1854 – The Backbone of Business Success with Ashley Chamberlain

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Accountant, Ashley Chamberlain.

Chamberlain Wide

Ashley Chamberlain is not just an entrepreneur; she's a beacon of clarity in the often murky waters of business finance. Her company's mission is to illuminate the financial path for business owners, helping them understand their cash flow and bottom line and optimizing their tax liabilities.

One of Ashley's first gems was the importance of utilizing home office deductions. For many entrepreneurs, the home office is the command center where all the magic happens. Yet, many overlook the potential tax deductions available. Ashley underscored the significance of this deduction, explaining how it can substantially lower your taxable income.

Another key point Ashley brought up was tracking mileage for business travel. It's not just about logging miles; it's about understanding the value of each business trip you take. By meticulously tracking your mileage, you can ensure you're not leaving money on the table regarding tax time.

Chamberlain and Good Company don't believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Ashley detailed the different service packages they offer, designed to cater to the unique needs of each business. What struck me was the affordability and flexibility of their services. Ashley and her team are committed to providing value and support to their clients, regardless of their size or industry.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Introduction of Ashley Chamberlain, founder and CEO of Chamberlain and Good Company
  • Services provided by Chamberlain and Good Company
  • Benefits of using their services: gaining clarity on cash flow, understanding bottom line, and optimizing tax liabilities
  • Importance of utilizing home office deductions, tracking business travel mileage, and strategically purchasing vehicles to lower taxable income
  • Different service packages offered by Chamberlain and Good Company
  • Emphasis on affordability and flexibility of their services

About Ashley Chamberlain:

Ashley Chamberlain is the visionary founder of Chamberlain And Good Company, a boutique financial services firm tailored to support entrepreneurs at various stages of their business journey. With a keen focus on fostering business growth, Chamberlain's company offers a suite of services, including bookkeeping, tax preparation, and cash flow strategy, to optimize profitability and minimize business liabilities.

Ashley innovative approach to financial management emphasizes personalized solutions that meet each client's unique needs, ensuring that entrepreneurs have the tools and insights needed to navigate the complexities of financial planning and execution. Through Chamberlain And Good Company, Ashley Chamberlain has established herself as pivotal in empowering businesses to achieve their financial goals with confidence and clarity.

Tweetable Moments:

02:40 – “The biggest deduction that I think people underutilize is the use of your home office.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Ashley Chamberlain on LinkedIn at

Check out Ashley Chamberlain on Facebook at

Check out Ashley Chamberlain on Instagram at

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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence. Com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. Ashley Chamberlain, Ashley, you are the founder and CEO of Chamberlain and Good Company. You're found on the web at Chamberlain and Good Company. Com to our friend that's listening. Got the link all in your podcast app. Just keep clicking around. You'll find where we've got that so you can follow along.

Josh (00:01:17) - But Ashley it's great to have you.

Ashley (00:01:19) - It's so great to be here. Thanks for having me, Josh. Yeah.

Josh (00:01:22) - So absolutely. I mean, share with us what Chamberlain and Good Company does.

Ashley (00:01:28) - So we are bookkeeping and accounting services company. We serve small to medium sized companies, basically helping them really get Ahold of their cash flow, bringing them a little bit more clarity to their bottom line. The magic bottom line number, helping them utilize,, what money are they making? Where are they spending it? How can we lower that tax liability? The magic word deductions. Everyone likes to know. What? What can I write off? What can be a deduction. Really helping them put more money back in their pocket.

Josh (00:02:04) - , well, you know, I'm going to go right into it since you brought it up. Let's talk deductions., what are some of the maybe underutilized tax saving either deductions or strategies, like, especially if you were to come up with, like, maybe a top three list that you're like, yeah, folks coming in, I see them missing these three things more than anything.

Josh (00:02:25) - Can I mention my favorite is Augusta? Yes. I don't know if that was in your top three or not, but if it's not, could you do that one as a bonus?

Ashley (00:02:33) - Yeah. Yeah that's right. Which is not.

Josh (00:02:35) - Applicable for everybody. But I'll let you explain. Maybe your top three plus bonus. Possibly.

