My entire life has provided me with experiences, skills and family support that has led to starting Leveraging Financial Knowledge, LLC.
I grew up outside Philadelphia, PA in a normal middle class family. The difference – each generation had entrepreneurial spirit. My father assumed responsibility for the family business in his early 20’s, eventually sold it to become a consultant. My mother and a friend started a business that produced industrial theatre. As the economy changed they adapted the business to address corporate executive speaking and coaching needs. My sister is a freelance scenic artist. The long standing joke is that I am the only family member that earned a steady paycheck during a large part of my career.
The steady paycheck started after I graduated from Ursinus College with a BA in Economics, when I assumed a position in retail in the operations end of the business. This was the same time that computers were starting to be implemented in large businesses, and I had the opportunity to implement one of the first ERP systems in a corporation.
I eventually decided to make a career shift and went back to school to attain a Post Bacc in Accounting. I then transitioned to Public Accounting where I focused on small businesses in many different industries. I had the opportunity to provide personal service to clients from routine accounting work, to full blown audits, to Tax engagements. I very much enjoyed the relationships I built and the satisfaction of knowing I had helped someone succeed with their goals.
When I transitioned from Public Accounting back to the corporate environment, I had responsibilities for many different operational finance functions with teams of 3 - 80 people. As the shift to more and more online personal service for benefits, and on demand education in the workplace occurred, I found that as the leader of the various organizations, I was providing more hands on support. This led to a much deeper understanding of retirement accounts and insurance products, as well as employee concerns. I also was forced to develop more targeted training materials to ensure my teams were properly trained to succeed.
I came to realize that I was providing a service to friends, family and select employees that was focused on helping individuals navigate the personal finance world. It dawned on me that although there are many resources available there is an accountability element that is missing. In addition, if individuals did not have people with good financial skills surrounding them as they grew up, they were less confident in their financial choices and often struggled. I wanted to be that resource for people to level the playing field and provide the accountability so vastly needed.
Lesley F Katz, CPA, is the founder and owner of Leveraging Financial Knowledge, LLC. With over 20 years of experience in industry and public practice, Lesley is driven to share that knowledge, and motive people to take control of their financial lives.