Helping entrepreneurial dreams come true
Waukesha accounting firm focuses on working with small businesses

By Katherine Michalets - Special to The Freeman

Feb. 11, 2015

aren Behl, left, and Julie Acker in the lobby of Acker Behl Accounting, LLC.  
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA — Most accounting graduates have dreams of working at a large corporation, but Karen Behl wished to work at a small business serving local clients. Her dream came true, and now she and Julie Acker own Acker Behl Accounting, LLC.

The women purchased Steve Dombrock & Co., SC of Waukesha as of Jan. 1, for which they worked. During the transition, Steve Dombrock will continue to work for Acker Behl Accounting for the next five years.

“It’s like another extension of your family,” Behl said of working for a small business. “Closely held companies are so much fun to work with.”

By assisting small businesses with their accounting needs, Behl said, she feels she can truly help them.

It’s also fun to watch a business get launched and then grow, Acker said.

“We watch it become a reality for them,” she said of entrepreneurs’ dreams.

As small business owners, Acker and Behl understand others who are in the same role.

“The more they trust us, the more they open up to us, the more we can help them,” she said.

There was a lull in people launching small businesses in recent years, but Acker said there has been resurgence. The women encourage people to do their homework before taking the big step into business ownership.

“Think about it and have footings for starting a business before you go and start a business,” Behl said.

It’s also important as a small business owner to have a plan and not to leave all the paperwork for the end of the year, they said.

At Acker Behl, the employees can work with clients on tracking auto expenses, the office rental process, payroll and accounts receivable.

“Their main goal is to take care of their business and do their business,” Acker said. “They are good at that. Accounting is not their world.”

Acker and Behl don’t necessarily consider themselves entrepreneurs because it’s what comes naturally to them.

“It’s a way of life around here,” Behl said of entrepreneurship. “We help people like ourselves."