If your business was a horse, would you be happy with the way it’s taken care of?

Having your own business seemed like a great plan when you started. You wanted to ride, train, and compete. Or groom, braid, and travel. But you never thought about having to bill clients, keep track of your money, and know what taxes you owe. Maybe you went to a “small business” seminar, or to the accountant your family uses, in a mahogany office where riding clothes seemed out of place. You tried to follow what they were saying, but there were too many unfamiliar terms, and the examples were factories and restaurants that didn’t seem to have much in common with your horse business. So you’ve struggled along doing the best you can, telling yourself that next year is going to be different.

I’m Helen Donnell, and I work with horse business owners who want to finally get a handle on the “business” side of having their own horse business, so they have more money and less stress. I’m a CPA now, but back in high school I was just a horse crazy kid thrilled to get a job feeding and mucking at the stable around the corner. I got a check every Saturday for doing something I loved. And then February came, and I got a 1099 in the mail, and had no idea what to do with it. I tagged along when my parents went to their tax preparer, and got my first education in accounting and taxes. Ouch!

As an accountant, I work with people who want to:

• Get over their excuses and get their business in order.

• Know how much money they’re making each month, and what services are most profitable.

• Bill clients and get paid, without having to chase.

• Know how much money they have to spend, and how they can save for major goals.

• Gain confidence and understanding of how to take their business where they want it to go—or let it take them where they want to go.

I believe that’s all possible, no matter where you’re starting from. Yep, even if that’s starting from chaos. (If you’d seen the chaos I’ve found in some big companies, you’d feel a lot better about your own situation.) Even before I enrolled in grad school, I loved being able to help business owners understand how to improve their businesses. Earning a Master’s Degree in Accounting, and studying for and passing the exams to be a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant gave me a lot more tools to accomplish that. I worked my way up in variety of businesses; unraveling messy records, resolving tax problems, finding and fixing holes in business projections. Controller always seemed like the most appropriate job—because I do best when I can take control of the processes and make them work better; take control of seemingly random information to make it tell a useful story; take control of chaos and impose order.

When you work with me you get access to everything I know about accounting, and my understanding of what it takes to make a horse business work. Without having to shower and change clothes. As we work together I’ll encourage you to approach your business in the same thorough way you approach your horses, and to seriously consider how much it makes sense for you to do yourself (with guidance), and how letting me handle the rest can save you stress and put money in your pockets. I will help you harness the new generation of web-based tools and smart phone apps to bring you solutions that work, in horse-language, not business-speak. I’ll help you get paid for ‘all’ of what you do, promptly, so you don’t have to wonder if there’s enough money to pay your bills; so you stay out of legal & tax troubles; so you can focus on the horses. No matter where you are now, as we work together your business will get stronger, and you’ll know what steps you need to take to make the future brighter.

If you’re ready for a friendly, reassuring conversation about the business of your horse business, contact us today.

Helen Donnell, Owner
Stable Books


Helen on her first horse job, with stable owner/stuntman Dean Smith


Helen and Camelot Excalibur


Helen and Stattok