Ashley (00:02:40) - Sure, sure. So I see in today's environment that a lot of people are working from home, which is so exciting because the world of deductions just opens up so many more. So the biggest deduction that I think people under utilize is the use of your home office. So that can be anything from how much of your home are you using. And you want to take that amount of space and you want to say how much of the mortgage, the rent, what have you lease am I using this office for? Let's take a portion of that and use that for business expenses. So now that's the option. And that's and that can be a pretty hefty amount depending on where you live, depending on how much you're paying for your home.

Ashley (00:03:30) - That's a big one. That's one of the first things I ask is, are you working from home? Let's talk about the space. So everything in that space can now be considered a deduction. The office supplies anything computer, printer, scanner or anything like me, any accountant, anybody that's really crunching numbers. I have multiple monitors. I need multiple screens. I need a printer. I need a scanner. Lots of pens, lots of paper. All of those things can be utilized in deductions. So those those two things, the use of your office space and what are you using in that space? I always try to break down the nitty gritty details of what goes into your everyday use., and they can amount to a pretty big expense. Another one that it gets a little dicey because the IRS constantly changes the compliance laws around meals and around travel. You know, people think that, oh, I'm going to go to I'm going to go to Hawaii. And this is a business trip because I do talk about my business a lot.

Ashley (00:04:39) - So now it's a business trip that gets a little dicey. Yeah. So,, like I.

Josh (00:04:44) - Be prepared to back that one up, right.

Ashley (00:04:47) - Like heavily. But a deduction that I always try to get people to utilize is the mileage or your vehicle. You know, if you're someone that travels a lot for work myself, I go and visit my clients pretty frequently. I like that interaction, that face to face. You just can't beat it. But I always keep track of my mileage because for me, I travel more miles than my wear and tear, so maybe that's irresponsible. Maybe I'm not getting as many oil changes or things, but for me, the mileage makes way more of a difference than the maintenance. So constantly keeping track of your mileage,, there are apps that help with that. Yep. I'm not sitting there writing it down. I'm not sitting there taking pictures of, you know, okay, this was the mileage when I started. This is when I ended. I'm just using an app and it calculates it for me and puts it in my QuickBooks.

Ashley (00:05:41) - And then it keeps track of it all year round.

Josh (00:05:43) - And they are fairly automatic, meaning you've just got the app on your phone. It is automatically doing what it needs to do. It's not going to give the purpose, although some of them are even pretty smart about that too. Yeah. So yeah, it's super, super easy. This is a layup. Do you mind mentioning maybe a couple? I've used mile IQ before. I don't know if you know of any others.

Ashley (00:06:05) - That's a big one. So QuickBooks has their own QuickBooks mileage that you can use. It's a separate app outside of QuickBooks app itself.

Josh (00:06:16) - But that's great if you use QuickBooks files.

Ashley (00:06:18) - Yeah, it kind of all sings together. It makes it just a little easier., so I really like that one too. I do use my IQ, so I do like that one. I'm a little more biased for that. Whatever is easiest, I say make it easy so you don't have to constantly worry about it. You don't have to constantly think about it.

Josh (00:06:36) - Yeah. Okay. So any other major kind of tax., so we mentioned mileage. We mentioned make sure you get your, you know, your writing off the percentage of your home for your home office deduction. Anything else you'd throw in there.

Ashley (00:06:49) - There are.

Josh (00:06:50) - Several.

Ashley (00:06:51) - But you know, it's so hard because there's depending on the nature of your business. Exactly. You know, it's a big industry that we work with is construction. So construction general industry that. That's our really our bread and butter. So in that industry a big purchase for them would be vehicles. So they are constantly buying vehicles, selling vehicles, trading vehicles. And it's all about of course they have to buy it when they need it. But the timing of it is gold. So if you're at the end of the year and you're seeing we made a decent amount of money, which is usually a good thing because you think, wow, we're doing great, but then you think, now we're going to have to pay taxes on a lot of money.

Ashley (00:07:34) - Let's see how we can lower that taxable income. Usually something like a vehicle purchase can greatly help lower that because you can decide how you want to depreciate it, which means how much of that vehicle purchase are we going to put into our deduction. So a vehicle purchase is a really good way to utilize that taxable income. Lower it. You can pay taxes on just a little bit of a lesser amount.

