Deborah Vogt built Harmoney Bookkeeping Company from nothing more than an idea, transforming what started as a small neighborhood service into a flourishing bookkeeping company in only a few short years. With her fierce passion, analytical mindset, and a natural inclination toward relationship-building, Debbie has designed a thriving company that brings balance to clients through a suite of bookkeeping, financial reporting, and revenue planning solutions.
However, despite Harmoney Bookkeeping’s growing success, Debbie never originally set out to become a bookkeeper. With an innate love of information, she studied business in college and received her degree in library and information sciences. “One attribute that’s been important to me from a young age is being resourceful,” Debbie explains. “Something about information has always been interesting to me. I want to be a person someone can go to when they need great information they can always count on.”
It was this resourcefulness that led Debbie’s church to approach her twelve years ago, looking for someone to help manage their books. At first, she was hesitant, concerned she didn’t have enough experience in the area. However, as she contemplated the request, she went home to discuss the offer with her husband, a former CPA. At once, he knew bookkeeping would be a great fit for Debbie. “Of course, you can do it,” he encouraged her. “You’re reliable and resourceful.”
It was in that moment that Debbie’s path toward Harmoney Bookkeeping was born. “The opportunity gave me a chance to merge the two things I’m best at,” Debbie reflects. “It’s a complete combination of being resourceful and having a love of numbers. Now, I can be a resource for my clients by making sure they’re putting really solid information behind their bookkeeping and then explaining it in a way that helps them grow their business.”
Debbie officially opened Harmoney Bookkeeping in 2017, managing all operations herself as she supported businesses across Massachusetts. However, as she cultivated trust and respect amongst her client base, Harmoney Bookkeeping just continued to grow, allowing Debbie to hire more staff and expand her bookkeeping services across state borders. Now, Harmoney Bookkeeping has six staff members, supporting over 100 clients throughout a wide array of industries.
Debbie believes Harmoney Bookkeeping’s growth is largely due to the strong relationships her team builds with every client. “One of the biggest complaints I hear from prospective clients is that they can’t reach their bookkeeper,” Debbie acknowledges. “Connection and availability is really important to us. We have a team approach here so clients can always reach out to anybody on our team.”
At Harmoney Bookkeeping, every client has an assigned bookkeeper they can refer to when they need guidance. However, if their assigned bookkeeper is unavailable, clients are encouraged to reach out to any bookkeeper on their team for support.
Debbie continues, “The most important thing in our business is getting the job right, but the second thing is growing our relationships with our clients. I don’t want my clients to ever feel like we don’t have time for them – they are our priority client every time they call. What they do is hard enough and we’re not going to make the bookkeeping piece hard.”
In fact, for Debbie, talking to new prospects and clients is one of her favorite parts of the job. “When people call, there’s usually a little bit of embarrassment that the books have gotten bad and they think they’re the only one. I like highlighting what they’ve done well, helping them to feel comfortable and to see the good in what they’ve done. We’re not here to judge – that’s just not what we do. Running a business is hard enough for our clients.”
For those business owners that are struggling to maintain their books, Debbie has three key pieces of advice to start turning things around. “First, don’t mix your personal with your business expenses. A lot of people don’t even realize they’re doing it until they really look. Second, look at your bookkeeping on a monthly basis because mistakes are always easier to catch when they’ve just happened. Third, collect W-9s from your vendors before you pay them – they’re a lot harder to get if you ask in January!”
In addition to handling the books and mentoring her clients on best practices, Debbie also enjoys helping her clients succeed in a variety of other ways, from recommending eligible grants to arming them with the knowledge they need to survive during times of hardship. This past year, her team has gone above and beyond to consult with CPAs and host comprehensive PPP workshops, ensuring their clients are well equipped to apply for COVID-related assistance.
Beyond guiding clients personally, Debbie also strives to build meaningful relationships with those in her industry, supporting trusted partners like CPAs while giving her clients more opportunities to prosper.
Debbie explains, “I feel most accomplished when we send the prior year financials out to the CPA and we do not get a phone call. When we’re serving a CPA, we’re also serving our clients. If we close the books on time and have no follow up questions from the CPA, we did what we needed to. We’ve served everyone well.”
Likewise, Debbie has also formed a strong referral relationship with ConnectPay. “ConnectPay has been such a great partner for us,” Debbie boasts. “To be able to refer clients to a payroll company that gets the job right, at a reasonable fee with outstanding customer service – it’s the trifecta! What more do you need?”
If you’re looking for a trusted bookkeeping service and would like to work with Debbie’s team, make sure to check out Harmoney Bookkeeping Company!