Updated: Jun 28, 2020
How many of you get anxiety just thinking about doing your own bookkeeping or annual taxes? How many of you know how easy it is to get the hands-on accounting assistance you crave? Well, for those of you who have the yearning to get tax preparation help, meet Melissa Doran, CPA and Vice President of Peridot Consulting. Melissa is an all-around tax guru, a proud Quick Books ambassador and she's capable of a wide range of tax representation tasks. For Melissa, helping clients with individual and business accounting, bookkeeping, and tax organization is somewhat fun like a puzzle or a game - which is what makes her so extraordinary!
For almost 20 years, Melissa Doran has delved in the world of accounting and bookkeeping and needless to say, she absolutely loves it. What is it that makes her so qualified to do your complicated state and federal tax work? She is a Quick Books Pro Advisor meaning she has tested and completed the Quick Books ambassador program awarding her the honor to work one on one with small businesses offering her support with bookkeeping, payroll, accounting, and tax representation.
Melissa Doran and John Michael Kledis are the founders of Peridot Consulting. Previously, they worked alongside each other in the same accounting firm for about 15 years, where they both agreed the ‘old’ rules of bookkeeping firms were tiresome and resulted in feeling very disconnected to their clients. Together, they dreamed of designing a more modern consulting firm where they had the freedom to be more supportive and connective with their clients. They imagined a consulting firm where they had a more hands-on approach with their people, to be more approachable and understanding of their clients’ needs. Thus, came the day Peridot Consulting was born.
What exactly is Melissa helping clients with right now?
Calls. Lots and lots of listening and spending time on phone calls with clients who are understandably stressed and anxious about their businesses' future. She is often discussing SBA loans and payroll questions about employees. To Melissa, it feels good to be in a position where she feels useful during this time.
When she is not on the phone or in a zoom meeting, she is chipping away at her client’s payroll taxes, preparations and filings. She is happy being a good listener, a supportive professional and someone people can rely on to get the work finished and the answers they need.
What challenges are you facing in doing this for each client?
Melissa’s heart weeps for her clients right now. As difficult as it is to feel the stress and urgency of her clients, she's happy to be a part of the solution. Right now, efficiency is a challenge but it's a challenge she strives to achieve. Now that businesses are gearing up to reopen, she hopes to ease some of the navigating with loans and other financial concerns. Being on-call 24/7 for her clients is also challenging but she wouldn't have it any other way. The feeling of knowing she can help is enough to keep her spirit up through these times.
What’s the most important part of your daily routine?
Balance. Keeping the balance of working from home and being a working mom. How does Melissa keep such stability in her routine? She takes the time for self-care by getting up early to go for a run or practice yoga while maintaining a to-do calendar for herself and her son. Just like other parents, homeschooling has been a challenge but, she is grateful her son is at an age where he can be a little more responsible for his school work and play.
Checklists and calendars are a valuable part of planning her weeks and days. This is how Melissa sets herself up for success, making the most of the time she needs to spend on each project and to stay on task.
What is the most common question you are asked by clients?
Right now? It’s mostly about business loans. How to apply, which ones to apply for, and how to allocate them once you’ve received them. The hard part is the sense of urgency, panic and worry - which is completely understandable. Melissa is the type of person that puts a lot of pressure on herself making sure she is consistently doing the right thing for each individual case.
How do you balance life and work? Working remotely. Is it a challenge?
Getting up early before the sun has become a necessity and part of Melissa’s daily routine, to allow herself time to have her own self-care morning routine. Eating well, exercising, sometimes yoga practice, crafting, reading or whatever else is included for taking care of Melissa.
What do you love most about your work?
Helping people with challenging concepts. Or supporting folks who are confused about their own taxes, bookkeeping, payroll or loans. Just like the other Peridot consultants have mentioned, she loves those 'lightbulb' moments clients have, when they finally resolve a problem or figure something out or finally understands something. Those are the most rewarding moments.
Removing stress from people’s lives is what Melissa loves most about what she does. Especially during tax season.
How did you first decide to become an accountant, business leader/developer, financial expert?
Melissa recalls always being a math person and loving math as a kid. She never really set her sights on becoming an accountant until her first year in college when her mother made the suggestion she follow what she is so good at, Math. Accounting always clicked for Melissa but, she also noticed the creative side of accounting law. She soon realized that much of it is open to interpretation. For Melissa, this can be a fun part of an accounting career next to solving bookkeeping problems.
Do you see that you are making a difference in the world?
Melissa says, "Yes, I think so." One of the reasons Melissa is so proud of the Peridot team is the enhanced relationship experience created with their clients. She and John Michael are both empathetic people, they really care about being available, flexible with their schedules, and really listening to clients’ needs.
"We’d like to think we are making a difference in people’s lives, it brings us much joy." -Melissa
What advice would you give to anyone struggling with their finances?
To ask for help! Finances are difficult for 99% of the population, it’s sad that there can be so much shame associated with money and finances. The biggest thing Melissa wants people to understand is that when you come to her about tax issues or bookkeeping problems or the inability to keep up with your accounting, there is no judgment period.
We’re all in this together and none of us are exempt from financial struggle. She is here to help.
Pick another Peridot consultant and compliment something that they do for peridot and what they bring to the team.
Well, of course, Melissa agrees that all of the Peridot Consultants are amazing, but, she has a special spot in her world for her dear friend, John Michael. She appreciates his kind-hearted, empathetic soul. Melissa knows JM is trustworthy, loyal and, most of all, how much he cares for the people around him.
How do you spend your free time?
When she's not with her son? Believe it or not, Melissa has a gift for crafts. Sewing is something Melissa enjoys, so, during this pandemic, she has become one of those people making masks for her family and friends.
Melissa also enjoys her time with friends, running, pilates, and most of all, spending quality time with her son.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Melissa is a sci-fi geek, she enjoys everything from Dr. Who to Star Wars
2.5 years ago, Melissa ran a marathon
A few years back, she spent a few weeks traveling through Italy and France which, to her, was an amazing experience!
So, if you're a business owner struggling to keep up with accounting, bookkeeping, payroll or taxes, Melissa Doran would love to be on your team. For individuals with complicated tax prep or with serious questions about audit notices or even tax representation, Melissa is just the superhero you'd want on your side.
To contact Melissa, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org