Success stories

Juli Martin, CPA


How many passions and careers are spawned in the humble confines of the high school elective classroom? Count Juli Martin’s as one of them. When her bookkeeping class fit her like a glove, she pointed herself in that direction and hasn’t looked back.

After studying accounting at college, working in the field, and passing the CPA exam, she served as the Director of Finance, then as Controller, for Simpson University for seven years, before joining Bill McMahon in private practice. She purchased his firm in 2009, and has grown from having one full time employee to seven, with an extra five or six during tax season.

Accounting might have come naturally, but Juli wishes there had also been a ‘How To Manage Incredibly Rapid Growth of Your Accounting Practice’ elective in that high school curriculum. She had to grow fast – 100% the first year, 80% the second. Now, Juli has five times the clients she started with.

“The biggest challenge to obtaining financing was being a new business,” says Juli, “and fighting the assumption that I didn’t know what I was doing. I was also working against the assumption that people don’t change CPAs often.”

SCED met Juli through the Leadership Redding program, and she contacted us when she wasn’t able to get financing elsewhere. She felt less intimidated coming to SCED, knowing that we’d be on her side and were willing to give her the opportunity to show us what she could do.

Now, she advises people to develop their business acumen. “Having a skill is important, but you also need business training,” she says. “Make use of your trade associations and CPA. Be willing to learn, especially when it comes to growth. Know that you will need to change your role as you grow, because you can’t grow if you’re not willing to change.”

Thus, the student has become the teacher.