Meet JDawn Consulting and read this refreshing take: “Reach out if you’re ready to be a Reformed Screw-up Client.”


In our frequent blog (and barroom) discussions about the considerable merits of economic localism — of small, independently owned local businesses — the focus tends to be on taverns, restaurants and retail.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but when we point to those excellent charts documenting the local multiplier effect, this being the abundant evidence that local businesses keep more money in the community where they operate than chains and big boxes, it’s easy to neglect the implications of the wider “ecosystem.”

In short, to keep money in the community there must be other local businesses performing needed functions and services. These come in a variety of packages, and we’re always looking for the best fit.

This is why I’m delighted to introduce you to Dawn Howard, a CPA with whom I became acquainted during my previous tenure in the local beer cosmos. Dawn has started her own business, JDawn Consulting:

“Tax preparation, bookkeeping services (via Xero or your existing system), consulting and coaching on the establishment of financial processes and controls.”

I appreciate Dawn’s open and honest approach, as outlined in this blog post. Speaking as someone whose (tax and finance) shit seldom has been held together for any sustained length of time, she’s ready and eager to help you get yours organized — something small business persons among others often desperately need.

IN PRAISE OF THE SCREW-UP CLIENT, by Dawn Howard (JDawn Consulting)

[Note: I’ve not yet found a gender-neutral pronoun that sounds elegant to my ears so please forgive the antiquated “he” throughout.]

I’ll tell you a little secret about what I do. Tax work when the client comes in with his records in pristine condition and just needs me to translate that to a return isn’t that fun. Bookkeeping work when the client does everything right and just needs me to take a look and bless it isn’t that fun.

Now that I read that, it probably isn’t all that much of a secret, huh? Don’t get me wrong, I still like that work because the CLIENTS are fun. But what I want to talk about today is what is to me a very underappreciated part of CPA life: The Screw-up Client.

For richer background, Dawn explains why she jettisoned the corporate life.

In early 2017, I said goodbye to that life for many reasons. I had a great career, but wasn’t inspired by what I was doing. The political landscape was such that I longed to be publicly active in a way my employers might not appreciate. Heck, I just wanted to do some non-corporate things like color my hair purple and pierce my nose. I couldn’t be my authentic self in day-to-day life and that was no longer acceptable to me.

So this is JDawn Consulting. Yes, it’s quite a pay cut. But every day I get to talk to interesting people. Better still, I get to help those people out of common (and uncommon) tax, accounting, and other financial problems.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m not a client of Dawn’s. It’s just that I know her skills are considerable, and I’m equally certain there are more than a few readers who might benefit from having a conversation with her.

Because: That occasional laugh is very, very important.