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Preferred Client Services Celebrates 20 Years

“We love the kinds of challenges that bookkeepers dread!”


Preferred Client Services is celebrating their 20th anniversary
Barbara Steckly, founder and president of the bookkeeping firm that provides internal reports, government filing, human resources, and software system support, coined the company’s slogan, “Making a difference counting the beans!” and she says it accurately sums up what they do.

Preferred Client Services helps with your bottom line
“I thought there was a real need for an offsite controller/consultant, someone that was more than a bookkeeper. I found a need and filled it,” says Steckly. “Preferred Client Services partners with you, your team and your accountant to make a positive difference in your bottom line. We do what the client needs. That could be short-term help to get things up to speed, or us coming in once a month or even once a year for bookkeeping. We are very flexible and tailor each experience to what the client needs.”

When Steckly opened the firm in 1998, she and a part-time bookkeeper were the only staff. Today, she staffs up to 20 during tax season.

Steckly’s focus on giving back starts in-house. “We have a culture here of continuous learning,” she explains. “When the business started to grow by word of mouth, I thought, this is great! I should hire bookkeepers and teach them how to do this. So, I started hiring women who were looking for a career in bookkeeping and who were looking for an opportunity of advancement with a great company.”

She also saw that many new Canadians could not obtain work in their chosen field and went into hospitality as a result. Steckly wanted to offer another option. She has mentored many in her business and continues to do so. With the opportunity to work at Preferred Client Services, many of Steckly’s team members have flourished within the business.

Giving the gift of support through her company
The Nina Haggerty Centre, Easter Seals and Momentum Walk-In Counselling are important charitable organizations to Steckly. Steckly has always been passionate about giving back to her community and in doing so has helped raise awareness of many charitable organizations. This is something Steckly insists and in fact makes it her priority within the foundation of her company. Giving is always better than receiving, and Steckly has shown this throughout the years with the many charitable organizations she supports.

Preferred Client Services is known as the go-to team that always says “YES” to tackling the trickiest bookkeeping situations. No matter how difficult the job, Steckly and her team will get it done! She has made it her priority to assist any business who comes to Preferred Client Services for help. Steckly takes pride in creating a plan of action for each company to be as effective as possible.
“When I started people asked, ‘what do you do?’ I answered with, ‘what do you need?’ We find out what they need by using a very detailed questionnaire. Not everyone comes to us for the same reason. Maybe they have problems collecting accounts receivables or bringing a bookkeeper up to speed. We don’t have one way of doing things; we don’t offer a cookie cutter solution.”

No problem is too big for us
Whether they are organizing a client with 25 busy companies in disarray and getting a their bookwork caught up so they can clear their overdue taxes, or being called in as a team to spend 10 intensive days reorganizing a client’s entire system, Preferred is happy to oblige. “We love the kinds of challenges that most bookkeepers dread,” laughs Steckly.

“Preferred Client Services doesn’t end when the project is complete. With the utmost care we work with our clients to guarantee they have all the tools available to them for a successful business,” says Steckly. “We look for feedback to ensure we are doing what the client wants us to do. We are very transparent. We have detailed timesheets that accurately estimate how long it will take to do the file based on our questionnaire.”

Growth is on the horizon again for Preferred Client Services with the possibility of a satellite office in another location. Steckly’s son, Christopher, an IT professional, has joined the company this year as the Director of Operations. This has allowed the team to offer select IT services to its clients.

A fascinating woman who saw a need and with her company has made a difference
As Barbara looks back over the last 20 years, the energetic entrepreneur is pleased but also humbled by the company’s success. “We built this business by helping other people grow their businesses,” she concludes. “That is why we have had the success we’ve had.”