17 years ago, an ingenious CPA partnered with a maverick sales guy in a shared goal to change how entrepreneurs approached their accounting—and AccountingDepartment.com was born. At least, that’s the short version and how the company folklore goes. But as with all things, the truth is far more interesting… and certainly very inspiring.
At first glance, Dennis Najjar, CPA and Bill Gerber wouldn’t necessarily “catch your eye”—they’re not the latest flashy accounting startup to grace your social media feeds, they could generally be described as unassuming, and truth be told, they really aren’t even trying to get your attention. In all likelihood, they’d be the first to tell you that if flashy and “new on the scene” is what you’re looking for, they weren’t for you anyway (not that they're lacking the cool factor—they'd also want to point that out!).
But the people who are “in the know” can attest that where these visionaries can be found is nestled in the back corner of any major accounting or entrepreneur trade show, reviewing ideas, sharing inspiration, and discussing opportunities (well, at least until covid shut down events).
In fact, in normal/non-pandemic times, they would usually have been trailed to their corner by any number of familiar faces over the years—founders of expense management or time tracking apps, new financial dashboard companies looking to make their mark, and even founders and developers of some of the largest names in the accounting technology space. All vying for time with Dennis and Bill.
Why? Because after 17 years in business, Dennis and Bill have their fingers on the pulse of entrepreneurs—and accounting. There is a strange yet pervasive misconception that accounting is unchanged. That throughout every iteration and innovation across the business ecosystem, accounting remains the same. But sit down with Dennis and Bill and they will walk you through every meaningful, memorable, and even some disastrous, milestones in the evolution of accounting.
Why does that matter? Well, to really spur innovation—to really “move the cheese” (our favorite book)—you need to know not only where you want to go but also where you’ve been. What didn’t work, what did work, and why you’re about to embark on the next major innovation.
With 17 years under our belts, innovation isn’t a dream—it’s a story. It is Dennis and Bill’s story. It is AccountingDepartment.com’s story. And this year, as we celebrate 17 years and counting, we invite you to join us in our story—because for every story we can share about the past 17 years, we’ll soon author countless new stories as we continue to innovate, develop, and evolve the world of accounting services for entrepreneurs.
We’ll be celebrating our story all year long… and to start we’re revisiting some of the lessons that Dennis and Bill shared with Entrepreneur magazine last year for our 16th Anniversary: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/347810