Today we’d like to introduce you to Helen Braswell Kakouris.
Helen, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up between California and Colorado and graduated from the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a minor in Legal Studies. Immediately following, I continued my education and received my Master of Accountancy and CPA license within weeks of my 23rd birthday. The summer following graduation, I went to work full-time in the audit practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). My main client was a Fortune 300 company. I worked on multiple IPOs, multiple public companies, and had exposure to numerous private company audits as well. I had clients in numerous industries, which allowed me to see the variation of operations.
While at PwC, I was recruited to Miami to work in financial reporting and analysis for a publicly-traded Forbes Global 2000 company. I accepted the job offer while on my honeymoon and just two weeks after my husband and I were married, we left Denver and moved to Miami. A couple of years later, I received an opportunity to build a business from the ground up. I left the corporate, publicly-traded company world to form a partnership providing CFO services to small and medium-sized privately held companies. I grew my company by 700% and merged my business with a complimentary bookkeeping and accounting company. We rebranded to Varo Team in 2020 as part of the merge.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The experiences I had early in my career allow me to be where I am today. The experience I received at corporate I would never trade but the grind is real. The audit busy season tests your strength physically and mentally. There were numerous occasions of only sleeping four hours and weeks without seeing sunlight because of deadlines the teams were up against. In both corporate positions, I was constantly communicating with C-Suite executives and I learned about teamwork and endurance very early in my career.
As a mom of two very young children, I have been asked on more than one occasion if I left my career to be a stay at home mom. The reality is quite the opposite. While merging my business, I had two children under the age of two. I am still known to be working at midnight growing the business but my passion and excitement for my business drive me. While at corporate, I convinced myself that work-life balance was the proper way to live. Since having children, I have become a strong believer that a symbiotic relationship should exist with work and life. This could mean that I need to take a break at lunch to sit and eat with the children or I may be working until midnight if there is a high-pressure deadline. I believe in the practice of being fully engaged with either work or family – one at a time – and I work on perfecting this focus daily. My clients and children are both deserving of my undivided attention.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Varo Team – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Varo Team leads the future of accounting through tech-savvy thinkers who solve financial puzzles. We specialize in bookkeeping, accounting, and CFO services. I lead the Advisory and CFO division of our company. We are very proud that we are 100% bootstrapped without a single dollar of external investor funding and have actually doubled the size of our company in the last six months alone. We pair technology with experienced and educated individuals in accounting to provide our clients with the best possible work product. With my experience at PwC auditing companies that were privately held all the way to a Fortune 300 company, I gained an understanding of the operations of numerous industries, and I am able to bring this experience daily to our customers.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Technology is a buzz word in every industry. We see daily how technology is not only changing our industry but all our client’s industries. We believe there are many disrupters to come in the fintech space still. However, we strongly believe it is important to not rely 100% upon technology and that the human educational and experiential component is critical to complete the deliverable process for our clients.
- Core Bookkeeping – $150 – $350 per month
- Elite Accounting – starting at $1000 per month
- Payroll (add-on) – starting at $100 per month
- CFO Performance Report (add-on) – starting at $200 per month
- Address: 429 Lenox Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
- Website: www.varoteam.co
- Phone: 786-292-9519
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @varoteam.co
- Twitter: @varoteam
- Other: www.linkedin.com/company/varoteam