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It all adds up

| December 22, 2010 8:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - In 2006 Brian Tenney moved back to Coeur d'Alene and began doing tax returns for family and a few friends.

In July of 2009, Tenney was out of town at a training class when two different business clients called him on his cell phone in a panic.

Their outside bookkeepers had caused some problems with the IRS, and then quit responding to their voicemails and e-mails. They both asked Tenney to take over the payroll and bookkeeping for their businesses, and get them "straightened out."

He did, and so launched his business, "CORE Accounting and Consulting," from primarily tax return preparation into a full-service accounting firm. It turned out to be a great move for both Tenney and his clients. His customer base has grown in leaps and bounds each year since and there's no end in sight.

Tenney graduated from the University of Idaho in 1998 with a degree in accounting. He started his career by working for the Spokane office of Price Waterhouse Coopers, the largest accounting firm in the world, where he primarily worked on audits of large publicly traded companies.

In 2000, he moved back to Moscow to work for a regional firm, Presnell Gage Accounting & Consulting. There he specialized in small business accounting, tax and consulting. In 2006 he moved to Coeur d'Alene and worked as assistant controller of Great Floors, a locally owned retail chain.

That was when he started his own CPA practice as a side business, which has since grown into a full-time endeavor with four part-time employees.

Tenney said that starting a business from scratch is not for the faint of heart. It's a multi-year investment of time, effort and money, and you most likely will not reap the rewards for several years.

Keeping your eye on the long-term goal will help you overcome the day-to-day frustrations and disappointments.

Working alone, Tenney had kept everything he needed to remember in his head. Unfortunately, employees aren't great mind-readers, which makes communication and training very important.

"Unfortunately, we accountants too often focus on the numbers and not enough on the people we are serving," he said. "I've worked hard to overcome that in my business. I have a great relationship with all my clients."

Tenney attended classes at the Idaho Small Business Development Center looking for guidance on his business strategy, growth strategy, and to learn how to run a business more effectively. He learned how to identify which types of services he should focus his attention on developing and growing the most aggressively.

CORE Accounting and Consulting is at 105 S. Sixth St., Coeur d'Alene, 83814, (208) 676-8900, www.corecpa.net.

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