Josh (00:08:02) - So Ashley you mentioned that you worked with folks obviously business owners in the construction space. Who would be an ideal connection for you, like in terms of like like an I dream. And it's more about not necessarily the industry they're in, but maybe it's the stage of business that they use or that they're.

Ashley (00:08:20) - Yeah. So industry I find that there are new businesses popping up. I mean, things I never imagined possible are becoming businesses. So I love that you say that the type of where they're at in business, in the type of client, because that has become more important than the industry itself.

Ashley (00:08:40) - The type of client for us would be someone that they're doing their own books, but it's becoming unmanageable. So maybe they're now making anywhere from 75 to $100,000, and they're finding themselves doing their books at the end of the week, or they're doing it at night, and it's becoming unmanageable and taking away from the reason they started their business. So if they are a general contractor and they are remodeling homes, they find themselves either roping in the wife or which is a common one, or they're cramming it into a weekend or the end of the month because they don't have time to do it during the week. Things that happen because of this, they're losing money. They are not keeping up with their invoicing. They're not following up with people that owe them money. These are becoming common problems. And now that's causing them to actually lose money. So reaching out to us, we can help them get that money back, help them get Ahold of it, and they don't have to worry about any of that.

Ashley (00:09:44) - The admin tasks, the maintenance part, the managing part. So that's kind of an ideal situation because it's really not a hard sell. It's why did you start your business? What your ideal day? I'm going to guess that none of that involves accounting. None of that involves bookkeeping. And that's where we can kind of come in and hold your hand and let you just do what you're good at, which is whatever you started your business for.

Josh (00:10:08) - Yeah. And actually, so what does engagement look like? So when someone hires you, is it really super expensive? Is it like, I don't know, just someone who's never hired an external bookkeeper, tax strategist or tax solutions provider, but I guess just let's let's help them understand how that works. Certainly, I think taxes tends to be a little bit more project based, but not necessarily if you're looking for strategy year long, which, by the way, we have done, and I would recommend. But anyway, I'll let you explain.

Ashley (00:10:38) - Yeah.

Ashley (00:10:38) - Yeah. So it's a little different for we have packages. So we have the beginning package. And we actually call that our apprentice package. So for me you're going to hear a lot of construction lingo because again that's our bread and butter. It's what I grew up in. it's what is just natural for me. So our apprentice package is kind of our beginning package. So we start you off at $150 a month. We're just going to reconcile your accounts. We're going to.

Josh (00:11:06) - We're really great. Yeah.

Ashley (00:11:08) - It's very obtainable. Yes.

Josh (00:11:10) - To our friends that's listening right now, just know that Ashley's rates may increase in the future. So if you happen to get the rate that she just uttered, I would jump on that because that's exceptionally fair compared to what we pay for.

Ashley (00:11:22) - Sure. Yeah. And and we tried it. I did this so intentionally because I wanted that new business owner that felt exactly how I did. In the beginning. I was scared to hire because I, I felt like, oh, that'll be way too expensive.

Ashley (00:11:37) - I'll just do it myself. I'll suffer., I'll miss out on money. Right? I don't want to delegate because I'm afraid of the unknown. So I tried to make it at this base package. This is what we can do. Let's transition you into something that feels good. And then as you grow, we'll grow with you. And we have the kind of the stair steps to different packages. We have the apprentice, which is the beginning and. Then we have the journeyman package, which is a little more involved. It has a little more service in there. And then we have the master package, which is the full service. And that kind of is the full accounting cycle in a month. A little more hands on. We do meet with all of our clients monthly. Strategize if people want that tax strategy. That's separate. But full disclosure we're going to strategize with you. It's just a natural thing. We want you to succeed. So we're going to say, hey, we noticed this.

Ashley (00:12:34) - Maybe try this next month. It's just something that we can't help but want to see our clients succeed. So it is included. And then the tax return is separate. But it is something that we offer first to all of our current clients because we want to say, hey, you're with us all year. This is kind of a no brainer in our opinion. So we can do your tax return. And then if our spots fill up, that's it. And then if not, then we'll open it up to what we say is general public.

Josh (00:13:04) - Yeah. So Ashley, your website I just wanted to share this., it's Chamberlain and good company. And I know that, you know, on your website you have some resources and so forth, but,, you know, to our friend that's listening who's like, well, yeah, I mean, I'm interested in learning more. I don't know if you have any,, education resources, anything that folks might be able to dig into if they're looking,, for maybe some for some education or looking for resources,, prior to engaging with you.

