 years building a smart, connected, remote-first workforce and, for the last 15 years, Jessica has been a key driver in its growth and technological evolution. Joining Bookminders as a staff accountant in 2006, Jessica advanced rapidly through the organization in various management and executive roles until her appointment in 2018 as Chief Operating Officer. As the new CEO, Jessica is poised to lead the organization in its strategic growth objectives in 2022 and beyond.

“Jessica has been a pivotal factor in the success Bookminders has enjoyed over the last 15 years,” states Founder, Thomas Joseph. “Her passion and commitment to Bookminders’ values of providing optimal flexibility and the highest quality service has led to a workforce and client base that is happy, supported, and thriving.”

Minkus received a bachelor’s degree in Economics from The Ohio State University in 2003. Before joining Bookminders in 2006, Jessica worked as a tax preparer, controller, and consultant for several private organizations.

Read more on the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Bookminders named a DotCom Magazine Impact Company of the Year for 2021

For Immediate Release – December, 2021.

“DotCom Magazine today announced that The Bookminders has been selected to join its annual Impact Company of The Year List For 2021. The DotCom Magazine Impact Company of The Year 2021 Award celebrates the most important segment of the economy – America’s privately owned companies whose Founders, CEOs and amazing team members are making an important impact in the economy. DotCom Magazine has honored Bookminders as making a positive difference in an incredibly unique year. The DotCom Magazine 2021 Impact Company of The Year Awards celebrates shape shifting entrepreneurs and their companies.

“It’s a distinct honor to be recognized among such a respected group of privately owned companies that are moving the needle on business strategy and making significant impact on the economy. We’d like to thank DotCom Magazine for recognizing how important it is to align profits, strategy and vision with positive impact that extends beyond board rooms and balance sheets,” said Tom Joseph, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Bookminders.

“We’d also like to thank all of the organizations and individuals we’ve had the privilege of working with over the past year. In the spirit of partnership, Bookminders’ work is truly a shared collective that is empowered by our network of beloved clients and partners – who inspire business excellence every day and every step of the way.”

Read the entire article or view DotCom Magazine’s exclusive interview with Tom Joseph.

Jessica Minkus: 10 Best COOs of 2021

Bookminders COO, Jessica MInkus has been recognized by Women Industry Era Leaders Magazine as one of the 10 Best COO of 2021:

As organizations continue to pivot operations because of COVID-19, some regional businesses are thriving in the face of these challenges. Bookminders, the Mid-Atlantic’s premier outsourced bookkeeping company and a beacon for empowering women in the workforce, is one of those stellar companies. The continued growth and success of Bookminders since 2020 is largely due to the rapid and cohesive response of its senior leadership. Bookminders Chief Operating Officer, Jessica Minkus, led the entire company through a transition to virtual operations over a single weekend in March 2020, ensuring that employees wouldn’t miss a beat and clients continued to receive top-notch service.

Studies suggest that women demonstrate more effective leadership in times of crisis. Jessica, a shining example of empowerment of women in the workforce, maintained an innovative but steady course for the company as she maintained and expanded the elements behind Bookminders success pre-COVID. Drawing on Bookminders’ insightful and powerful blend of technology, flexibility, and collaboration, Jessica adds her personalized approach to success to inspire and encourage women into becoming great leaders of tomorrow.

“Throughout my career, I’ve always wondered why women focus on not ‘having it all’ because life is not a one-size-fits all concept,” explains Jessica. “I have a strong work ethic and tailor my professional and personal life to my needs and those of my family and co-workers. It’s tremendously important for women to continually reshape and define what ‘having it all’ means to them and to feel honored by everything they accomplish.”

In addition to promoting flexibility at Bookminders, Jessica believes that everyone brings a different and valuable perspective. She maintains an open-door policy and continually seeks team feedback to improve client service and employee satisfaction.

“Our entire team of professionals, which are mostly women, have a deep trove of knowledge that allows us to improve our organization for our clients and our co-workers. When met with a challenge or change, I think every person sees the same problem but often a different solution. We want to take advantage of these varied perspectives to best serve our organization and clients,” Jessica explains.

During the pandemic, she asked staff to schedule individual 15-minute check-ins to ask questions, share personal experiences, or just chat about the stresses of navigating their home and professional lives. On a monthly basis, Bookminders provides their staff the opportunity to offer general feedback and, bi-annually, they issue an anonymous survey collecting comprehensive feedback from the team on all aspects of working at Bookminders. These policies result in the team feeling balanced, supported, and heard when organizational changes are implemented.

From its founding in 1991, Bookminders has followed a core philosophy to provide structured flexibility to degreed accounts on a part-time, work-from-home basis while serving non-profits and small to medium-sized businesses in an outsourced capacity. Starting as a staff accountant 15 years ago, Jessica was mentored by Bookminders’ Founder and CEO, Thomas Joseph. The company’s fundamental philosophy of flexibility is core commitment and critical driver for Jessica and her team.

“A few times early in my career, employees walked into my office with resignation letters because they were struggling with personal issues and scheduling. I did not want to lose my co-workers because they needed greater flexibility. We worked together to figure out how they could satisfy their desire to remain professionally challenged while having enough time to manage their personal life successfully. Now when employees need an even more flexible arrangement, they come in with their plan to ‘have it all’,” Jessica says with a smile. “Successfully supporting our team fills me with the greatest sense of accomplishment. They know we are here to help them be successful and fulfilled.”

– IEra WomenLeaders Magazine