Ashley (00:13:35) - Sure. So a good place to start that I tell people that are maybe in the courting phase, maybe they they know a little bit about bookkeeping, or maybe they know about accounting, but they don't know where to start. They're a little nervous about hiring someone they just met online. I always tell them to go to my Facebook page, my personal Facebook page, Ashley Chamberlain I also have a business page, Chamberlain and Good Company on Facebook is a great place to start because we post consistently every single day and I go live every single Wednesday and every Wednesday I talk about something different. It's always business related. And full disclosure, I get a little wild. Sometimes I have props, sometimes my kiddos jump in, sometimes there's a dog, sometimes I'm going on a walk. But it's just a very casual conversation about what I think is important., in the business world, business and personal world, bringing them together. And I'm always trying to bring value to that business owner that just wants to get a small little nugget of wisdom quickly on a live.

Ashley (00:14:40) - Grab it, take it, do whatever you want with it. And if you want to know more, I'll be back on the next Wednesday.

Josh (00:14:47) - Nice.. And, Ashley, wouldn't you, like I said,, and I think you were kind of talking about this, but,, tell me more about, like, to someone who might be fearful. They're like, listen, we haven't reconciled ever. We know it's a mess., you know, we all it's like, well, we've just kind of lived and died with that, you know, kind of like, rushed together at the last minute for taxes. Every year we want to,, like. And they may be afraid of that first conversation because they're worried that you're going to judge them., which, you know, I joke, but it's not too uncommon, from what I hear.

Ashley (00:15:22) - Yeah, it's funny, those situations, the first sentence that I almost always hear, I actually keep a tally. It's kind of a joke because I keep a tally on the side.

Ashley (00:15:32) - I always hear you've probably never seen this before. Almost every time.

Josh (00:15:38) - Yeah. I mean, and I'm like.

Ashley (00:15:41) - I probably have, to that I just say, while you are a special person, always your business is just numbers to me and everything can be fixed. Whatever we have to do, we'll fix it. We call those cleanups. So just like when you hire cleaners, if you have someone come in your house and clean, if you're that person that's like, oh, I gotta clean before I have the cleaners come in, and then they come in and you think, that was so ridiculous. They did a great job. I did not need to clean. They did their job. It's the same situation with us. You explain what you want to see, you explain where you've been. We might have some questions about transactions. And you know, what were you doing here? Is this a personal. Is this a business? We'll get you cleaned up. We'll get you set. I promise you, more often than not, we have seen it before.

Ashley (00:16:32) - And once we clean it up, I don't remember a thing about what I've seen. It just goes in and out. They are just black and white numbers to us.

Josh (00:16:40) - Yeah. I love the,, the house cleaning analogy, so. Well, actually, it's been a great, great conversation., so to our friend that's listening next steps obviously., go to your website. That's Chamberlin and good What else. What do they do there.

Ashley (00:17:00) - they can go in. They can fill out a contact us form my. Self and my assistant Kaia. We check those every single day and they can kind of tell us a little bit about their business, about themselves. We offer free strategy calls so we can hop on a call. We can talk about, you know, the future, what you are looking for. You don't fit in one of our packages. That's fine., we're a small business. We're very flexible. We'll find what works for you. Or you can reach out on Facebook, follow us on Facebook so you can get some information and see are you ready for it? And maybe get to know me a little bit, because I really want people to see me as a person because I love creating that relationship connection.

Ashley (00:17:41) - And you're going to see some interesting, funny things on those lives. It is very raw., I sometimes interview my kids. That is so funny to hear their answers to tax stuff. So get to know me a little bit on Facebook and we can go from there.

Josh (00:17:57) - , when it comes to taxes, are you smarter than a fifth grader? The The Chamberlain and good edition. So. Exactly.

Ashley (00:18:03) - Exactly.

Josh (00:18:04) - Yeah. Ashley Chamberlain again, your website Chamberlain and good company. Ashley, thank you so much for joining us.

Ashley (00:18:11) - Thank you so much Josh, I appreciate it.

Josh (00:18:18) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence. Comment. Guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our Listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love, even if you just stop by to say hi, I'd love to meet you.

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